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What does a Domain Dispute Lawyer do?

Article Details
  • Written By: U. Ahern
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 15 May 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A domain dispute lawyer specializes in Internet domain problems. He is familiar with emerging Internet technology as well as trademark law. Cybersquatting, typosquatting, and domain hijacking are a few of the problems with which the domain dispute lawyer can assist. This type of assistance is reactive, initiated when there is a problem. Proactive help from a domain dispute lawyer may protect from future issues.

Just as a physical squatter takes possession of someone else's property in the real world, cybersquatting refers to someone who takes possession of a domain name. The intent is to benefit from it at the expense of the rightful trademark owner. Whenever someone registers, sells, or uses a domain name with the intent of profiting from someone else's trademark, it is considered cybersquatting.

Initially, the domain dispute lawyer may send a cease-and-desist letter to the cybersquatter. This would request immediate return of the domain name. It may also state that serious consequences could arise if the cybersquatter chooses not to comply. This is the least expensive approach and may produce the desired results.

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The second approach is more aggressive and requires additional legal action. The domain dispute lawyer would prove trademark rights to the domain name. He would prove that the registered domain name is very similar or identical to the trademark. Additionally, the domain dispute lawyer would need to demonstrate that the cybersquatter does not have a legitimate interest or ownership in the domain name. The lawyer would need to show the cybersquatter has used the domain name in bad faith.

About 25 percent of Internet traffic comes from people typing a website address directly into the browser address field. Typosqautters use common misspellings of a popular domain name. They depend on people misspelling and arriving at their website. Typosquatter’s websites are monetized with ads, taking advantage of the accidental traffic. A domain dispute lawyer is invaluable in dealing with typosquatter domain issues.

Domain hijacking is the intentional stealing of an existing domain. It is especially harmful when the website of an established business is hijacked. Domains are registered for a limited time, and if the legitimate registration lapses, others can pay the renewal fee and take over the name. Domain registrars send out reminder emails when registration is about to expire. If that email is hijacked, there is a good chance that the legitimate domain owner will fail to pay the renewal fees.

The Internet is still growing, as are the efforts to make it a secure place. A domain dispute lawyer is a valuable asset for any business that wants to ensure a domain is secure. Assistance with registration and security can head off potential problems before they occur.

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