Anti Cybersquatting UDRP

Intellectual Property Law Firm Representing Clients in Patent, Trademark, Copyright, and Trade Secret Matters


Mike Cohen is fantastic. He is always quick to respond and very available, despite being one of the busiest lawyers in his field.

- Don M.


Los Angeles Anti-Cybersquatting & UDRP Attorney

What Is Cybersquatting & What Can Be Done About It? ACPA or UDRP?

Have you ever had a third party register a domain name that is either exactly the same or very similar to your trademark? If so, it may be a Cybersquatting issue. Cybersquatting is registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with a bad-faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else. To address this issue, Congress enacted what is known as the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (“ACPA”).

The ACPA amended the Lanham Act by providing trademark owners with a civil remedy against cybersquatting. If you’re not sure how this may affect your business, let’s run through some examples. The typical scenario is that the name of your product, or your company name is a registered trademark (or a strong common law trademark). However, you failed to register the domain name for whatever reason. Joe Schmo cybersquatter decides to beat you to the punch and registers the domain name of your trademark. He may have even registered plural versions or misspellings of your trademark as well (this is known as typosquatting). Joe Schmo cybersquatter is simply holding the domain name for ransom hoping to sell it back to you for a nice profit, or he may decide to keep domain name knowing that he will get a lot of traffic to his websites. The cybersquatter may sell products similar to yours or is simply engaged in affiliate marketing and makes money off of the clicks on his website.

These situations can obviously cause consumer confusion and can easily cause lost profits to your company and dilution of your trademark(s) as well. One avenue of recourse is filing an ACPA claim in federal court. The Plaintiff in an Anti-Cybersquatting suit must establish:

1. The Defendant has a bad faith intent to profit from the mark, including a defendant name which is protected as a mark; and

2. registers, traffics in, or uses a domain name that– (I) in the case of a mark that is distinctive at the time of registration of the domain name, is identical or confusingly similar to that mark; (II) in the case of a famous mark that is famous at the time of registration of the domain name, is identical or confusingly similar to or dilutive of that mark; or(III) is a trademark, word, or name protected by reason of 18 U.S.C. section 706.

It’s important to distinguish cases in which the cybersquatter is obviously acting in bad faith, from situations in which the individual simply registered the domain name with the intent of doing something else with it that is unrelated to the trademark owner’s goods and/or services. The ACPA excludes a finding of bad faith where the domain name holder reasonably believed that the use was “fair use” or otherwise lawful. Accordingly, bad faith is the biggest component in an ACPA claim. So what is bad faith? There are several elements the federal courts will consider such as:

  • The trademark ownership rights held by the mark owner; The closeness of the domain name and the cybersquatter’s name; The cybersquatter’s commercial use of the domain name for access to a website; The cybersquatter’s intent to divert web traffic from the mark owner; The cybersquatter’s offer to sell the domain name to the mark owner; Whether the cybersquatter gave misleading information in registering the domain name; and

Contact our office to start protecting your domain.


Trademarks are a form of intellectual property rights for elements that identify a product or service’s source.


Patents help those who have developed an invention and seek to protect it.