Has Your Domain Name Been Squatted?

Are you a business owner who recently tried to obtain a new Domain Name in St. Louis and found that it was already taken? Though some of these are certainly legitimate, you may also be an unknowing victim of cybersquatting. Cybersquatting has been a huge problem for people since the mid 1990s. It started with people buying up internet addresses. These addresses were the names of well known brands, companies and even the names of famous people. Why would someone do this? Profit, of course. They were able to sell the domain names of these brands and products for thousands, sometimes even over a million dollars. Of course, this became a huge problem and in many cases, it violated trademark laws. Attorneys quickly entered into the fray.

Protection for Domain Names
As the years passed by, the US government began taking steps to protect the trademarks of businesses and they also introduced the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. This policy helps to protect domain names. In addition to that, other policies and regulations have been put in place as well, including the U.S. Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act of 1999. Though both of these regulations were put in place to protect businesses and individuals, notable names, like Bruce Springsteen and Volkswagen of America, Inc. were still targeted. This is when attorneys came into the picture.

What an Attorney Can Do About Cybersquatting
Even though fines for cybersquatting can go up to $100,000 or more, the instances of this practice are still quite high. If you have a Domain Name St. Louis and own a trademark associated with that domain name, you definitely may need the services of a trademark lawyer…especially if you have not yet registered for the name. Trademark owners have rights and these rights can be enforced both federally and locally, but you need to make sure you have a good attorney on your side. Remember, the internet is growing all of the time and thousands of websites get registered around the world every day. Don’t take the chance that the site you want is going to be easy to obtain…it may not be and you may need the services of a local trademark lawyer.

You can find a great trademark lawyer right here in the St. Louis area. A great place to start is by asking others if they know any attorney who practices patent or trademark law. Typically this will be other business owners or any notable names in the area. If you don’t know anyone who can offer a suggestion, consider searching on the internet for an attorney, but make sure to read reviews before you hire them. Finally you can contact local business groups or even the Missouri Bar. They will be able to give you a list of appropriate attorneys who are in good standing.