There are many who buy domains intentionally with the objective of making some profit out of it by flipping them. They are referred to as cybersquatters and domainers. If you are serious about getting into domaining, you must understand the difference between the two. We will find out what cybersquatting is all about and why we should avoid this.
Domain Cybersquatting – What Is It All About?
When we talk about legitimate domaining, we refer to those who follow social and market trends. They try and take over new domains before others plan to do so. They do not usually tread on the trademarks of other companies. They believe in beating others by using a sound investment strategy.
On the other end of the spectrum when we talk about cybersquatters they are those who register domains which contain the trademark of other companies. They do so with the hope of selling them to the owner of the trademark. Or they try and make money on the reputation of the trademark owner.
Where Do You Stand?
The irony is that most people don’t choose a registered domain name intentionally. Instead any incident of cybersquatting is mostly accidental. You could be designing WordPress themes with the intention of the perfect domain name which is in line with your designs.
For example if you name your domain as shinywordpressthemese.com you could be accused of cybersquatting though your objective was to promote your business.
You might wonder how that can be cybersquatting because you are not trying to exhort money from WordPress. The fact of the matter is that WordPress Foundation which is a charitable organization behind WordPress owns the trademark WordPress. Hence they are within their rights to sue those who use the phrase WordPress in their domain names. If you look up the guidelines of WordPress for use of their trademark, you will be able to know better.
There are other such names which are commonly trademarked such as Photoshop, Scotch Tape, Rollerblade, Realtor, just to name a few. It is quite obvious that you should not use these trademarked names in any manner whatsoever in your domain name.
What Are The Penalties
Those who own trademarks will sue entities for cybersquatting and they could demand $100,000 or more from the offender. However, in most cases the trademark owners will get into touch with the domain name owner and request them to turn their domain over to them. They also could file a complaint of cybersquatting under the UDRP or Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution.
What Is Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy
UDRP is a simple process of complaint and there are no expensive litigation costs involved. If the company filing the case wins, it gets to keep the domain name. The owner name owner will not pay any fine but he will lose control of the domain registered by him or her. However, for winning a cybersquatting complaint under UDRP three facts must be established.
The domain name under use must be almost similar or should match the trademark. In case of WordPress, all that The WordPress Foundation needs to do is show their registered trademark.
However, registered trademark is not required to file a case under UDRP. They can instead prove that they have complete rights because of extensive use and through secondary meaning.
You may not have legitimate as far as the domain name is concerned. However, the company has to prove this. It could be a case where you have registered it in a name which resembles your business name. The domain name might contain your last name which will make it difficult to claim that you do not have a legitimate interest in the domain.
Has the domain been registered and used in bad faith. The word in the UDRP has a role to play. The owner of the trademark should show that the domain name was registered in bad faith. If the complainant starts to use a trademark after the domain name has been registered by you, then you may not lose your domain by a UDRP case.
There is no doubt that there are lots of nuances as far as cybersquatting is concerned. If you find that a domain comes under UDRP scrutiny, you must try and talk to an attorney which has expertise in this area.
We Can Help
When you get in touch with us, we can ensure that you reach your domaining goals. We help register all your .net, .com and .biz domains. We also help check out one the hundreds of domains which belong to the top levels.