Domain names have become highly competitive because they are such a large part of any brand’s identity. There are over 300 million registered domains on the internet, and this grows by 25 million each year.

If you own the trademark to a certain name, but the domain associated with that name is owned by another owner, you may find yourself in a dispute. Many organizations and individuals now purchase domains that they deem to be good investments, in the hope of making a profit in the long-term. Those who have obtained valuable brand domains in the past were known as cyber squatters because they asked for huge amounts of money from the brand owner in return for the domain.

How do domain name disputes work?

The intentions of a domain name holder are key in any domain name dispute. If you take legal action against a domain name holder, the case will likely be evaluated by an impartial person. They will take into consideration the motives behind the domain name holder. If the domain holder is deemed to have acted in good faith, they will have the right to keep the rights to the domain and potentially to sell the rights to the brand holder as a commodity. However, if they are deemed to have acted in bad faith, they may be forced to hand over the rights to the domain to the trademark holders.

What is considered to be “acting in bad faith” in a domain dispute?

Whether or not a domain holder acted in good or bad faith lies mainly in the reasons they had in purchasing the domain. If they can show that they had a genuine reason for purchasing the domain, and did not intend to confuse people who are looking for a legitimate website, they will likely be considered to be acting in good faith. However, if they bought the rights to the domain with the full knowledge that the name was trademarked and to resell at an inflated fee, this will probably be judged as acting in bad faith.

If you are currently involved in a domain dispute and you want to protect your business, you should take swift action to assert your rights in Colorado.