Domain Name Lawsuits | Reverse Domain Name Hijacking Leads to Penalty
Reverse domain name hijacking is typically a term used by domain name attorneys in threat letters and responses to threat letters. Reverse domain hijacking refers to a an entity's attempts to secure a domain name by making false cybersquatting claims. Under the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), panels have often found that overreaching trademark owners are guilty of reverse domain hijacking. Other than a ruling in the UDRP decision, there is no monetary damages or penalty for such behavior. The ACPA does not even expressly recognize reverse domain hijacking. However, that did not stop a judge from rewarding over $100,000 in cybersquatting case as a penalty in finding reverse domain name hijacking. The judgment, as posted by domainnamewire.com, was in favor of DigiMedia.com after GoForIt Entertainment attempted to acquire generic domain names based upon a theory that use of "goforit" as a third level domain name constituted cybersquatting.
Trademark owners and domain name owners alike should pay particular attention to how this decision could influence other domain name lawsuits. What was once lip service, reverse domain name hijacking now appears to have some teeth in the form of a Federal District Court Order.