Cybersquatting (De.: Cyberbesetzen, Fr.: Cybersquattage, Gr.: κυβερνοσφετερισμός, Cz.: doménový squatting) (See also: trademark, reverse cybersquatting, domain name, Intellectual Property Law, ICANN) = is the registration by a third party of an Internet domain name that is either identical or confusingly similar to an already existing mark. The third party must be acting in bad faith, with no legitimate interest in the domain besides profiting from its sale to the trademark holders or acquiring revenue from misdirected web traffic. 

Cybersquatting disputes are over domains not trademarks. They are resolved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) alternative dispute resolution procedure known as the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy which cannot award damages but has the power to change domain names if a claim is accepted. A trademark owner may also bring about a cause of action against a domain name registrant in a National court which may offer remedies beyond cancellation or transfer of the domain name.


Useful Links

Legislation - Trade Marks Act 1994, Section 10(1) [English] - Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPTA), 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d) [English] - Directive 2008/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2008 to Approximate the Laws of the Member States Relating to Trade Marks, Article 5(1)(a) [English]

Case law, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Panavision Intern., L.P. v. Toeppen, 1998[1999]+F.S.R.+1&rs=WLIN15.07&pbc=BC6E23F9&vr=2.0&rp=%2ffind%2fdefault.wl&sp=intceu2-000&fn=_top&findjuris=00002&mt=316&sv=Split, Court of Appeal (Civil Division), British Telecommunications Plc v. One in a Million Ltd, 1998 World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center,  Madonna Ciccone, p/k/a Madonna v. Dan Parisi and ‘’, Case No. D2000-0847, 2000,  United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division, Nike, Inc. v. Circle Group Internet, Inc, 2004, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit,  Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), v., Inc., 2013, WIPO Administrative Panel, Guccio Gucci S.p.A. v. Smith Davilv, case no. D2012-0052, WIPO Administrative Panel, Covance, Inc. and Covance Laboratories Ltd. v. The Covance Campaign, case no. D2004-0206, WIPO Administrative Panel, Harry Winston Inc. and Harry Winston S.A. v. Jennifer Katherman, Case No. D2008-1267

Amazon case, 637/1999 ΜονΠρωτ Σύρου [Greek]

Athens 2004 case, 9485/2000 ΜονΠρωτΑθ [Greek]

Online Publications - Pantov, V. 2013, The Prevention of Cybersquatting in Europe: Diverging Approaches and Prospects for Harmonization, MIPLC Master Thesis Series - Levine, G., 2015, Understanding the Legal Options Used to Fight Cybersquatting, United States, Network World 


Sharrock L., 2001, The Future of Domain Name Dispute Resolution: Crafting Practical International Legal Solutions from Within the UDRP Framework, 51 Duke Law Journal p.817

Curtin, T, 2010, The Name Game: Cybersquatting and Trademark Infringement on Social Media Websites, Journal of Law and Policy, Vol. 19, Issue 1, pp.353-394

Walczak, C., 2012, The New and Evolving Tort of Contributory Cybersquatting: Did the Courts Get it Right?, University of Illinois Journal of Law, Technology, Vol. 2012 Spring, Issue 2, pp.531-558

Kahana, E., 2014/2015, Trademarks in Cyberspace: 2013 in Review, Business Lawyer, Vol. 70 Issue 1 pp/277-287

Anisimov, A., Ryzhenkov, A., Kozhemyakin, D., 2015, Theory and practice of protection of personal names in the domain space or ‘renewed’ cybersquatting (in terms of the states of Eastern Europe), Information & Communications Technology Law Vol. 24, Issue 1, 2015 


By Adam Nagy