A service of Stephen W. Workman P.C

Cybersquatting

In 1999, the federal trademark statute (the Lanham Act) was amended to address the tensions between trademarks and domain names.  These tensions are unique to cyberspace, and the new law (the “Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act”) has no application outside the Internet.

The Anti-Cybersquatting law (located at Section 43(d) of the Lanham Act) is necessitated by the existence of two competing “reserved name” regimes:  (1) the trademark laws, including common law, federal and state registries; and (2) the domain name registries.  Because the latter regime, the domain registries, do not cross-check, or screen, applied for domain names with any trademark database, a person can become the registered owner of a domain name regardless of whether that domain infringes upon the trademark rights of another party.