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Do Not Cybersquat (We Know Who You Are)

Cybersquatting (also known as domain squatting), according to the United States federal law known as the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, is registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else.

Think you have a great idea for buying an unregistered name of a major corporation? Think again.

Almost every day, the National Arbitration Forum — a domain name dispute resolution body approved by ICANN — resolves disputes under the UDRP, the ERDRP, the RDRP, the TDRP, and the QCP. The Forum is also accredited by Neustar to resolve disputes under the usDRP and the usNDP policies for .us disputes. Find out more about the Forum’s domain name dispute services or file your complaint online at http://domains.adrforum.com.

Victoria's Secret Domain Name Cybersquatting Decision

What’s the big deal about registering a domain name with the company name Victoria’s Secret in it? A lot. First, it’s a trademarked phrase with the USPTO. That gives the trademark owner certain rights and privileges that you don’t have.

Wikipedia states:

A trademark or trade mark or trade-mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities…The owner of a registered trademark may commence legal proceedings for trademark infringement to prevent unauthorized use of that trademark.

Instead of filing an expensive legal proceeding, the FORUM provides a streamlined process for returning trademark-referenced domain names to the trademark owner.

FORUM domain name decisions recently posted online include:

Case: Skype Limited v Renat Minikhanov / System Shock
Case Status: Transferred
Domains: skypeaccess.com, skypeplanet.com, skypewirelessphone.com, skypewirelessphones.com, skypewireless.net

Case: Dolce International Holdings, Inc. v Purple Bucquet
Case Status: Transferred
Domains: dolcehotel.com

Case: Victoria’s Secret Stores Brand Management, Inc. v Alan Bitarov
Case Status: Transferred
Domains: victoriasecretgift.info

Case: Fandango, Inc. v Tris Garboski
Case Status: Transferred
Domains: fandango-bucks.com

Registrars will typically lock a domain name that is under UDRP review. In some cases, it’s done at the registrar level, which for others it’s at the registry level; it all depends on the TLD’s policies and procedures.

What is clear, however, is that your public information becomes a matter of public record. In all four cases listed above, you can read the details of the arbitration decision and view the name of the complainant and respondent. If you plan on making a living from domain names sales and services, it’s a good idea to keep your reputation clean by not cybersquatting.

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