Complaints of cyber-squatting are on the rise. The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) recently reported that it received over 2,800 complaints of domain name squatting last year. The number of complaints has doubled in the last decade. A domain name is a unique name which identifies a computer or computers on the internet. Every website and email has a domain name in its address. Domain names provide a key way of identifying a business’s website. Commonly a business’s trading name or brand name is combined with .com or .co.uk to form the website domain name. Cyber-squatting occurs where a third party registers, sells or uses a domain for the sole purpose of profiting from another brand’s trademark, either by using it for their own purposes or to sell the domain name to the brand’s owner. With the rapid growth of the internet, registering domain names is now a vital part of protecting a business’s trading name or brand. The increase in complaints of cyber-squatting over the last decade highlights the importance of businesses protecting their brand through the use of trademarks. If businesses prepare in advance and take appropriate legal advice, threats of cyber-squatting can be resisted effectively.
If you have any queries about the contents of this article or require further information, please contact Rachel Brown, Solicitor in Druces LLP’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution team.