A Guidebook to Cypersquatting Litigation: The Practical Approach in a Post-Barcelona.Com World
17 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2005
In June 2003, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit rendered its decision in the case of Barcelona.com, Inc. v. Excelentisimo Ayuntamiento de Barcelona, concluding a high-profile dispute between the Spanish registrants of www.barcelona.com and the City Council of Barcelona, Spain. In this case of first impression, the Fourth Circuit added another important building block to the growing body of domain name and trademark jurisprudence in the United States. The holding, which determines the rule of law applicable to the "reverse domain name hijacking" provision of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, carries far-reaching consequences for future international domain name disputes. This Essay explores the background and practical implications of the holding. Sections I, II, and III explain the background of the Barcelona.com dispute, its relevant legal framework, and the Fourth Circuit's ruling. Sections IV and V analyze this ruling and suggest practical litigation strategies for domain name disputes.
Keywords: Cybersquatting, reverse domain name hijacking, domain names, ACPA, UDRP, trademarks
JEL Classification: K11, K33, K41, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation