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Cybersquatting Personal Names

Welcome to Cybersquatting Law Radio where domain names, cybersquatting, and trademark domain name issues are always the hottest topic of discussion.  Whether you are a trademark owner who believes they are a victim of cybersquatting or a domain owner wrongly accused of trademark infringement, you will find all the tips you need to protect your rights right here.

Cybersquatting Personal Names Interview Audio

Matt Plessner:  Hi and welcome back to Cybersquatting Law Radio.  I’m Matt Plessner.  Today, we are going to be talking about what it means to cybersquat a personal name and, you know, how such a thing can be prevented as well.  Of course to help us with, in joining us today again, is cybersquatting attorney, Brian Hall of the Traverse Legal office in Traverse City, Michigan.  Brian, thanks for being here.

Brian Hall:  Thanks a lot.

Matt Plessner:  Now Brian, for those new listeners out there, can you start off by telling us what it means to cybersquat?

Continue reading Cybersquatting Personal Names >>

Domain Registration of A Baby Name


With the recent birth of Prince George, the future King of England, domain name registration and cybersquatting considerations have been thrust into the media. The domain name, was registered by a Portuguese domain name broker according to reports online. The domain name registrant was able to register the domain name prior to Prince William and Kate Middleton, who named their son George Alexander Louis. As a result, many are questioning whether or not this is a legal domain name reigstration or unlawful cybersquatting.

This isn't the first time that an individual opportunistically registered a domain name that corresponds to a baby name. It was oftentimes done to the parents of celebrities or other high profile individuals, as could recently be seen with the registration of Blue Ivy Carter following the birth of a child to Jay Z and Beyonce. The common theme in all of these situations is that the celebrity, other individual, or company did not think of buying the domain name prior to making an official announcement. Once the domain is registered, they are left to wonder 'What now?'

For the avoidance of doubt, domain name registrations are on a first come first served basis. However, cybersquatting laws, including the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act or ACPA, make it unlawful for a domain name registrant to register the domain name incorporating the trademark of another so long as that individual does so with a bad faith intent to profit off of that trademark. When dealing with personal names, there are also provisions under the ACPA that pertain to the unlawful registratiion of personal names, with a requirement being that there is an offer to sell the domain name incorporating the personal name to the actual individual. Obviously, registering the domain name corresponding to a baby name may carry with it liability under the ACPA's various provisions. However, should the domain name be registered and used for a criticism site, fan site, or some other fair use, the domain name registration and use may not amount to cybersquatting.

Regardless, the best course of action is to be the first to register the domain name prior to any announcement. Parents should be considering registering the domain name corresponding to their baby name prior to their baby's birth. It will most likely be difficult to register domain name corresponding to only the first name, but they can considering registering the first and middle name, the first and middle and last name, or the first and last name. Registering a domain name corresponding to the baby name will not only prevent issues relating to cybersquatting, but it will also be a valuable asset for any individual baby as he or she grows up and wants to use that domain name for personal and/or professional purposes.

It remains to be scene how the matter involving will be resolved. Will Prince William and Kate Middleton contact the domain name registrant and attempt to purchase it? Will a lawsuit be filed? Will a UDRP (Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy) be filed? Or, will this simply be a story that domain name attorneys and domain name lawyers use to further educate their clients and prospective clients about the importance of domain name registration and protection of both personal name and trademarks? 


Domain Name Squatting: Beware The Trademarks

Domain name squatting is unlawful under both the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, or UDRP, as well as the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, known as the ACPA. And domain name squatting has serious consequences. Because it is a form of trademark infringement, an attorney will advise you that if you receive a threat letter accusing you of domain name squatting, that you potentially could be liable for a lot of money in damages. You certainly don't want the people who are sending you the threat letter on behalf of the trademark owner or their attorneys to file a lawsuit against you in federal court claiming that you are engaged in domain name squatting or cybersquatting.

Continue reading Domain Name Squatting: Beware The Trademarks >>

What Factors Affect a Consumer’s View of Whether a Domain Name is Reputable, and thus Worth Much More Money?

In the paper embedded into this post “Domain Bias in Web Search,” several Microsoft employees and Stanford University researchers seek to establish definitively that a “domain bias” exists on the internet wherein consumers, irrespective of all other factors, will click on a domain name even as all other variables are changed around it.  But what makes a domain name trustworthy to an online consumer of information, products or services? 

However, clicks are fraught with biases. The most widely studied bias is position bias [12, 13], a user’s propensity to click on a search result just because it appears closer to the top of a search results page. Much work has been invested in both establishing the existence of position bias [8, 18], as well as understanding how to remove position bias from click activity [2, 3, 7]. Other biases are also known to exist, for example, snippet attractiveness bias, a user’s propensity to click on a result because the query terms appear in bold in the title multiple times [23].

In this paper, we uncover a new phenomenon in click activity that we call domain bias—a user’s propensity to click on a search result because it comes from a reputable domain, as well as their disinclination to click on a result from a domain of unknown or distrustful reputation. The propensity constitutes a bias as it cannot be explained by relevance or positioning of search results.

Continue reading What Factors Affect a Consumer’s View of Whether a Domain Name is Reputable, and thus Worth Much More Money? >>

To Defensively Register Domain Names or Not? - A .XXX Example

Some universities in Michigan chose to defensively register .xxx domain names in order to protect their brand.  Some did not, choosing instead to actively monitor their trademarks and brand online.  The Detroit Free Press domain name article highlights the choice a trademark owner must make.  Should I register domain names defensively in order to protect against cybersquatting, or should I pursue cybersquatters after I identify a violation of trademark rights?  As a domain name attorney and trademark lawyer, there are several considerations I typically discuss with clients.

Continue reading To Defensively Register Domain Names or Not? - A .XXX Example >>

Trademark Owners Defensive Registration of .XXX Domains

Domain name disputes will certainly increase as the rollout  of .XXX continues forward.  There has been significant controversy about whether companies with registered trademarks should be defensively precluding registration of their brand names during the .XXX Sunrise period.  Our internet law attorneys have advised certain clients to do so. 

One university has taken a defensive approach by registering variations of its university name on the .XXX gTLD.

Continue reading Trademark Owners Defensive Registration of .XXX Domains >>

UDRP Filed on 3-Letter Domain

In a recent Domain Name Wire report, Wireless company, Shenzhen AEE Technology Co., has filed a UDRP proceeding for the domain name

The historical Whois information suggests that the owner, Shenzhen AEE Technology Co. had the domain registered and secured through 2005, but somehow lost it.  It very well may be that was the subject of domain theft/stolen domain name as result of domain registrant account hacking.  We'll have to see how the UDRP arbitration opinion comes down in order to determine what was being alleged by complainant as to how they lost the domain. 




Homeland Security Seizes 70+ Suspect Domain Names | Copyright Attorneys Blog

Over 70 websites suspected of copyright and trademark infringement violations, the sale of counterfeit goods and illegally shared media content have been shut down by The Department of Homeland Security, with the cooperation of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), according to The Wall Street Journal.

Continue reading Homeland Security Seizes 70+ Suspect Domain Names | Copyright Attorneys Blog >>

Cybersquatting Global Cricket Ventures Faces Domain Challenge

cybersquatting domain name disputes Global Cricket Ventures faces cybersquatting challenge with its acquired domain  The domain name,, was acquired as part of a settlement agreement with Live Current Media, who previously owned the domain and used it to feature ads for wireless phones.   Now, a domain dispute (case number 1364860) has commenced with the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) and some speculate that the complainant to be Cricket Wireless, a U.S. based company which owns the domain, and have been aggressively acquiring “Cricket” related domain names in recent years:

Trademark Registration has become much more important with the advent of the Internet because virtually every company’s website is now global.  When trying to determine how to trademark a name, you should consult an attorney who specializes in trademark registration.  Trademarking your name correctly has become more important in order to avoid attack later. 

If you have a trademark or domain dispute issue, or wish to register a trademark, you may contact one of our trademark attorneys for a free evaluation or call one at 866-936-7447.

Continue reading Cybersquatting Global Cricket Ventures Faces Domain Challenge >>

United States Proposes Legislation to Regulate Use of Domain Names for Illegal Activities

This proposed COICA Bill could allow US Government to shut down domains within the states and abroad that are suspected of piracy or sale of counterfeit goods.

A Bipartisan group of Senators met this Monday, September 20 with the express purpose of introducing legislation to address “the growing problem of online piracy and counterfeiting”. This session saw the birth of a Bill titled the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), introduced by the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and senior Republican member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

The COICA Bill would allow the US government to play a more direct role in policing of domain names involved in piracy;

The Bill, if passed, would allow the US government through the Department of Justice to seek a court order against a domain name suspected that has been reported as advertising, offering for sale or otherwise offering for download pirated music, movies and counterfeit goods.

Continue reading United States Proposes Legislation to Regulate Use of Domain Names for Illegal Activities >>
2010.07.22 Domain Name Soon Up for Sale, or Reserve Now for Only $7,000,000

Unless someone matches the reserve price of $7,000,000 by August 18th, the thought-provoking (and hopefully money making) three letter domain name ‘’ will go up for sale at the DomainFest New York City auction.

domain name disputes cybersauatting attorneys Bari from Moniker has been posting information about this sale and the ‘’ domain name. According to her, in April 2010 ‘’ received 1,510,670 visits and in May 2010 it saw 1,513,457. Moreover, the press coverage surrounding the announcement that the .xxx top level domain (TLD) extension will be available has had a stunningly positive impact on the value of ‘’, “traffic has more than doubled to 120K uniques per day and revenue has doubled since the announcement of the .xxx extension becoming available.” This dramatic increase in traffic is surprising given that is only displaying a parking page (although it being a parked page likely explains why there are so many ‘unique’, and thus not repeat, visits per day).

Continue reading Domain Name Soon Up for Sale, or Reserve Now for Only $7,000,000 >>

New Web Space for Porn Sites- ICANN Voted Yes to Allow the .XXX Top Level Domain

Last Friday an ICANN vote passed to allow application of the ‘.xxx’ top level domain. Even though ‘.xxx’ is not yet live and still requires further approval, ICM Registry reports that it has already taken 110,000 pre-reservations for ‘.xxx’ domains.

The ICANN vote represents the culmination of a six-year effort on behalf of ICM Registry to create a specific Internet top level domain for adult-only entertainment. This vote passed soon after an independent review of ICANN’s prior decision to deny the ‘.xxx’ top level domain was published declaring ICANN’s previous decision was wrongly made.

Continue reading New Web Space for Porn Sites- ICANN Voted Yes to Allow the .XXX Top Level Domain >>

CADNA Hosts Brand Abuse and Internet Governance Forum

Yesterday PRNewswire provided commentary on the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse’s (CADNA) Online Brand Abuse and Internet Governance Forum. The Forum, hosted by Wells Fargo and which took place on June 2nd in San Francisco, presented an opportunity for parties involved to discuss various aspects of the World Wide Web and the impact it has (and will have) on the promotion and protection of brand names and trademarks online. Among the attendees were experts in digital marketing, trademark law, and cybersecurity.

The Forum began with the first panel’s discussion focused on strategies to combat cybersquatting and the role that U.S. legislation will play in deterring cybersquatting in the future.

stolen domain names

The general consensus was vocalized by Josh Bourne, CADNA President, who expressed the general opinion that the current laws in place (in particular the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act ACPA)) do not serve as a sufficient deterrent against cybersquatting. Bourne reiterated his concern, "we need more aggressive laws that will significantly discourage bad actors from exploiting brands' good names in this way."

Continue reading CADNA Hosts Brand Abuse and Internet Governance Forum >>

.CO Extension Roll Out By .CO Internet S.A.S.

The roll out of the .CO extension will offer a unique platform for entrepreneurs and established business alike. Lori Anne Wardi of .CO Internet S.A.S. discusses the roll out and the plans behind the extension with Damien Allen on today's program.

ANNOUNCER:  Welcome to Cybersquatting Law Radio brought to you by Traverse Cybersquatting Law, internet lawyers specializing in domain name disputes, resolutions and all other domaining issues. 

Continue reading .CO Extension Roll Out By .CO Internet S.A.S. >>

New CADNA Study Says ICANN'S New gTLD Launch Will Cost Businesses Over $746 Million

With ICANN launching 400 new generic top level domains, CADNA looks at the facts and figures to determine what the impact to business and the internet using public will be.  Will the changing landscape of the web be improved with new extensions or will it become gridlock on the information superhighway?  Joshua Bourne of CANDA discussed the study's findings with Damien Allen on today's program.

Announcer: Welcome to Cybersquatting Law Radio, brought to you by Traverse Cybersquatting Law,, internet lawyers specializing in domain name disputes, resolutions, and all other domain name issues.

Continue reading New CADNA Study Says ICANN'S New gTLD Launch Will Cost Businesses Over $746 Million >>
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Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

  • Reverse Domain Name Hijacking
    Reverse domain name hijacking occurs when a trademark owner files a UDRP arbitration against a domain name owner on frivolous claims of trademark infringement. Domain name Hijacking is real. Find out how to protect your domain names.

Domain Theft & Stolen Domain Name Help

  • Domain Theft & Stolen Domain Name Help
    We often hear "someone stole my domain name." A domain name theft attorney can help you recover a stolen domain whether the thief is an employee, business partner, web developer, web hosting company or third party.


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Events & Conferences:
  • International Trademark Association 2011, San Francisco, California
  • Cyber Law Summit 2011, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Game Developers Conference 2011, San Francisco, California
  • DOMAINfest 2011, Santa Monica, California
Recent Attorney Speaking Engagements:
  • South By Southwest 2010 SXSW Interactive Conference, Austin, Texas
  • West LegalEdcenter Midwestern Law Firm Management, Chicago, Illinois
  • Internet Advertising under Part 255, Altitude Design Summit, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Online Defamation and Reputation Management, News Talk 650 AM, The Cory Kolt Show, Canada Public Radio Saskatewan Canada
  • Alternative Fee Structures, Center for Competitive Management, Jersey City, New Jersey
  • FTC Part 255 Advertising Requirements, Mom 2.0 Conference, Houston, Texas
  • Webmaster Radio, Cybersquatting & Domain Monetization, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Notable Complex Litigation Cases Handled By Our Lawyers:
  • Trademark Infringement, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Cybersquatting Law, Trademark Law and Dilution Detroit, Michigan
  • Internet Defamation & Online Libel Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Trade Secret Theft, Chicago, Illinois
  • Cybersquatting Law, Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act Miami, Florida
  • Cybersquatting Law, Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act Eastern Dist. of Virginia, Alexandria
  • Stolen Domain Name, Orlando, Florida
  • Commercial Litigation, Tampa, Florida
  • Copyright Infringement and Cybersquatting Law, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Mass Tort Litigation, Los Angeles, California
  • Stolen Domain Name, Detroit, Michigan
  • Adwords Keyword Trademark Infringement, Los Angeles, California
  • Trademark Infringement & Unfair Competition, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Non-Compete Agreement and Trade Secret Theft, Detroit, Michigan
  • Mass Tort, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Mass Tort, Tyler, Texas
  • Insurance Indemnity, New York
  • Copyright Infringement, Detroit, Michigan