Cybersquatting: The Latest Challenge in Federal Trademark Protection

By: Justin Graham, Ashley Johnson, Emilio Mena & Neil Wolitzer

The explosion in Internet technology in the past decade has drawn the Lanham Act into the realm of electronic commerce. Trademark owners seeking to register domain names have recently found themselves entwined in a number of disputes, such as disputes involving claims to multiple domain names and disputes over whether the domain name registration system is fairly administered. One important legal issue that has recently come to the fore is over the practice of cybersquatting. Today, courts must contend with the cybersquatter, a speculator who reserves trademarks as Internet domain names for the sole purpose of selling or licensing them back to trademark owners willing to pay a considerable price for their use. Complicating matters, the most potent weapons in the Government’s anticybersquatting arsenal–the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) and Federal Trademark Dilution Act (FTDA)–each give rise to grave constitutional concerns.

Cite: 2001 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 0009