Thanks to search engine ranking systems, internet domain names can be a competitive space for businesses. This is why it is in your best interest to protect your brand by making sure no one else is using or mimicking your domain name to their advantage.
Domain name disputes can be complex, requiring you to reach out to domain holders and hold them accountable for violating domain name law. If you are the original trademark holder, you should speak to attorneys about the trademark infringement you’re experiencing.
Your attorney can help you resolve domain name disputes and make sure that a uniform domain can be used to represent your brand. Trademark owners have rights as the original domain name holders. Find out more information about domain name law by calling us for a consultation. Contact Greenberg and Lieberman LLC now to learn more.
Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)
Step One: File a Complaint
The first step in the UDRP process is for the complainant to file a complaint with an approved dispute resolution provider, such as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or the National Arbitration Forum (NAF). The complaint should include information about the disputed domain name, the complainant’s trademark or service mark, and the grounds for the complaint.
Step Two: Notification of the Complaint
Once the complaint is filed, the dispute resolution provider will notify the respondent — the current owner of the domain name — of the complaint and provide them with an opportunity to respond.
Step Three: Appointment of a Panel
If the respondent does not respond or if the respondent agrees to the dispute resolution process, a panel of one or three experts will be appointed to review the case.
Step Four: The Panel Decision
The panel will review the evidence and make a decision regarding the ownership of the domain name. The panel may also order the transfer or cancellation of the domain name or deny the complaint.
Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA)
Step One: File a Lawsuit
The first step in the ACPA process is for the complainant to file a lawsuit in federal court. The complaint should include information about the disputed domain name, the complainant’s trademark or service mark, and the grounds for the complaint.
Step Two: The Discovery Process
Once the lawsuit is filed, the parties will engage in discovery, which may involve exchanging evidence, taking depositions, and conducting other pre-trial procedures.
Step Three: The Trial
If the case proceeds to trial, a judge or jury will hear the evidence and make a decision regarding the ownership of the domain name. The judge may order the transfer or cancellation of the domain name or award damages to the complainant.
What Are the Different Types of Domain Name Disputes?
There are three main types of domain name disputes:
Domain name disputes can arise between parties who have a legitimate claim to a domain name. For example, two parties may have a claim to a domain name based on their use of the name or their trademark rights.
Cybersquatting occurs when someone registers a domain name that is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark. The intent of cybersquatting is to profit from the goodwill and reputation associated with the trademark or service mark.
Typosquatting, also known as URL hijacking, occurs when someone registers a domain name that is a misspelling or slight variation of a well-known domain name. The intent of typosquatting is to redirect traffic from the legitimate website to a different website that may contain malicious content or advertising.
When to Hire a Domain Name Dispute Lawyer?
You should consider hiring a domain name dispute lawyer if:
Your Rights Were Violated
You believe that someone has registered a domain name that infringes on your trademark or service mark. A domain name dispute lawyer can help you evaluate your legal options and pursue a resolution that protects your intellectual property rights.
Someone Filed a Complaint Against You
You have received a cease and desist letter or a legal complaint alleging that you have registered a domain name that infringes on someone else’s trademark or service mark. A domain name dispute lawyer can help you evaluate the allegations and develop a defense strategy to protect your interests.
You Want to Register a Domain But Are Unsure How
You are considering registering a domain name that may be subject to dispute, such as a domain name that is similar to a well-known trademark or service mark. A domain name dispute lawyer can help you evaluate the risks and develop a strategy to minimize the risk of a dispute.
What Types Of Damages Can I Claim In a Domain Dispute?
The type of damages that you can receive after winning a domain dispute case depends on the specific dispute resolution procedure being used and the laws of the jurisdiction where the case is being heard. Here are some common types of damages that may be available:
Transfer or Cancellation of Domain
In many domain dispute cases, the primary remedy is the transfer or cancellation of the disputed domain name. If you win the case, you may be entitled to the transfer of the domain name to your ownership or the cancellation of the domain name altogether.
In some cases, you may be entitled to monetary damages for losses that you have suffered as a result of the domain name dispute. For example, you may be able to recover damages for lost profits or damage to your reputation.
This can include the costs of filing a lawsuit, hiring expert witnesses, and conducting discovery.
To resolve domain name disputes, you may use various dispute resolution procedures, such as filing a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or the National Arbitration Forum (NAF). You can also work with a domain escrow with the help of your attorney. Your attorney can represent your best interests to make sure your rights are protected. Reach out to Greenberg and Lieberman LLC today for a consultation.