Friday, January 9, 2009

Simplified explanation of UDRP Cybersquatting Rules

Today, I was hunting the web for a simplified explanation of what exactly counts as cybersquatting for .COM domain names. I found this article, which I quote below:

Under the UDRP a complaint must allege that (i) the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; (ii) the registrant has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and (iii) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. In the administrative proceeding, the complainant must prove that each of these three elements is present. See UDRP § 4(a).

Evidence of bad faith includes, but is not limited to, showing that (1) the registrant acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling it to the owner of the trademark for consideration in excess of the registrant's documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; (2) the registrant registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or (3) the registrant intentionally attempted to attract Internet users to its web site for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark.

If you think you may be inadvertently cybersquatting, I would recommend that you protect your rights by, at a minimum, removing any registrar-supplied parking page that shows ads. Even though you are not profiting, that may not be safe either!

Happy Domain Hunting!


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