Web sites on the Internet are found and promoted by their unique domain names (for example, www.ComplexIP.com). To protect and defend Internet domains, we use trademark law principles for marks and domains which are distinctive. Trademark registration of the domain provides enhanced protection of the domain and the goods or services sold on the web site if the domain is used in the web site banner or as a trademark on the web site. The principles of fair use, critical commentary, and sometimes product comparison law balance I.P. rights between opposing parties and may be applicable in the defense of a domain name by a registrant.
The field of domain name disputes is a complex and evolving field. Domain disputes require an understanding of the continually evolving technical aspects of the Internet, like parking services, blog operations, search engine optimization (SEO), social networks, virtual worlds (for example, Second Life), keywords, and metatags. Courts and UDRP panels typically apply longstanding trademark principles to domain disputes and sometimes overlook the evolving nature of new web site technology.
All domain registrars (for example, Network Solutions and GoDaddy) agree to abide by ICANN’s Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy and Procedure (UDRP). A UDRP action is non-binding arbitration to determine who has superior rights to a domain. We have arbitrated UDRP domain matters with the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) and WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). Alternatively, or in addition thereto, our clients may seek relief from the U.S. Federal District Courts by filing an Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) actions. Parties who lose a UDRP domain action can seek a complete review of the domain dispute via the ACPA in federal court. The court’s decision is independent of the UDRP decision.
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