Have you ever trawled the internet to find out if account names were available for celebrities? Do you own any of them? Congratulations, you are a cybersquatter. A lot of people like to acquire accounts and domain names of celebrities just to get some attention or money.

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Mondaq uses cookies on this website. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies as set out in our Privacy Policy. The internet has brought a massive revolution in the 19 th century which can be equated with the industrial revolution. The internet was launched for the purpose of communication between the masses but within the few years only, it became one of the most important tools for the communication for business transactions, governmental policies and social interaction.

It has provided the opportunities for the millions of people and brought liabilities in the field of intellectual property, data privacy, etc. The challenges that the law has faced in recent years is, how to foster the development of intellectual property on the Internet while preventing its unauthorized use. We have addresses for our homes and offices. In the same way, domain names are nothing but simple forms of addresses on the internet.

These addresses enable the users to locate websites on the net in an easy manner. Domain name corresponds to various IP Internet Protocol numbers which connect various computers and enable direct network routing system to direct data requests to the correct addressee. There are so many instances of abusive domain name registration and infringement of trademarks on the internet that law of trademark has extended its purview to domain names as well.

Most of the domain name disputes and cybersquatting cases are dealt under the passing off when there are no specific provisions on the issue. Cybersquatting is a type of domain name dispute which is prevalent in the world. It is a practice where individuals buy domain names reflecting the names of a existing companies, with a sole intention to sell the names back to that company to attain profit when they want to set up their own website.

There are various types of cybersquatting. Most commonly used is the typo squatting where a cyber-squatter registers domain names containing variant of popular trademarks. Typo squatters believe that the internet user will make the typographical errors while entering the domain names into their web browsers. Internet domain name is a combination of typographic characters used to describe the location of a specific location online.

It is considered the identity of a Web site. The Internet domain name is very important for the small businesses who want to establish their name on internet. The two organizations cannot have same domain names. In the above example only google.

You will always see difference in search results for both cases on Google. The last two or three letters of a domain nameor URL e. The top-level domain which are used earlier are for Example '. Some other common top-level domains are country codes, like. Domain name registration system 2 started on the basis of the "First come First serve" basis. The registrant authority which was initially the "Internic" did not take the responsibility for checking the ownership of the name.

Later when the internet became popular, large popular companies wanted to enter the internet with their own websites and often found that the domain name they were seeking had already been booked. So companies which wanted the same domain name had to pay a price, which were sometimes unimaginable. This increasing cost of buying back of domains resulted in 'Meta society' trade mark owners coming together and claiming that their intellectual property rights on a registered trade mark should be extended to "domain name".

This has resulted in considering "Registration of Domain Names without the intention of using them" as cybersquatting. In today's world Domain name serves as an on-line trademark. It also indicates quality and a repository of the goodwill of an organization. Alphabetical domain names were developed to make the addresses easier for humans to remember and use when communicating on the Internet.

Such names are catchy words or well-known names of individuals or companies, for example, "nokia. A Domain name serves the same purpose online, which a trademark serves in the offline business transactions.

Therefore, Domain names are of utmost importance in online businesses. They are important because of the following reasons:. The existence of domain names without the requirement of the registration brought the concept of "first come, first served".

This has created the disputes among the owners of the trademark because many speculators have started to register domain names in order to resell them for a higher price to the trademark owners. The problem arose with the trademark owners because of their entitlement to IP rights make them feel ripped off by this new practice named as "cybersquatting". The reason of the increase in the incidence is the growing importance of domain name in the e-commerce trend.

Domain name hold a good importance as there can be only one user of a domain name unlike the trademark law where there can be two or more users of a same or similar trademark for various classes of goods and services under the honest concurrent use if such use does not amount to infringement or causing confusion or dilution. But this kind of provision is not applicable in the case of domain names. Since, the domain registration system follows the "first come, first served" policy.

So, once a person registers a domain name similar to a trademark, any other person using a similar mark is denied registration of another domain name similar to that trademark. That means only one user is allowed to use a particular domain name and any other application for the same domain name will be refused. This is the main reason as to why trademark owners prefer to get their trademarks registered as their domain names for business.

The cases of trademarks and domain names conflict mainly involve issues related to the use of goodwill of a trademark by an infringer in the domain name to divert the potential customers of the owner of the trademark to a website not associated with that trademark, or use of meta-tags resulting in dilution of trademark or unauthorized registration of the trademark as domain name with the intent to extort money or to prevent the owner from using the trademark.

The Cyber squatters quickly sell the domain names to other non-related entities, thereby enabling passing off 5 and diluting of famous trademark or trade names. Every computer on the Internet has a unique address — just like a telephone number — which is a rather complicated string of numbers.

IP Addresses are hard to remember. The DNS makes using the Internet easier by allowing a familiar string of letters the "domain name" to be used instead of the arcane IP address. So instead of typing. It is a "mnemonic" device that makes addresses easier to remember.

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Learn More Accept. Intellectual Property. To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on Mondaq. Some common examples of typo squatting includes: The omission of the ". Sometimes '. Most commonly used TLDs are. Some of the Examples of nTLDs include ". They are important because of the following reasons: Promotion of business and building up of customer base online and offline by way of advertising on the web.


Cybersquatting in India -The concept and its development

Rise in cloud computing security patents. Glasses-free 3D TVs: A legal perspective. Jul 27 Recent years have seen a steep rise in cybersquatting cases across India, whose e-commerce industry is continuously growing. With close to million users, India has emerged as being the country with the second highest number of internet users in the world. It comes as little surprise amid such figures that cybersquatting has been on the rise across the nation, and over the last decade or so, Indian courts have seen their fair share of cases dealing with such practices. In the high-profile case of Yahoo Inc.


5 Indian Cybersquatters Who Messed With Some Of The World's Biggest Names

In this blogpost , Vernita Jain, Student, National Law Institute University, Bhopal writes about what is cybersquatting, categories of cybersquatting, legal scenario of cybersquatting and its position in India. Domain names are the biggest trend in the internet world nowadays. Having a domain name is a general practice that a company undertakes so that their company can be easily identified due to their trademarks. There are a number of companies that a consumer wants to have a connection with, but such is not possible physically. The domain names make it possible for the consumer to identify and contact the company.

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