How to fight a domain dispute


More commonly called cybersquatting, a domain dispute can arise when someone registers a domain name that you think should belong to you. A domain dispute can also occur if someone registers a domain name that is very similar to your own. In these cases you could potentially use copyright and other intellectual property laws to have the offending domain removed from the web.

Nominet is one of the UK’s largest domain name registration companies. If you want to complain about a domain name you can use their Dispute Resolution Service. This aims to resolve any dispute with top-level domains such as those ending .uk. Note there is a fee for using this service.

Outside of mediation with the domain registration company, you can also use third-party solicitors to fight your domain dispute if you have not managed to obtain a satisfactory conclusion to your complaint. You will often have to go to the courts if your domain dispute also has a trademark element. In many cases your domain name is an essential component of your business’s trademark. In these cases, your dispute will need the services of specialised solicitors.

As the internet is global, your domain dispute may also have an international element that you must address. Intellectual property and copyright is often country specific. If your dispute is with someone outside of the UK, you may have to fight your case in the international courts. In all these cases, specialised solicitors can help and support you throughout your case.

Never attempt to bring a dispute on your own, as copyright and trademark law are complex. A qualified solicitor can properly interpret the law to give your case the best chance of a successful outcome. You can of course, in the first instance, use the domain dispute resolution services provided by your domain registration company, but even here the services of a qualified solicitor can be invaluable as they can represent you during any mediation that may take place.

If you would like to obtain legal advice about website domain disputes, Caven can put you in touch with a local specialist intellectual property / IP solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local intellectual property / IP solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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