Domain Names

Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. Section 1125(d), also known as the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, a person shall by liable in a civil action by the owner of a mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark under this section, if, without regard to the goods or services of the parties, that person –

(i) has a bad faith intent to profit from that mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark under this section; and

(ii) registers, traffics in, or uses a domain name that

(I)  in the case of a mark that is distinctive at the time of registration of the domain name, is identical or confusingly similar to that mark;

(II)  in the case of a famous mark that is famous at the time of registration of the domain name, is identical or confusingly similar to or dilutive of that mark; or

(III)  is a trademark, word, or name protected by reason of Section 706 of Title 18, United States Code, or Section 220506 of Title 36, United States Code.

Accordingly, it is imperative that care be taken in selecting the appropriate domain name before establishing your company’s presence on the Internet.  Similar to a trademark clearance, a domain name/trademark search will enable your company to select a domain name that does not infringe the rights of a trademark owner.  Moreover, if a dispute should arise in the future, your company’s reliance on a professional domain name/trademark search will go a long way in negating the element of bad faith which a trademark owner must show when alleging cybersquatting or cyberpiracy.

Contact us to discuss your domain name needs and any concerns you may have regarding domain names currently in use.

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