What is cybersquatting?Cyber: InternetSquatting: to live in a building or on land without the owner’s permission and without payingCybersquatting: the registration of a commercially valuable Internet domain name, as a trademark, with the intention of selling it or profiting from its use.
Started to become a real problem in 1999DennisToeppenRegistered about marks of famous companiesSued by PanavisionSued byIntermaticInc.1999: US Congress made it illegal to knowingly register websites containing trademarks (ACPA)
Types of Cybersquatting
Cybersquatting, a.k.a. domain name squattingWhen a squatter buys a domain name that is usually a trademark of a company or the name of a specific companyTyposquatting, a.k.a. URL hackingSomeone buys a domain name that is similar to another domain with small, common typos
Registered domain names that were typos of sites frequented by childrenUsed these sites to redirect children to porn sitesZuccarinimade millions of dollars since the Internet was youngArrested 2003: new legislation protecting children online
Donald Trump vs. J.TaikwokYungJulia Roberts vs. Russell BoydVerizon vs.OnlineNic
Donald Trump vs. J.TaikwokYung
Yung developed four websites related to Donald Trumptrumpmumbai.comtrumpindia.comtrumpbeijing.comtrumpbudhabi.comTrump and lawyers wanted Yung to pay $100,000 for each domain nameYung paid $32,000 in damages to Trump
Julia Roberts vs. Russell Boyd
Boyd bought juliaroberts.comDevoted to discussions about the actressLater, Boyd listed the domain on eBay and received a bid of $2,500Boyd claimed he was never in it for the money and turned down Roberts’ lawyers offer of $2,500Boyd: “I didn’t want the money then or now…if she had called me up and said ‘Can we talk about this?’ the domain would have been hers.”
OnlineNicwas accused of trademark infringement and illegal cybersquattingmyverizonwireless.comiphoneverizonplans.comverizon-cellular.comIn total,OnlineNicregistered 663 addresses that were identical or confusingly similar to Verizon900,000 domain names were registered similar to other companiesVerizon was awarded 33.2 million dollars
Anti-Cybersquatting Piracy Act
“Trademark holders now have a cause of action against anyone who, with a bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of another’s trademark, registers, traffics in, or uses a domain name that is identical to, or confusingly similar to a distinctive mar, or dilutive of a famous mark, without regard to the goods or services of the parties.”
Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy
“Most types of trademark-based domain-name disputes must be resolved by agreement, court action, or arbitration before a registrar will cancel, suspend, or transfer a domain name.”Basically, this is the terms and conditions for anyone attempting to register a domain name and allows for complaints to be submitted without contest.