A domain name dispute arises when someone has a domain name incorporating your company’s brand name. For example, if someone registers Googlesucks.com then Google could object to that registration because the domain name uses its name.
There are two main courses of action when a domain name dispute arises:
- Litigation through the courts.
- Use of the domain name dispute resolution procedure of the domain suffix in question. So, this is an administrative dispute resolution process, involving the UDRP for googlesucks.com, and .for a co.uk suffix the procedure is that of Nominet.
Resolving domain name disputes
There are pros and cons to each of these methods of dispute resolution.
- Litigation is costly and if the owner of your domain name is based in another jurisdiction it entails litigating through lawyers in that jurisdiction. However, you can claim monetary compensation.
- Use of the administrative domain name dispute resolution system is relatively cost effective and efficient. If you win you can have the domain transferred over to you. However, there is no right to claim compensation.
- The apparent simplicity of the administrative dispute resolution process can mislead people into assuming it is something they can do for themselves. To be successful in a domain name dispute resolution you will usually have to show that the domain name that has been registered by a third party is identical or confusingly similar to your brand name. The better your arguments from a trade mark perspective, the more likely you will succeed.
- There must also usually be an element of bad faith in the registration.
How we can help
If you find yourself in a domain name dispute seek legal help immediately.
We have extensive experience in domain name disputes and can help you reach a satisfactory outcome in line with your budget.
For further help call us on +44 (0) 20 7700 1414.