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Area Title Disputes – What’s Cybersquatting?

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Studying {that a} competitor is utilizing a website identify that’s an identical or “confusingly comparable” to yours is an issue steadily encountered within the internet-driven enterprise world of the 21st century.

Cybersquatting is the acquisition of a website identify in “dangerous religion.”

Normally, “dangerous religion” is the intention of promoting the area identify again to the authorized proprietor. Quite a few giant firms (together with Panasonic, Hertz and Avon) have paid giant sums to purchase their domains from events that had no professional proper to the area identify.

What if your loved ones identify seems like a well-known identify?

If your loved ones identify seems like a trademarked identify, equivalent to McDonald’s Plumbing, your use is professional as a result of it isn’t confusingly just like McDonalds. In some conditions, the usage of a household identify can nonetheless be disputed by the trademark proprietor. For instance, see the dialogue about Microsoft’s dispute with teenager Mike Rowe about his web site mikerowesoft.com (Click on right here: CNN.com – Teen fights to maintain MikeRoweSoft.com – Jan. 20, 2004).

What do you have to do if somebody is utilizing a reputation “confusingly comparable” to yours?

Step one is to write down a letter. Earlier than firing off a nasty “stop and desist” letter, learn [http://www.webtechniques.com/archives/2001/05/legal/] to know the way it can backfire. I like to recommend that you just think twice concerning the end result that you really want. Then, write a fact-based letter, summarizing the scenario and making it clear what you need them to do (e.g., switch or cancel the area identify by a specified date). Conclude with an announcement that you just hope the scenario might be resolved with out escalation and it’s essential hear from them by a specified date.

The following step – if the letter doesn’t produce a passable response – is to file a criticism with Web Company for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) beneath the Uniform Area Title Dispute Decision Coverage (UDRP). Everybody registering a website identify robotically agrees to be certain by this coverage. It is a paper-based arbitration course of that’s comparatively fast and cheap in contrast with a court docket continuing and can lead to getting the area identify transferred to you. For extra data see: http://www.icann.org/udrp/udrp-policy-24oct99.htm

If you would like financial damages, you need to file beneath the federal Anticybersquatting Shopper Safety Act (ACPA). Along with authorizing the switch of the area identify, the Act offers the court docket discretion to award statutory damages of not lower than $1,000 and less than $100,000 per area identify. For extra data, see: [http://www.patents.com/acpa.htm]

In conclusion, there are methods to resolve area identify disputes. As at all times, an oz. of prevention continues to be higher than the “treatment.” Taking steps to register your area identify and commerce/service marks are good enterprise practices.

In case you’ve taken steps to guard your identify by reserving the area identify and registering a commerce/service mark, you’re in a robust place to defend your rights. In case you haven’t registered your identify, there is not any time like the current.

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Supply by Jean Sifleet

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