Domain Dispute Lawyer
A good domain name is as valuable as a memorable tag-line or catchy jingle. Many a multi-billion dollar business began as a $10 URL and an idea. That’s why domain disputes can get ugly, and an experienced domain dispute lawyer could mean the difference between winning and loosing.
Protecting Your Domain(s) Is Important In Today’s Marketplace
Our team of Internet lawyers know everything there is to know about domain disputes, URL intellectual property and cybersquatting. We’ve also brokered large-scale domain sales and negotiated favorable settlements in domain-related lawsuits.
The Nature Of Domain Disputes
Internet domains work like real estate speculation, in that it involves staking out exclusive sections of the Internet for development. Each domain has two types of “identifiers” — a number (i.e., 172.16.254.1) and an alpha-numeric string (i.e., yoururlhere.com). Problems usually arise when one party feels another party has used an alpha-numeric identifier confusingly similar to a copyrighted or trademarked name or title.
A Short History Of Domain Dispute Law
Since the late 1990s, the Internet has been a bit like the Wild, Wild West. Whoever got to a stake or parcel first, got the claim. This of course created problems for companies who had already gone to great lengths to stakeout brands, copyrights, patents and trademarks associated with business names.
Due to the increase in cybersquatting cases, officials passed the federal Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, which allows trademark holders to control domains with the same names. Fortune 500 companies and small start-ups have used the law extensively to protect their digital intellectual property.
Available Domain Dispute Options
WIPO Uniform Domain Dispute Resolution Process
Any individual or business — no matter the size — can file a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization, through the Uniform Domain Dispute Resolution (UDRP) process.
Every UDRP case is usually decided within 2 to 3 months and can cost anywhere between $1,500 to $10,000 depending on the number of sites being disputed and the number of WIPO panelist reviewing the case.
If you do decide to use the UDRP process, it’s usually best to consult with a domain dispute lawyer beforehand. After all, it is a legal process and you don’t want to lose for flubbing the paperwork.
Intellectual Property Lawsuit
The UDRP process does have its limitations, and sometimes it’s best to just file a domain dispute claim via the U.S. judicial process. That being said, a lawsuit can sometimes be long, drawn out process — a point to consider when deciding how to attack your domain dispute issue. On the other hand, a lawsuit can end up costing less than a UDRP hearing — especially if you win and the defendant is ordered to pay your legal fees.
Domain Dispute Arbitration
The pleading company can contact the current domain owner and try to buy the domain address. Depending how popular the address may seem and how obvious the business makes its interest, this approach can be expensive. However, if the purchase works, the company gets its desired address and can get active on the Internet immediately.
What A Domain Dispute Lawyer Can Do
A skilled lawyer, well-versed in Internet domain rights and cybersquatting, can navigate and settle domain disputes; they can also put legal safeguards in place that will make it impossible for others to infringe on your domain rights once you’ve obtained your desired URL.
A domain dispute lawyer can help you with the UDRP process, initiate domain negotiations, or file a full-fledged domain dispute lawsuit on your behalf. Having a representative who understands current Internet law — and the things that can be demanded versus negotiated — is often a critical part of winning a domain dispute.
Bottom line: Hiring the right online intellectual property legal team will save your startup or business many headaches and wasted time.