Continuing from Cybersquatting and What You Can Do to Stop It (Part 1), the following provides some additional information regarding the practice of cybersquatting. While Part 1 of this blog focused on defining what cybersquatting is and how you can recognize it, here in Part 2, we will concentrate on discussing what you can do to combat cybersquatting.
Although cybersquatting is not necessarily an illegal practice, it is unethical, and there are two ways that you can go about combatting it and obtaining the URL associated with the trademark that you own. These methods involve:
- Suing the cybersquatter by use of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA): According to the ACPA, the owner of a trademark can sue a cybersquatter in federal court to try to obtain the domain name related to that trademark. To win such a lawsuit, the plaintiff (i.e., owner of the trademark) must prove that:
- The cybersquatter has intentionally acted in bad faith in trying to profit off of the trademark.
- The trademark had a unique distinction when the URL was initially registered.
- The URL is the same as or remarkably similar to the trademark.
- The trademark is protected by U.S. federal laws.
- Using ICANN’s international arbitration system: In this method of combatting cybersquatting, the trademark owner can initiate arbitration against the cybersquatter if:
- The URL is the same as the trademark name or remarkably similar to it.
- The cybersquatter has no legitimate interests in the URL, aside from profiting off of the trademark.
- The URL has been registered, and it can be proven that it is being used in bad faith.