A domain name is the address of a web site that is intended to be easily identifiable and easy to remember. Because they are easy to remember and use, domain names have become business identifiers and in some cases even trademarks themselves (such as Amazon.com). Businesses attract potential customers to their websites by using existing trademarks for domain names.
Domain name disputes arise largely from the practice of cybersquatting, which involves the pre-emptive registration of trademarks by third parties as domain names. Cybersquatters exploit the first-come, first-served nature of the domain name registration system to register names of trademarks, famous people or businesses with which they have no connection.
As the holders of these registrations, cybersquatters often then put the domain names up for auction, or offer them for sale directly to the company or person involved, at prices far beyond the cost of registration. Alternatively, they often keep the registration and use the good name of the person or business associated with that domain name to attract business for their own sites.
All domain registrars (such as GoDaddy and the like) agree to abide by ICANNs Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy and Procedure (UDRP). A UDRP action can be much faster than normal litigation in courts. And, fees can also be much lower than normal litigation. Clients may also seek relief from cybersquatting in Federal Courts under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. For more information about resolving domain disputes contact Fahey Business Law and Intellectual Property.
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