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12 Common Mistakes Made By Bad Faith Cybersquatters

Some cybersquatters register domains in bad faith as part of a business plan to monetize domains by leveraging famous trademarks and high-traffic web sites. Some cybersquatters just don’t understand the law. In this this tongue-in-cheek post, we provide a real world case study of the most common mistakes made by cybersquatters when registering trademark protected domains in bad faith. Below are some bullets for any cybersquatter to consider before engaging in this unlawful practice:

1: Don’t Admit That You Are A Bad Faith Cybersquatter.
2: Don’t Disclose All The Other Domains You Are Cybersquatting.
3: Cybersquatting on Proper Names is Also Illegal.
4: Trademark Registration is Not Required.
5: Defensive Domain Registration Is Not Required.
6: Don’t Admit You Are Stealing Traffic.
7: Don’t Offer to Sell The Squatted Domain Name At An Inflated Price.
8: Don’t Taunt Your Adversary If You Are Trying To Get Them To Pay An Amount Below the UDRP Arbitration Fee For The Domain.
9: The UDRP Applies to Registrants In Russia and Everywhere Else.
10: Just Because The Registrar ‘Lets’ You Register The Domain Doesn’t Mean You Can.
11: Two Cybersquatting Wrongs Don’t Make A Right.
12: Don’t Mention Google Adwords.

On a more serious note, blatant Cybersquatting—and its kissing cousin typosquatting—are serious problems with ramifications well beyond the UDRP or ACPA. Bad faith squatters become fodder for trademark rights groups, diminish the reputation of legitimate domainers registering high-traffic generic domains and inflame an already escalating situation. Read the full article on the Traverse Legal Cybersquatting blog.

By Enrico Schaefer, Attorney & Advisor: Protecting International Business Interests

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Brian Hall  –  Jan 21, 2008 2:05 PM

Most of these 12 Common Mistakes can be avoided by doing one thing: Hire an Attorney.  Ideally, the attorney is hired at the outset and can advise a “domainer” regarding the level of risk associated with a particular domain.  The typical domainer does not know the fine line distinctions between a generic, descriptive, suggestive, or arbitrary/fanciful mark.  Such a distinction can make all the difference when it comes to determining whether or not the registrant has legitimate and good faith rights to the domain.

However, should the risk-analysis stage have already passed, hiring an attorney after having received a UDRP Complaint is critical.  Not only will an attorney who specializes in trademark, domain name, and Internet law be able to advise you regarding possible defenses, the attorney can be the medium through which negotiations for sale can occur.  There are ways to seek compensation for a domain without having in used against you in the future as bad faith.

Ultimately, the ever-changing cyberworld provides everyday lessons on the do’s and dont’s of domain name registration and use.  The question is, will you know the answers in order to avoid be labeled a cybersquatter?

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