Trademark owners and their attorneys need a new gTLD strategy to help them navigate the chaos that will shortly hit the Internet, says Daniel Greenberg.
In the ‘good old days’ it took effort and money to infringe a registered trademark. Nowadays all you need is a few dollars on your credit card and access to the Internet. In a matter of minutes it is possible to register a domain name, set up a website and start infringing. A relatively cheap, easy and quick infringement could result in a trademark owner incurring a few thousand dollars in expenses to recover the domain name.
To help combat the meteoric rise in domain name disputes, the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) introduced the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) to provide trademark owners with a relatively simple and cost-effective procedure to recover infringing domain names.
Filing a UDRP case is more cost-effective than taking action in a local court but is not necessarily cheap, since most trademark owners instruct their attorneys to draft such complaints. A trademark attorney could charge between $2,500 and $5,000 to draft a UDRP complaint, excluding the filing fee of $1,300. Extrapolate this amount per recovery, over a period of time, and a trademark owner could spend significant amounts of money on recovering infringing domain names.
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gTLDs, ICANN, UDRP, trademark clearinghouse