Cybersquatting
Produced in partnership with Emily Taylor of Oxford Information Labs
Cybersquatting

The following IP guidance note Produced in partnership with Emily Taylor of Oxford Information Labs provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Cybersquatting
  • What is cybersquatting?
  • What cybersquatting is not
  • Preventing cybersquatting
  • Defensive registrations
  • Trademark Clearinghouse, Sunrise Periods and Trademark Claims
  • Domains Protected Mark List (Donuts)
  • The European Registry for internet domains (EURid)
  • Dispute resolution

The purpose of this practice note is to provide an introduction to cybersquatting. It covers:

  1. What is cybersquatting?

  2. What cybersquatting is not

  3. Preventing cybersquatting

  4. Defensive registrations

  5. Trademark Clearinghouse, Sunrise Periods and Trademark Claims

  6. Domains Protected Mark List (Donuts)

  7. The European Registry for internet domains (EURid)

  8. Dispute resolution

What is cybersquatting?

Domain names are not usually considered to be intellectual property (IP) rights. Instead the domain name owner has the right to use the domain name for the duration of the contract with the registrar. However, the domain name can still be considered to be a non-physical asset (akin to IP rights) with an economic value.

Cybersquatting is a catch-all term describing registration and/or use of a domain name in bad faith, usually the abusive registration of domain names that are already registered in one or more top-level extensions or as trade marks. Domain name dispute resolution processes, and legislation, tend to avoid defining cybersquatting. Instead, they describe the sort of activities or outcomes which will lead to a finding of bad faith. Typical examples include seeking to profit from the goodwill associated with the mark, by selling the domain name to the trade mark holder or a competitor of the trade mark holder; profiting from internet traffic intended for the trade mark holder; or otherwise causing confusion.

Cybersquatting includes typo-squatting, the registration