Cybersquatting is a modern business law issues because it can cause serious problems for business owners. What does the term mean? It happens when a business owner has a trademark on a product or business name. A cybersquatter purchases the domain name associated with the product and refuses to release it unless the person pays a significant amount of money to purchase the domain name. This means the trademark holder does not have access to the appropriate domain name for his or her product.
Cybersquatting has a long business law history. It was most prevalent when businesses did not understand the importance of establishing an ecommerce presence. Some individuals purchased domains that represented well-known companies and attempted to sell the domain names back to the companies at a significant profit.
An attorney can advise you about the steps you need to take if you think you are being victimized by cybersquatters. First, you should visit the site and see if is an actual website or a “this domain is for sale” site. You may also be the victim of cybersquatting if the website features products that are similar to those that your company offers. In other cases, the website may be legitimate and have a reasonable relationship to the domain name. According to internet law, this is not considered cybersquatting.
You have protection under federal law if you are the victim of cybersquatting. The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act is a U.S. federal law that bans cybersquatting. These types of disputes are generally resolved under the Uniform Domain Registration Policy which was developed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. If you are dealing with a cybersquatting issue, you should work closely with a qualified business law attorney. There are many complex issues involved such as jurisdictions and the importance of proving the opposing party was acting in bad faith.
A business law attorney can help you sue the cybersquatter under the Anticybersquatting Protection Act. Your business law attorney may also advise you to work with an international arbitration system that was created by the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers. Your business law attorney can advise you as to the best, most-cost effective option for your situation.