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Archive | cybersquatting law

New Standard for Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

UDRP Rule 1 defines RDNH as “using the Policy in bad faith to attempt to deprive a registered domain name holder of a domain name” (further defined in Rule 15(c)).  There has been a mixed history in granting and denying this remedy for overreaching rights. Some Panels consider RDNH regardless whether it has been requested […]

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Building a Case for Cybersquatting Under the UDRP

A number of recent UDRP decisions remind trademark owners (and counsel) that cybersquatting cases have to be built from the ground up. Each stage has its evidentiary demands.  The first two demand either/or proof; the third, the most demanding, requires proof of unified or conjunctive bad faith registration and bad faith use of the accused […]

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Charting the Balance between Trademark Owners and Domain Name Holders: A Jurisprudential Overview

Efforts to combat cybersquatting began in earnest in 1998 when the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) (at the request of the United States Government supported by all member states) began an extensive process of international consultations “to address cross-border trademark-abusive domain name registrations.” I’m quoting from WIPO’s newly released Third Edition of the Overview of […]

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Core Principles of Domain Name Law Created in UDRP Proceedings

When in the Fall of 1999 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) implemented the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy it did not come with a fully formed jurisprudence. Panelists were essentially on their own in creating it. They had some guidance from a lengthy and detailed report published by the World […]

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What It Takes to Prove Common Law Rights

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy now has  seventeen years of history. A high percentage of disputes are indefensible and generally undefended. As the history lengthens early registrants of dictionary words-, common phrases, and arbitrary letter-domain names have been increasing challenged in two circumstances, namely by businesses who claim to have used the unregistered […]

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Balancing Rights: Mark Owners, Emergent Businesses, and Investors

Is there any act more primary than naming? It comes before all else and makes possible what follows. For the most part names are drawn from cultural assets: collections of words, geographic locations, family names, etc. They can be valuable, which is why they are guarded, protected, and hoarded. The balancing of rights among those […]

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Commodifying Words and Letters in the .Com Space

Words (and by extension their constituent letters) are as free to utter and use as is the air sustaining life. No one owns them. There is no toll fee to be paid to dictionary makers who curate them. There are, however, two carve-outs from this public domain, namely words and letters businesses use as designations […]

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In Whose Language? Cybersquatting by Foreigners

There are no gatekeepers to prevent registrants from acquiring domain names incorporating marks that potentially violate third-party rights. Anyone, anywhere can acquire domain names composed of words and letters in languages not its own through a registrar whose registration agreement is in the language of the registrant.  For example a Chinese registrant of a domain […]

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Passive Holding of Domain Names and the Argument for Bad Faith or Forfeiture

There is a misconception among some trademark owners and their counsel that passive holding of domain names alone, Sandy Frank Film Syndication, Inc. v. Ralph Zita, FA1612001706714 (Forum February 14, 2017) (<youaskedforit.com>), or combined with lack of rights or legitimate interests, Harow v. Future Media Architects, Inc., D2017- 0134 (WIPO March 6, 2017) (<harow.com>), supports […]

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Trademarks and Domain Names Composed of Common Terms

The lexical material from which trademarks are formed is drawn from the same social and cultural resources available to everyone else, which includes domain name registrants. Since trademarks are essentially a form of communication it is unsurprising that a good number of them are composed of common terms (dictionary words , descriptive phrases, and shared […]

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