Dispute over a Domain Name – What You Can Do About It

Ensuring Corporate Documents' Enforceability - What to Know

14/12/2021

There are only a finite number of domain names available, which means that it can be challenging to find one that is available for your company. If a domain name is already in use, but not by the company you are targeting, then this does not amount to cybersquatting, and you will generally not be able to pursue legal action. However, if the domain name you want is being used by the website owner in bad faith, there are ways to resolve the issue. You will learn much more about this to protect your Australian company.

What is Cybersquatting?

As mentioned, cybersquatting is essentially the same as domain-name squatting, except that the domain name’s owner is using the domain name to profit from the company’s name. The owner generally has no relation to the company or other right to use the name. The owner of such a domain name is generally considered to be engaging in cybersquatting, and they can be subject to legal action. The process of taking legal action against a company that is cybersquatting is generally the same as it is for those who are squatting on trademarked names or other intellectual property belonging to a company.

What You Can Do

1 – Identify

In order to legally fight a domain-name dispute, you must first figure out who is responsible for the domain name in question. In order to do this, you will need to find out the registration information related to the domain that you want to take over. This can be done in a number of ways, but the most common is through the WHOIS domain lookup tool.

2 – Weighing Your Options

Once you know who owns the domain, you will need to determine whether or not you want to pursue legal action against that person. Before doing so, you should speak with a lawyer with experience in domain-name litigation. This will help ensure that you are taking the right steps to reclaim the name and that you are doing so in a way that is within your company’s legal rights.

3 – Taking the Matter to Court

Should you decide to take the matter to court, the process will differ depending on whether the accused is based in Australia or elsewhere. The court in which you choose to pursue legal action against the domain name will likely be the one where the individual is registered. If the individual responsible is not a resident of Australia, the matter will likely be taken up by the court in the individual’s home country.

Conclusion

Keeping an important domain name from being taken over by someone else is an important part of protecting your company’s online presence. Should you wish to take legal action to reclaim your domain’s name, it is best to talk to a lawyer before you do so. It is also a good idea to perform a thorough investigation into the individual who owns the domain name to ensure that you are not simply trying to resolve another person’s dispute.

If you are experiencing trouble with your domain name and brand protection in Australia, come to GLG Legal. We are an ambitious, innovative, commercial and property law practice based in Brisbane that provides its clients real-world solutions to meet their commercial and property needs. We differ from other law practices as we are driven by innovation, ideas and results, not by legal traditions and billable hours. We pride ourselves on providing the right solutions for our clients.

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