name as a domain name

Someone Registered my Personal Name as a Domain Name

By Eric Misterovich

Did someone register your name as a domain name? You may have a cause of action against that person for a violation of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection act (ACPA).

What is the ACPA?

The ACPA is a federal law used to prevent people from squatting on domain names and then extorting money from the rightful owners of those domain names. Most of the time this comes up in a trademark setting. If someone chose to register but added an extra “o” to Whirlpool would be an example. They would be in violation of the ACPA if they used that domain to steal traffic from Whirlpool.  Or, if the attempted to sell the domain to Whirlpool, they may be in violation of the ACPA.

However, the ACPA also contains a provision for personal names. The act expressly prohibits people from squatting on someones personal name if they have no legitimate right to do so or if they are using that personal name in bad faith. The bad faith associated with the use of a domain name many times relates to attempts to sell the domain name to the named individual. However, it can also include other actions and is very fact dependent as to each case.

What if Someone Registers Your Name as a Domain Name?

There are strong attorney fees and cost provision contained within the ACPA. This helps individuals find legal counsel that will assist them in protecting their name on the internet. If you or someone you know faces an issue where someone else has registered their name as a domain name, you should contact Revision Legal’s experienced Internet attorneys today for assistance. You can contact us through the form on this page or call 855-473-8474.

Editors note: this was originally published in May, 2015; it has been updated for clarity and comprehensiveness.

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