Tag Archives: Trademark

Previously, I talked about possible federal crime that might happen in online world, especially when you do not really pay attention to TOS you agree during registering an account in a website. Today, I’d like to discuss about another crime that also grows in online world, Cybersquatting – involving trademark infringement/violation.

Cybersquatting is actually also recognized as domain squatting, which is the act of registering or using a domain name owned by another party (person or organization) with bad intention to profit from the already well-known trademark. The cybersquatter usually tries to sell the domain to the person or company who owns the trademark at an inflated price (the prices are a lot higher).

What Are The Cybersquatters’ Strategies?
The first tactic is known as typosquatting – registering various domain names under popular trademarked names. Or, if the domain names have been registered, cybersquatters will wait until the domains have expired and if the owner doesn’t directly register yet, they will register the domain names so that the domain names become theirs.

Besides, cybersquatters also have another techniques called name-jacking – purchasing any famous individual’s name as second level domain names. And then, they will set up a website that allows them to capitalize on any searches done for that name. That means everytime internet browsers search for that name, they will find the cybersquatters’ website.

Usually this can happen to well-known people such as famous doctors, lawyers, financial professionals, actors, actresses, singers, or even real estate agents; whose jobs usually require interaction with the public in general. Why? It is because their potential clients will do some research on the internet about them before trying to contact them to do some business or jobs.

So, if the famous names have been name-jacked, when cybersquatters purchase a domain like for example famouspeoplename.com, the website will appear at the top lists of any searches for those famous people. This is clearly smart but cunning strategy because name-jacking is a very low cost traffic strategy and it will reduce the traffic to the name owner ‘s real website too.

How to Deal with These Cybersquatters?
Cybersquatting has been a common phenomenon in the internet. However, there have been some laws to take care of these cybersquatting issues. One of those is Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), which was legalized in November 1999. This ACPA inlcudes a policy in which cybersquatters must pay fine up to $100,000 for each domain name to be found under violation.

Besides, there is also Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy (UDRP) process that was developed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). With this policy, cybersquatters are assigned charge up to $2,000 to $3,000 in costs and fees around $10,000 or more. Usually, they will choose this one cause it sounds quicker and cheaper.

Not only that, there is also the international United Nations copyright agency called WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) that has been founded since 1999 – providing an arbitration system that allows the trademark holders to attempt to claim a squatted site.

With these policies, they will help us to fight with these cybersquatters for violating our trademarks and copyrights. So, let’s protect what we own with the best effort from now on as these cases keep growing in number and will keep doing so if we do not do something about them.

~Gabrielle~