What is Cybersquatting?

Cybersquatting occurs when a domain name is registered to sell it to the owner of a trademark or famous name for a large sum of money. Cyber squatters may also try to extort money out of individuals and businesses who believe they own a trademark.

How to Protect Yourself Against Cybersquatting

Register your name as a trademark. Once your trademark is registered, you can seek legal action against the cybersquatter. If you have been the victim of cybersquatting, there are several steps you can take to recover your name or stop the cybersquatter from using it:

1. Contact Their ISP 

This should be a first step in trying to get a domain name back from a cybersquatter. Notifying the Internet service provider of the domain’s registrar should help resolve the domain name dispute quickly. If this does not solve the problem, move on to other options.

2. File a UDRP 

If you have registered your trademark as a United States federal trademark, you may be able to file a UDRP against the cybersquatter. The UDRP is a Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy that you can file with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). 

If your trademark has been registered in a country or region other than the United States, you may have to choose a different course of action. ­Contact the WIPO for more information. ­

3. File a Complaint 

A complaint is a legal document drafted by a lawyer and filed with a court. A complaint is one of the most common ways to remove a domain from cyber squatters. You may have to pay court costs, but this method is often effective as long as you have proof that you own the trademarked name.

4. Use a Reverse Domain Name Hijacking Complaint 

A reverse domain name hijacking complaint is a way to recover a domain name from a cyber squatter. A reverse domain name hijacking complaint essentially means that you are claiming that the owner of the trademarked name is trying to steal your domain name, not the other way around.

Inform the cybersquatter that you have filed a complaint. The cybersquatter may voluntarily give you the domain name if they know a complaint has been filed against them.

5. Negotiate a Settlement

Negotiate a settlement with the cybersquatter, perhaps in exchange for a percentage of the money they make from selling your trademarked name. This can be difficult if you do not have proof that you own the domain name, but it is an option that may yield results.

6. File a Lawsuit 

If other dispute resolution methods fail, you should consider filing a lawsuit to get your domain name back from the cyber squatter. This can be expensive and time-consuming, but it is often the only way to recover your name.


Registering a trademark is one of the best ways to protect your brand. By registering trademarks for your business, you can protect yourself from other businesses that try to use your name to sell their products. You can also protect yourself against cybersquatters who seek to profit from your name without your permission.

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