You have a thriving business, which you have built up from nothing, called “theman”. Even your own mother calls you “theman”. Then, you find out that your competitor, the “xman”, has bought the domain name “theman.com”.
You and your mother are outraged.
You hear of ICANN*, an international dispute procedure, which will deal with your claim quickly and cheaply. You will go to any lengths to get your name back. You find out it costs $2,000.00. You hesitate but decide to proceed. Yes, you are willing to bet the bank. You pay $2,000.00, but your competitor pays nothing. Who worked that one out?
The starting point is first come, first served. Your lawyer will, helpfully, point out that you could have avoided all this if you had registered it first.
You need to show three things:
1. It is identical or confusingly similar.
2. Your competitor has no legitimate interest in the domain name. You are “theman”; he doesn’t even use it in
his business. If he does, you will probably lose.
3. Your competitor is up to no good. For instance, he registered it to disrupt your business, steal your
customers or he wants to sell his business.
It is a paper procedure with no physical hearing or meeting. You fill out a complaint, it is sent to the offender, who has 20 days to respond, and a written decision is issued 14 days later. The cases are reported on the organisation’s website. In Australia, this is all done by www.auda.org.au.
A decision is made on the information that you supply. Many applications fail, as the application or the response does not contain enough detail. Get a lawyer if you feel strongly about it and don’t want to lose, or DIY if you are not bothered.
*In Australia, auDA.
Extract from "Easy IP: How to use the Law to Protect you Money-Making Ideas" by Paul Brennan
© Paul Brennan 2010. All rights reserved.
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