German court denies ICANN’s motion to force registrar to collect personal data for WHOIS

Further to our recent post, a German court summarily denied ICANN’s motion to force a registrar to collect personal data administrative and technical domain record contacts in addition to the personal data for the registrant (the domain name holder).

According to the English translation of the ruling posted by ICANN, the German court noted that ICANN can only claim loyalty to its contract by the registrar “to the extent that the contractual agreements are in accordance with applicable law” and the Court found that ICANN “has not demonstrated that the storage of other personal data than that of the domain holder, which continues to be indisputably collected and stored, is indispensable” for ICANN’s needs.

In regard to ICANN’s contention that the WHOIS system should be treated in the same manner as a trademark register, the court stated, “Insofar as the Applicant bases its claim to relief on a parallel of the so-called ‘WHOIS’ system to international agreements on trade mark registers, the Chamber is unable to follow this. The legal basis for the trademark registers on the basis of international agreements is missing in relation to the ‘WHOIS’ service claimed by the Applicant. The fundamental comparability of the respective general need for protection does not change this.”

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