1. Entity In Charge:
In Colombia the entity in charge of assigning Domain Names is the "University of Los Andes" through its Computer Center (Centro de Cómputo). In 1990, InterNIC delegated this function to the University, because of for the following reasons:
It must be noted that the Colombian Administrator of Domain Names is working hard to adjust its policies and administration to the principles established by INTERNIC. However, many legal issues are pending for decision by this entity (i.e. the assignment of Domain Names).
2. Policies On Domain Names:
To date no bill or legislation on Domain Names exists, but there are some policies established by the Colombian Domain Name Administrator that are compulsory for the registration of Domain Names. The policies for registering a Domain Name are:
Finally, it most be noted that there is not a policy regarding Dispute Resolution Procedure. Thus, if a claim arises from the use of a Domain Name that is registered as a trademark in Colombia, the owner of a trademark will not have an action or procedure established by NIC Colombia to resolve the dispute and thus, it will be necessary to initiate a trademark infringement action before the courts.
3. Procedure For Registering A Domain Name:
As we can see from the above, there are no restrictions on who can apply for a Domain Name. However, a company or organization wishing to request a Domain Name shall submit the Tax Identification Number (NIT). This has been a problem for the foreign companies, because a power of attorney should be granted in order to obtain a Tax Identification Number, causing a delay in the process of registration of Domain Names. Thus, the Colombian Domain Name Administrator is allowing that authorized companies or individuals in Colombia register Domain Names on their behalf. For that purpose an authorization by the foreign company should be granted and sent by fax. It is not necessary that this authorization comes be authenticated or with any other formality. However, the letter should be written in the applicant’s letterhead.
On the other hand, although there is no specific provision regarding certification on related IP rights, at present the Domain Name Administrator is requiring a certification from the Trademark Office stating if the domain name exists as trade name or trademark.
A more defined and clear policy must be established so that the Internet users can assure its rights on the Internet. Many legal issues are still pending to be regulated, like such as Dispute Resolution Procedures as well as the assignment of Domain Names.
Likewise, the topic on registration of Domain Names raises many important issues. Being one of them if just International Agreements are needed in order to preserve the Internet as a non- regulatory medium or for the contrary, if a legal framework is necessary (legislation) that leads to an organized and predictable medium.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.