Cybersquatting- How Can You Rise Above It

In the present times, internet has become a way of life. It has changed profiles of various industries and trades dramatically. E-commerce is one profile which is basically a business that is established online. It won’t be wrong to say that e-commerce has changed the way people shop or do business. Now e-commerce and domain names go hand in hand and finding an ideal domain name for your e-commerce company is a whole new ball game. Registering a name on the World Wide Web comes with rules which are not very clear, hence innocent and new business owners become vulnerable to law suits. Cybersquatting is one such issue. It’s when a domain name is purposely registered to gain profit off another’s trademark. Let’s look into this issue much more closely so that you can learn to avoid it or in case of a dispute, how to go about it

ICANN Can Help

ICANN, which is a California-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, takes care of all types of domain name system management. When an issue of Cybersquatting arises, the complaining party takes ICANN’s special aid. ICANN accredits four different domain name dispute resolution services which handle the disputes effectively without having to take the dispute to court.

How Does It Work?

Usually the resolution takes place online and the entire process takes less than 45 days to come up with a decision. What is good about this system is that, even after the decision has been taken, if the company is still not satisfied with the results, it can take the matter to court. To further the process after the complaint, the defendant has to produce documents which can verify if the trademark is legit.

Three Little Steps to Victory:

  •  You will have to show proof which states that the domain name you are disputing against has a similarity to your website. Doing so will work in your favor. For e.g. if your brand is called Globes and the respondent’s domain name is Globesinmygarden, the case might be in your favor.
  • Show proof which would establish the fact that the registered domain name is actually  your name or that you have no bona fide use of the domain name. For instance, a guy whose name just happens to be Michael Jackson doesn’t have to relinquish his domain (provided he produces sufficient proof)  just because he and the ‘king of pop’ share the name.
  • Prove that the other person is using your domain name with the intention of personal gain.  Cybersquatting rules will only apply when the other guy is trying to sell a well known trademark to the owner for profit.

Although the disputes can be resolved though ICANN’s process, some disputants still go to court. One of the reasons might be the fact ICANN takes up cases only when the domain names are top-level domain like ‘.com’, ‘.net’ or ‘.org’.

Things you should also  remember if you are a domain name investor is that, not everything is worrisome. There have been instances of people who have raked in considerable amount by selling their domain names. One such example is Boston Business Consulting Inc. whose domain name was bbc.org. BBC paid $200,000 for the domain name.

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