We’re able to deal with a range of internet-based infringements – from domain name cyber-squatting to trade mark infractions.
With the growth of internet usage over the last 20 years, protecting your brand online is becoming increasingly difficult. Because the world wide web is far reaching and so readily accessible it is even more important to ensure that you are protecting your brand online. Online trade mark infringement may be the sale of counterfeit goods, a copycat website, or cybersquatting.
Cybersquatting is the practice of registering, selling or using domain names in bad faith, with the intention of profiting from someone else’s trade mark. The cybersquatter may register variants of your domain name/trade mark (for example, common misspellings) in order to benefit from misdirected traffic, often getting income from pay per click adverts which divert customers away from your legitimate website, or to try to resell the domain name at a profit.
You might wish to consider registering a number of different variations of your domain name in order to help prevent cybersquatters. These might be purely defensive registrations and the number you register will depend on your budget and their availability.
It is important to note that registering a domain name does not in itself give you any rights in that name and without a trade mark registration you may not be able to prevent others using a similar domain name. We can put you in touch with domain name registration companies.
If you find that a third party has registered or is using a domain name that is identical or similar to your trade mark, there are a number of options for dealing with domain name disputes. If the domain name is being used in relation to a website which is offering identical or similar products or services, this might well constitute trade mark infringement. However, if the domain name is not being used in relation to a legitimate business, it is often easier to use dispute resolution procedures.
We regularly file and prosecute complaints under the WIPO’s ICANN Dispute Resolution Procedure, or through the UK’s Nominet Dispute Resolution Service. We are well placed to provide advice on the most appropriate course of action and we can ensure your brand is protected online and offline at all times.