Trademark owners and domain name owners should know their rights under the UDRP. It is a weapon for trademark owners (registered & unregistered) and a big problem for owners of domain names that are the same or similar to a trademark or service mark. The UDRP explained from A to Z. What is it? How does it work? How long does it take? What must a mark owner prove? What defenses does a domain name owner have? What are the results? Can the domain name owner appeal a loss?
Are you sure you own your domain name? Chances are that neither you nor anybody in your company has ever checked to see who actually owns your domain name. It is very common for domain names to be owed by the web site designer or Internet Service Provider. Ownership of a domain name depends on what name is entered into the “registrant” field when the domain name registration form is submitted to the registrar.
Domain Name Disputes: Millions of domain names have been registered, including tens of thousands of domain names that infringe on trademarks and service marks. If you own a trademark or service mark (whether federally registered or not), do you know if there are any domain names that infringe on your trademark? Trademark owners have a duty to police their marks and prevent other parties from infringing on their trademarks and service marks.
Domain Name Disputes: The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act is a federal law gives trademark and service mark owners legal remedies against defendants who obtain domain names “in bad faith” that are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark. Use the ACPA to get ownership of a domain name from an infringing cybersquatter.
It is very easy to register a new domain name or to buy an existing domain name, but it could come with a lawsuit for trademark infringement or be the subject of an ICANN Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy proceeding to acquire the domain name. Don’t register a new domain name or buy an existing one without first reviewing this article.
Do you know who controls your domain name? If you do not, you should check immediately. You may be surprised to learn that the people or companies that have legal control of your web site’s domain name are not associated with your company or perhaps they may be employed by your company, but are not the right people.
Domain Name Disputes: A federal law & an international arbitration procedure allow mark owners to obtain infringing domain names & damages from cybersquatters. Learn the options available to trademark owners (including owners of unregistered marks) who desire to get a domain name from a cybersquatter. ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy has become the mark owner’s weapon of choice in the war against cybersquatters because it is quick and cheap.
If you do a Whois search and find out that you are not the owner (registrant) of the domain name for your web site or if your company is not listed as the owner (registrant) of the domain name for its web site, you should immediately take steps to cause the registrar of the domain name to change its Whois database record to correct the mistake. As far as the domain name registrar is concerned the owner of a domain name is the person or entity shown in its Whois database as the registrant.
A domain name is known technically as a “uniform resource locator” or “URL.” The domain name actually consists of a series of numbers that are used to identify a specific computer connected to the internet. A domain name is an internet protocol address (“IP address”) made of a string of four sets of numbers separated by periods such as “206.110.241.01.” The IP address is similar to a telephone number in that it can be used to send and receive electronic communications to and from the IP address.
Obtaining a domain name can be very easy, but finding one that has not already been taken can be challenging and frustrating. Millions of domain names have been registered so it takes some creativity to find a domain name that will meet your needs. Caution: Just because a domain name is available does not mean that you can use it without incurring liability for trademark infringement.
Domain Name Disputes: Federal Court orders John Zuccarini to pay statutory damages of $500,000 plus $30,653 in attorneys’ fees and costs arising from five domain names acquired and used in violation of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.
Domain Name Disputes: The US Court of Appeals in Shields v. Zuccarini, upheld an award of statutory damages of $50,000 plus attorneys’ fees of $39,109 in the court’s first case involving the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. This case provides a lot of ammunition for owners of famous trade marks who desire to obtain infringing domain names plus obtain money damages and attorneys’ fees from cybersquatters and typosquatters.