Cybersquatting

Cybersquatting is not a legal field in itself, but deserves special mention as field of expertise at Van Eeckhoutte, because we are particularly interested in it. Cybersquatting is registration with malicious intent of domain names, with the aim of profiting from your goodwill as a (famous) brand or trade name holder, disrupting your business activities, criticising or complaining about you in person or your company, or advertising competing or similar products and services. One combination is known as park&sale. This in contrast to domain name grabbing, whereby the registrant/domain name grabber is only interested in selling the domain name for lots of money. A variant of cybersquatting is typosquatting. A domain name is registered that is almost the same as your domain name. One different letter can be enough, for example ryanair.com vs. ryannair.com.

If it happens to you, you will most certainly not be amused. Van Eeckhoutte has advanced research possibilities to track down the cybersquatter, who is usually hiding abroad, hold him liable and stop the offending activities with or without his/her cooperation. In the best-case scenario the cybersquatter cooperates and transfers the domain name in question to you free of charge. Experience tells us that success usually comes from putting on the pressure at the right points. If the cybersquatter is located in the Netherlands, an interim injunction can be started and damages demanded for the legal costs incurred. That is only logical.