Cyber squatting Lawyers
What Is Cyber Squatting?
Cyber squatting is generally defined as the situation where one person of business entity purchased a domain name solely for the purpose of reselling the domain to the highest bidder. Implicit in their purchase is that they have absolutely no interest in using or developing a website at that domain. Since 1999 cybersquatting has been an illegal activity worldwide.
What Must a Plaintiff Show to Make an Argument of Illegal Cyber Squatting against an Individual or Business Entity?
In general, a plaintiff must show that the domain name registrant has absolutely no "legitimate" interest in using the domain name and that the domain name registrant has acted in bad faith to deprive the potential legitimate owner use of or profit from the domain name. Legitimate in this context generally means a "reasonable business or professional purpose". Bad faith here generally means that the registrant has tried to sell or manipulate the domain so as to make a profit on it.
What Is Specifically Meant by Bad Faith in this Context?
Bad faith is a slippery term in any area of the law, and in cybersquatting law it¿s no different. Fortunately, the courts have provided potential plaintiffs and defendants with some idea what they mean by bad faith intent to profit. In this context bad faith is determined by:
- Looking at previously owned TM or IP rights of both parties in the potential suit - IP rights being owned by one side work in favor of that party in these suits
- Looking at extent to which the domain name consists of the legal or common name of an identifying person - Individuals are generally entitled to domain names for themselves unless the name is common or already trademarked
- Looking at use of the domain name for actual true sales of good and services . Use of a domain for sales and services generally indicates good faith use of the domain name
- Looking at use of domain name for noncommercial or fair use purpose . Although highly controversial, use of a domain name for commentary and educational purposes may indicate good faith use of a domain name
- Looking at domain name registrants intent to divert consumers away from valid mark owner
- Looking at domain name registrant's intent to offer for sale, transfer, or otherwise assign a domain name
- Looking at a individual domain name registrant's acquisition of multiple similar domain names for unfair use
Should I Contact a Lawyer Regarding a Possible Cyber Squatting Suit?
Cyber squatting law is well settled worldwide. Courts globally have little patience for cyber squatting, and are quick to hand down rulings and penalties to curtail this practice. If you believe you have a reasonable claim to a domain name which another person in squatting on, you should contact an internet lawyer immediately to file suit against the squatter.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 06-10-2009 02:55 PM PDT
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