LE has substantial experience litigating domain name disputes. Domain name disputes typically involve cases of cybersquatting (reserving a name that one does not intend to use for the purpose of selling it to another) and typosquatting (reserving a common misspelling a mark such as McDomalds.com).
Domain name disputes can be litigated either in federal court under the Lanham Act or via an arbitration. Significantly, damages and injunctive relief are available under the Lanham act whereas only injunctive relief (transferring ownership of the domain name) is available in an arbitration. There are several different arbitral panels from which a complainant may seek redress, including the National Arbitration Forum.
Domain names are managed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN contracts with registrar companies, such as GO DADDY, who sell the domain names to the public. Every purchaser of a domain name, known as a registrant, consents to be bound by the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and “represents and warrants,” among other things, that registering the name “will not infringe upon or otherwise violate the rights of any third party,” and further agrees to participate in an arbitration-like proceeding should any third party assert such a claim. When these representations or warranties are breached or the individual is registering the domain name in bad faith, litigation or arbitration may ensue.
LE’s domain name dispute attorneys are ready to assist you with any domain name dispute proceeding in which you may be involved or would like to initiate.