Updated: 11/18/2022 by Computer Hope
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Cybersquatting describes an individual or company who intentionally purchases a domain and holds it for resale at a premium price. Cybersquatting is sometimes known as domain squatting and typo squatting.

When a cybersquatter buys a domain, it is inaccessible, states the site is under construction, or advertises or forwards to a competitor. I may also have information about how to buy the domain.

For example, an individual may typosquat "" (missing the 'p' in the name) to get extra traffic from or for other purposes. Many companies, including Computer Hope, register other domains and redirect them before someone typosquats a mistyped domain. Of course, every possible typo or misspelling cannot be accounted for, and it can be expensive to register every possible misspelling of a domain.

Victims of cybersquatting can sue under the ACPA (Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act) or fight the name through the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). Filing a complaint requires that the domain was a bad-faith registration.

What is bad faith registration?

A bad faith registration is a process established by ICANN under the UDRP (Uniform Dispute-Resolution Policy) that applies to all top-level domains. To file a bad-faith registration UDRP complaint, you must establish the following three elements.

  1. The domain infringes on a registered service mark or trademark of the complainant.
  2. The domain registrant has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.
  3. The domain name was registered and used in "bad faith."

How can bad faith be defined?

  • The domain was registered with the sole intention of selling it to the service mark or trademark holder at a higher rate.
  • The domain name was registered to block the service mark or trademark holder from registering the name.
  • The domain registrar registered the domain to disrupt the service mark or trademark owner's business.
  • The domain was registered to confuse or redirect customers to a competing business.

How to file a dispute

To file a dispute, you or an attorney must file a UDRP complaint through the WIPO or another approved resolution provider. Dispute fees vary on the provider; for example, filing a dispute through the WIPO is $1,500 for a single-member panel and $4,000 for a three-member panel. In addition to these costs, you may need to pay several thousand in additional lawyer retainer fees if you involve a lawyer. See the ICANN list of approved dispute resolution service providers.

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