Law is a very slow moving body constantly evolving over time. Technology and especially Internet technology is highly dynamic and ever-changing; on any given day it rarely looks the same as it did the day prior. These give rise to conflict which is sometimes quite difficult to resolve.
One major problem relates to domain name registration conflicts with trademarks. Both are essentially concerned with the ownership of names. It has come to the attention of very unscrupulous 'players' that domain name registration affords great possibility for exploiting the system to the disadvantage those who rely upon the long developed principles of name ownership via trademark law.
The scams are numerous. Among the various activities under the broad classification cybersquatting include: 'typosquatting'; 'warehousing'; 'frontrunning'; 'domain tasting'; 'domain kiting'; 'pornosquatting '; 'drop-catching'; 'domain sniping'; 'domain parking', among others. In most simple scams, a cybersquatter or 'domainer' registers a domain name which conflicts with or is confusingly similar to a trademark. When the rightful owner of the name (trademark holder) discovers the domain name registration, the registrant attempts to extort money in exchange for releasing or transferring that domain name registration to the trademark owner. Of course, there are many variations of cybersquatting and it is not important to define them all here. However, it is useful to point out that one attains ownership of a name for commercial use in accordance with trademark law - rather than domain name registration. Registration of a domain name does not impart ownership of a name any more than standing on the Empire State Building and screaming out loud the name three times; nor any more than spray-painting the name aside the train tracks along with other graffiti. These acts are wholly inoperative with regard to establishing name ownership. However, cybersquatters continue to rely upon the mistaken belief they establish ownership of a business name when they register the name in the form of a domain name registration.
Important defense strategies which may be deployed against cybersquaters are set forth via Federal Law (Lanham Act) sometimes known as the Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act and in addition via ICANN's UDRP Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy. Please contact us with your cybersquatting questions and concerns so we may further contribute to the community who stands against these illicit practices.