cybersquatting

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Related to Cyber squatters: Domain squatting, Domain name squatter

cybersquatting

Registering an Internet domain name that sounds similar to a widely known company or product. For example, if fancy-shirts.com were a popular clothing site, a cybersquatter might register FancyShirtsClothing.com and hope to rank high on a search engine's results page, also by including related words in the hidden tags of its Web pages. The site might sell a competitive product or make money from ads (see domain parking).

Instead of registering similar-sounding names, cybersquatters might register the common misspellings of popular domain names (see URL hijacking).

Anti-Cybersquatting: ACPA and UDRP
In 1999, the U.S. government passed the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), which enables trademark holders to obtain civil damages up to USD $100,000 from cybersquatters. While not directly outlawing cybersquatting, it was an attempt to improve the situation.

Also in 1999, ICANN created the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) to resolve cybersquatting disputes. If not resolved, trademark holders may still take legal action under ACPA. For more information, visit www.icann.org/en/udrp/udrp.htm. See URL hijacking, page hijacking and domaining.
References in periodicals archive ?
Cyber squatters are capitalising on the current turmoil in the banking sector, by registering Internet addresses related to recent bank mergers.
If more businesses are registering at this domain, cyber squatters will see an opportunity.
The problem is that it's also a good opportunity for cyber squatters to step in and snap up the domain names of unsuspecting firms.
Any applications should be pursued promptly or companies risk losing out to a competitor, or face lengthy legal battles to evict the cyber squatters," Mr Hunt said.
He said: "In the past, cyber squatters, or individuals or companies that register a domain name with no intention of using it, have virtually held to ransom legitimate users who want to establish their company name on the Internet.
To allow organisations and companies to protect their domain name against abusive registration by cyber squatters, a phased registration system (also referred to as "Sunrise") was put into place.
companies protect trademarks registered in Cuba and prevent Cuba from becoming a haven for cyber squatters.
In fact, Brindley, Twist Tafft & James has maintained a 100 per cent success record, having won three High Court cases against cyber squatters on behalf of clients.
In the vast majority of disputes between registered trademark owners and cyber squatters that have actually gone to trial have resulted in victories for the registered trademark owner over the non-trademark holder.
One Internet expert said: "It has turned into quite a business for so-called cyber squatters and is becoming a real problem.
The company says the move is design to deter cyber squatters who register names and don't pay for them, which takes them out of circulation.
In general, trademark protection will help," agreed Kelly, "but courts are only forcing domain name registrants to transfer domain names to trademark owners in cases where they are cyber pirates and cyber squatters.