I Have Been Wrongly Accused of Cybersquatting
A trademark bully is someone with trademark rights who seeks to use the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) or Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) in order to force you to transfer your domain name to their control in order to avoid arbitration or litigation. Sometimes, trademark owners greatly overstate their rights in your domain name in order to force a transfer without paying fair market value for the domain.
If you have been wrongly accused of trademark cybersquatting under the ACPA pr UDRP, we have a cybersquatting defense attorney who can help you understand your options and the costs associated with each.
Defenses to a cybersquatting claim under the ACPA:
- A domain registrant who registers a domain name before the third party obtained trademark rights, common law trademark or registered trademark rights, may have a defense based on priority of time. It is impossible for you to have registered your domain with a bad faith intent to profit if, in fact, you registered the domain prior to the third party having trademark rights in the first instance. These are complicated issues which require assessment by a cybersquatting attorney.
- A third party does not have the trademark rights which they allege or their trademark infringement allegation is otherwise weak. A good trademark attorney can help assess the allegations of domain name cybersquatting being made against you in order to understand whether the claim of a trademark right is weak, strong or nonexistent.
- You were unaware of any third party trademark rights when you registered, used, or trafficked in the domain, and the third party trademark was not a registered trademark with the USPTO. There was no constructive notice of the trademark registration and you had no reasonable way of knowing that the trademark right holder existed.
- The alleged trademark is generic in that it is a dictionary word or other word which describes the service or product. There is no such thing as a generic trademark. If a word generic, there can be no trademark rights.
- The trademark is descriptive of the goods and services and therefore extremely weak. Weak trademarks obtain weak protection under trademark law and cybersquatting law.
- You have a legitimate business purpose for the domain having nothing to do with the third party trademark claim. A legitimate business purpose can be a business plan or web implementation which shows that you did not register, use or traffic in the domain name in order to profit off of the third party trademark rights.
- You did not register, use or traffic in the domain name with a bad faith intent to profit. In fact, the domain name has no commercial benefit to you at all, and therefore it is not making or seeking to make any money.