Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act

Anticipatory Cybersquatting
Expected cybersquatting is the practice of registering domain names at a lower current value, hoping that they will become more popular and more valuable in the future. Cyber squatters are expected to register non-registrars only to sell them over time to firms with legal links to the domain at a much higher value than previously paid. As a result, new firms often find that many, if not all, domain names match their trademarks, products, or services that are already registered with one of these individuals. Such companies face a difficult choice: overcharging a domain owner or paying for an obscure domain name that has not been registered.

However, it is important to note that not all online waiting events lead to the loss of a viable business opportunity. Registration of domain names that may be the original trademarks (such as common names) does not endanger the company’s position because damages related to this practice are more likely to infringe on the trademark’s trademark rights.

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Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act
The Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) was passed in 1999 to prevent cybersquatters from registering domain names that contain trademarks to sell them to the trademark owner. ACPA amends the Lanham Act (the main trademark law in the United States) to enable it to take public action against misrepresentation of different or popular brands using the same or confusing (or different) domain names. To be eligible for exemption under ACPA, the opposing domain name must have been clear, popular, or both at the time of registration. The registration must be made under pretenses. The ACPA sets out nine points that the court may consider in determining this serious misconduct, including the previous history of the domain name registrar and the registrar’s history of registering similar or similar names by confusing existing marks. As a result, while ACPA sees the acquisition of domain names to resell them to trademark owners, it does not recognize modern activities such as registering domain names at a lower current price hoping that they will be desirable and valuable in the future.

Significantly, three years of non-use of a trademark produces a conflicting view of leaving a mark. For this reason, trademark law is based on the premise that a person who does not use a trademark should not be allowed to prevent another trademark from using that product. Similarly, cyber squatters fail to put a domain name in question to use it in a meaningful way while preventing others from doing so. As a result, in the aftermath of the established trademark law, the anticipated expectation of cyberbatting is in stark contrast to public policy. However, ACPA still prohibits online commerce.

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy
In addition to the ACPA suspension, ICANN’s Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy was introduced in 1999. (UDRP). This policy is a requirement for all domain name registration agreements granted to registrars approved by ICANN. To be successful under UDRP, a claimant must demonstrate three things: first, the domain name is the same or confusingly the trademark it is entitled to. Second, the trademark owner must state that the registrant does not have a valid name claim. The subscriber found and used the domain name in a false belief, the third and last element. If the trademark owner is successful, it may remove the domain name in question or its registration transferred to the trademark owner under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).

While UDRP does not directly block expected browsing, it is common to get a domain name from the expected cybersquatters. UDRP, unlike ACPA, does not require that the domain name in question be unique or preferred when it is registered.

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