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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Choosing the Best Domain Name

“What is in a ‘Domain Name‘? A rose by any other word would smell as sweet.” It is obvious that William Shakespeare knew nothing about the world of Web hosting, by those lines found in Romeo and Juliet. In the Web hosting world a domain name is very important to your company, image, or presence Online. Often a domain name might make or break you. So, what is in a name?

First let me expell the biggest myth in picking a domain name. The old rule saying that the holy grail of domain names is to find a three letter one you can use (such as abc.com or xyz.com) is a misconception. Just about any domain name has the destiny to be great, it is all in how you tie it in with your Web site. I will get more into that in a moment.

Don’t pick a domain name out of the blue that has nothing to do with your Web site at all. If you sell bikes, then having the domain name airplanes.com doesn’t make much sense. Picking oddball names can often confuse a visitor because it becomes harder to relate your Web site with the domain name.

For that same reason, do not make your domain name too complicated either. Which are you more likely to remember, mikesbikes.com or heylookatmeihaveabikesite.com. Short domain names is not the way to go either. You must find something that relates to your Web site, with a few good key words.

Key word placement in a domain name can be one more helpful step in trying to get your rankings up on any of the big search engines out there today. If you are selling Web hosting, having the domain name mikeswebhosting.com is going to do better in the search engines than mikessites.com. Once again, with mikeswebhosting.com you know you are getting Web hosting by a guy named Mike. It’s all there in the domain name. With the other, you aren’t sure what you will be going to till you get there.

A rule I have broken in some of my examples here is do not use words that need hyphens or apostrophes in them. A good domain name should be able to be typed out simply. Adding too many modifiers that should but are not there might make your visitors forget where to put them, or leave out a letter or two. Instead of using mikessite.com use mikemcmikeson.com.

There is obviously more in a name than William Shakespeare thought, a domain name at least. Using these few rules of thumb along with doing good research though will provide you with a domain name that not only looks cool, but leads more traffic to your Web site.

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