Domain Name Disputes

In the last decade, the Internet has intensified the complexity of protecting your brands in the global marketplace. Domain names, especially those that include your company name and trademarks, represent your company on the Internet. Worldwide, there are currently over one billion people online searching for information about companies and the goods and services that they sell. While the Internet offers opportunity to effectively promote your company and its products and services, it has also made it far easier for unscrupulous individuals and entities to use domain names that mimic your company name and trademarks to drive traffic illegally to their websites and away from yours.

There is an exponential increase in instances of cybersquatting. This can result in consumer confusion, loss of sales, brand dilution and lost advertising dollars for your company. Various strategies are employed by cyber predators, the most popular of which includes registering domain names that are confusingly similar to your company name or trademark (cybersquatting) or the deliberate misspelling of your company’s own domain name (typosquatting). These confusingly similar domain names are then used on websites that generate “click-through” fees to the cybersquatter, sometimes from the very company whose corporate name or trademark is being infringed.

While the schemes are seemingly limitless, the result is the same: a company name or valuable trademark is infringed upon and Internet traffic is diverted. Harness IP lawyers routinely stop domain name infringements quickly and without spending a lot of money. We have filed hundreds of successful actions to force the transfer of infringing domains. The strategies used include initiating proceedings under the Uniform Domain Dispute Resolution Policy, which are often completed in 60 days or less. Another effective weapon, particularly with regard to foreign owned domain names, is filing suit in court against the domain itself to force its transfer to the company whose name or trademark is being infringed.

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