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As the ways to misuse domain names continue to evolve, trademark owners should consider modernising their anti-cybersquatting practices to adapt to these changes, say David Weslow and Ari Meltzer of Wiley Rein.
The introduction of new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs) has resulted in the creation of innovative and sometimes more secure uses for domain names. It has also coincided with new and, in certain cases, increasingly dangerous ways to use domain names for deviant purposes.
In the not-too-distant past, a trademark owner’s primary concern was that someone would register a similar domain name to trade upon the value of the trademark by displaying pay-per-click advertisements or a generic ‘for sale’ landing page. Today, the most problematic domain name misuses include spam, phishing, distribution of malware and bloatware, and other types of scams and cyberattacks.
1) The changing nature of domain name misuse
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David Weslow, Ari Meltzer, Wiley Rein, Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy, ACPA, trademark, domain name, URS, gTLDs,