DOMAIN NAME DISPUTES
· Any party in involved in an Internet domain name dispute.
Your Internet domain is the “home” where your website lives on the Internet. For example, Runyowa Law lives at: www.runyowa.com. As with real property, you want to ensure that other parties do not trespass, misuse or undermine your home in any way.
RESOLVING DOMAIN DISPUTES
The central platform for resolving domain name disputes is the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). This United Nations agency is based in Geneva, Switzerland. WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Centre was designed to provide fast, efficient and cost effective adjudication of domain name disputes. The system has been designed to account for the fact that disputing parties are often in different parts of the world.
Runyowa Law provides advice and legal representation in disputes involving the acquisition, maintenance, and use of domain names.
WHAT ARE SOME COMMON DOMAIN NAME DISPUTES?
Domain name disputes take many forms. One of the most common is cybersquatting, which involves the bad faith registration, use or trade in a domain name that should rightfully belong to another party. In 2000, pop star, Madonna, pursued legal action to recover the domain, madonna.com. the domain had ben registered by a New York web developer who used it to draw web traffic to his adult website. The WIPO panel ruled in Madonna's favour and transferred madonna.com to her.
Reverse cybersquatting (or reverse domain name hijacking) happens when a trademark holder attempts to deprive a rightful owner of their domain name by making untrue claims of cybersquatting. For example, see: Andrew Etemadi, Founder and Chief Technology Officer for Eyemagine Technology LLC v. Clough Construction and Deanne Clough. In that case, the WIPO panel found that the Complainant's actions amounted to reverse cybersquatting. It reached this conclusion partly on the basis that the Complainant registered its trademark (in bad faith) after the Respondent had secured the corresponding domain name, (eyeimagine.com).
Typo-squatting is a form of cybersquatting. It happens where a party registers a domain name that is highly similar to an established domain name or trademark. However, they register a slightly misspelled version to capture web traffic from users who want to visit the legitimate site but mistype the domain name into their Internet searches.
For example, see the WIPO case of ESPN Inc v. XC2. The Respondent registered "espnnews.com" and used the domain to offer adult material. The domain had an extra "n" compared to ESPN's own domain "espnews.com". The Defendant had previously registered numerous other domain names that were misspelt variations of popular sites including: yahoomali.com, washingtpost.com, sonys.com, google.com. The WIPO panel ruled in favour of ESPN on the basis that the Respondent had registered espnnews.com in bad faith.
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**DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or a contract for legal services with Runyowa Law. If you need formal legal advice in a covered practice area, please contact Runyowa Law at 306-206-2800.