What Is Trademark Cybersquatting?
Trademark cybersquatting is the act of registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name that is identical or similar to a distinctive trademark or service mark of another party, with the intent to profit from the goodwill of the trademark owner, or with the intent to mislead consumers as to the source of the goods or services being offered. Trademark cybersquatting is a type of trademark infringement.
Trademark cybersquatting is prohibited under the Lanham Act because it causes confusion, deception, or mistake as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the goods or services being offered, and it dilutes the distinctive quality of the trademark owner’s mark. Additionally, trademark cybersquatting can harm the reputation and goodwill of the trademark owner and interfere with its ability to effectively promote and market its goods or services.
If a trademark owner can prove that trademark cybersquatting has occurred, it may be entitled to an injunction against the use of the infringing domain name, as well as damages and any profits that the cybersquatter has earned through its use of the domain name. The Lanham Act provides a cause of action for trademark owners to pursue against cybersquatters in federal court, and it also provides a streamlined administrative remedy through the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).
What Legal Remedies Are Available For Trademark Cybersquatting?
Under the Lanham Act, a registered trademark owner has several remedies available to them for trademark cybersquatting:
In addition to these remedies, a trademark owner may also pursue a claim for cybersquatting through the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), which is an administrative procedure administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and is a less expensive and quicker alternative to litigation.