Most people obtain domain names with the intent to use these domains to promote businesses or offer goods and services. However, not all individuals who acquire domain names use these domains properly. In recent years, cybersquatting has become an increasingly common problem.
Cybersquatting refers to the event in which an individual buys, sells, registers, or uses domain names with the intention of earning a profit from another individual’s or company’s trademark. Most commonly, cybersquatting occurs when an individual buys a domain name that includes the name of a business.
Existing businesses will often want to obtain domain names that utilize their company name or trademark. An individual who is cybersquatting will sell the obtained domain name to the associated business for an inflated price, thereby intentionally gaining a profit from the domain name.
An individual who takes part in cybersquatting will often purchase many domain names and subsequently sell these domain names to the companies or businesses that depend upon the specified trademark. Under the Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy and the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, registering domain names with bad faith and the intent to obtain a profit is not permitted. If an individual is found guilty of cybersquatting, not only will his/her domain name be transferred to the associated business, but he/she may also be required to pay a significant fine of up to $100,000 for each domain name that violates anti-cybersquatting legislation. People and companies should take the measures necessary to protect themselves against cybersquatting when they are purchasing domain names.