An existing client (a computer repair business) just called to ask for some advice on behalf of one of his clients who let his domain name lapse and subsequently had it registered by a domain name squatter.
Here’s our advice back to our client.
You called up…..
“You called up about your friend with domain xxxxxxxxxxxxx.com, which lapsed and has been registered by a domain squatter, who has a spammy page up there with an offer to let you buy the domain for $499 USD.
The fact that the business name is trademarked might help, although it’s still likely to be a massive pain.
ICANN is the organisation that handles .com domain registrations. They don’t deal with trademark complaints, but suggest filing a “Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) proceeding” to resolve the claim.
SEDO is the service they’re parking/selling the domain through. SEDO have a page about domain law here:
….which says trading domains is legal as long as the domain does not infringe on trademark rights. They also have some info on UDRP there.
Filing for UDRP is an option
So filing for UDRP is an option, although might be time consuming.
Sometimes domain squatters register domains that were recently registered, and they use the 5 day domain refund policy to register the domain then de-register it again 5 days later so they don’t have to pay for it. If this is the case, you might be able to monitor the registration here and when it lapses again, register it yourself.
That landing page will record the stats of the number of people looking at the page too, and if it’s heavily visited that will make it more appealing to them. So don’t keep visiting the page and driving up the visitor counter.
Your other option is to buy it back, either at the asking price or by making an offer for a lower amount.”
The takeaway is simple
The takeaway is simple – ensure your domain name contact details are up to date and be sure that you renew your domain name in a timely manner.