Domain Name Law - Be aware of UDRP and ACPA.
UDRP (Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy) has a binding arbitration procedure with less formal rules and no hearings.
Benefits: Fast (decision in 30-60 days). Works against international registrants, and has fixed costs (filing fee is under $1500, Attorney fees $2500)
Downside: The only remedy is transfer of the domain name. You can't recover damages or attorney fees.
ACPA (Anti-cybersquatting consumer protect act) is based in federal court, has very formal rules about procedure and evidence and live court hearings are common.
Benefits: You can get get domain names transferred, recover damages and court costs, and get emergency relief.
Downside: It's difficult to estimate costs and is a slow process. 3 - 6 months is common, but it can take years.
3 likely outcomes if you file ACPA
1. Settlement: 80 -90 %
2. Default Judgment: 10-20%
3. Verdict at trial: less than 1%
* Register your trademark - stay away from trademarks of others, domain privacy services won't protect you - Internet lawyers will track you down
* Check your static files (how people get to your website) and register names with spelling mistakes, register all top level domains: .org; .net;.info; etc.
John Dozier, Dozier Internet Law P.C
- When you buy a domain name with trademark, it doesn't mean you can't use the domain.
- You can't lose the UDRP procedure if you start a business under the name and don't compete with the company. You can protect your domain under "free speech" if you have simply set up a forum about the company. i.e. Gaydarsucks.com.