Domain Naming System

The Domain Naming System (DNS) is a vital part of almost all communications over the Internet. Every computer on the Internet has a unique IP address, but remembering such addresses is very difficult for humans, if not impossible. The DNS was designed to allow easy-to-remember names to be used. It can translate names to IP addresses and back, and is organized in a hierarchical fashion to provide scalability.

Originally, the DNS distinguished in its top-level hierarchy between categories such as educational, military, government and commercial domain names. In the last few years, the commercial ("dot-com") category received millions of domain names. To soften this problem, very recently several new top level domain names (such as .info or .biz) were introduced.

Due to the growing commercial importance of domain names, the number of disputes over the rights to a domain name has also significantly increased in the last few years. Trademark laws are an important weapon in these disputes.