Domain Name Disputes
What is a Domain Name Dispute?
In short, a domain name dispute is a lawsuit initiated by one party to take involuntarily a domain name from another party. These cases are a form of service marks infringement litigation. We represent clients in both filing and defending these cases. Most domain name disputes are filed with either the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) or World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), but they may be filed in federal court as well. If a UDRP case is filed against you, you will usually be notified only by email and failure to respond to the case will result in your loss of the domain name. No matter where in the world you reside, a domain name may be seized and stripped from your possession simply because you agreed when registering all domain to what is called the Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy (UDRP), which provides that any domain you register may be taken in a UDRP case in another party can prove they have some kind of service marks right to the domain.
There are many types of cybersquatting which are illegal, including typosquatting (registering a misspelling of another company's name) and even "gripe sites" (domain names used to complain about another party), as well as domain registrations of another individual's personal name. We have successfully established service marks rights in personal names on many occasions, and are often hired by other legal teams to file domain name disputes against parties registering the legal team's personal name (see jonahhunt.com and kendrickmoxon.com, as well as this article).
Why Should I Hire You?
Our Internet legal team, including Steven Rinehart, have been handling domain name disputes for many years, and can help you with cybersquatting domain name disputes of any kind.The value of domain names is ever rising. Our clients have sold domain names for more than $1 million for a single three-letter domain name alone. For many businesses, a domain name is the most valuable single of property (intellectual or real) which the business owns, and the loss of the domain would mean the loss of nearly 100% of business revenue. It has never been more important to retain competent legal counsel in a UDRP domain name dispute. Our legal team, including Steven Rinehart, have been handling domain name disputes for many years, and can represent you in cybersquatting disputes. We have handled over 120 domain name disputes, and win about two-thirds of those disputes which we handle, both for respondents and complainants (the party filing a dispute / the party being filed against). We have seen large law firms representing large clients lose domain name disputes simply because they misunderstood the procedure and standards at issue in UDRP cases. UDRP actions are much different from traditional lawsuits.
We have a domain name registration tracking service we offer larger corporate clients. Once enrolled in this service, we automatically track all domain name registrations that occur anywhere in the world for instances of domain names that are confusingly similar to your own corporate domain name. In this program, we can automatically take action against anyone who registers a confusingly similar domain name, or advise you each time if happens and await your instruction on how to proceed.
Can One File a Lawsuit in Cour to Take a Domain Name?
Yes. Even if the registrant of a domain name is another country, or far flung part of the globe, you can take the domain by filing a lawsuit in the US where the domain is located (in Virginia). Even if the registrant has registered the domain name with a registrar abroad who does not even host a site in English, we may be able to help you take the domain by filing what is called an in rem lawsuit under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) in US district court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
A list of some of the UDRP domain name disputes we have won recently is below.