Mag. Balazs Esztegar LL.M.
Attorney-at-law Vienna

Piaristengasse 41/10
1080 Vienna, Austria
Tel. +43 1 997 4102
Fax +43 1 997 4102-99

Domaingrabbing by competitors

Exit the Room GmbH offers escape games at several locations in Austria and uses the domain under which it does business. A foreign company that also offers escape games in Austria secured the domain and redirected it to its own website.

Exit the Room GmbH, represented by attorney-at-law Balazs Esztegar, offers a currently very trendy leisure activity in which participants are locked in a room from which they must free themselves within a given time using clues and puzzles hidden in the room. Such escape games are also organised by other companies, but one competing Hungarian company registered the internet domain and redirected it to its own website. This was obviously done in order to cut off customers from the competition. 

Lawyer Balazs Esztegar was instructed to take legal action to stop the competitor from using the domain. Exit the Room GmbH was able to invoke its trademark right from the registered community trademark "Exit the room" as well as the protection of its name right according to section 43 of the Austrian Civil Code (ABGB). Since the domain grabbing was obviously intended to catch customers, the competitor thereby violated competition law (UWG).

After a warning including a demand to cease and desist, the opponent company showed understanding due to the clear legal situation and agreed to transfer the domain to Exit the Room GmbH.