Beyond Cybersquatting: Taking Domain Name Disputes Past Trademark Policy

64 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2005

See all articles by Jacqueline D. Lipton

Jacqueline D. Lipton

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law


All good 'cyberlawyers' know that in the late 1990s, legal and regulatory measures were adopted, both at the domestic and international level to address the then-growing problem of 'cybersquatting': that is, the registration of often multiple domain names corresponding to valuable corporate trademarks with the intention of extorting high prices from the trademark owners for transferring the names to them. Since 1999, the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy ('UDRP') in particular, complemented by the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act ('ACPA'), has been very successful in combating this practice. Unfortunately, since the late 1990s, there has been little movement towards developing a comprehensive system for domain name dispute resolution outside the cybersquatting area. Little thought has been given to other forms of domain name disputes that are not so well served by the UDRP and ACPA. Examples of these kinds of disputes include certain complaints involving personal names and cultural/geographic place names, as well as disputes involving contests between two legitimate trademark holders. This Article suggests the development of a new classification scheme for different types of Internet domain name disputes outside the 'bad faith' cybersquatting context. This new classification scheme highlights both the fact that the current legal and regulatory framework is focused on only a narrow class of domain name disputes, and that the policies underlying this framework are not suited to other categories of domain name disputes. The article further identifies ways in which new solutions could be developed that are better suited to domain name complaints outside the cybersquatting context and that more appropriately reflect emerging social norms about Internet usage and domain name registration.

Keywords: Internet domain name, trademark, cybersquatting, WIPO

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K20, K40, K33, K49

Suggested Citation

Lipton, Jacqueline Deborah, Beyond Cybersquatting: Taking Domain Name Disputes Past Trademark Policy. Wake Forest Law Review, Vol. 40, No. 4, 2005, Available at SSRN:

Jacqueline Deborah Lipton (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law ( email )

3900 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
412-383-3207 (Phone)

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