Cybersquatting is a new type of trademark infringement that came about with the rise of internet technologies in the past two decades. Whereas as squatting typically refers to someone living in a building that he or she does not own, cybersquatting refers to people or businesses that register an internet domain name and then offer to sell it to someone for an exorbitant amount.
For example, in 2009, comedian and talk show host Jay Leno successfully sued a man from Texas who had registered the domain name “thejaylenoshow.com,” which then redirected people to a real estate website. The Texas man had registered the site back in 2004. Countless other celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Chris Bosh, and Larry King, have fought legal battles against cybersquatters. A Los Angeles litigation lawyer is able to help celebrities against those engaging in cybersquatting.
Courts hold people liable for cybersquatting when they register domain names in bad faith. What this means is that they do not have a purpose other than to use a celebrity’s or business’s fame to make money for themselves. Courts are less likely to find complaining about a company or creating a fan page instances of cybersquatting. There are American and international laws governing celebrities’ and businesses’ rights against cybersquatters, and a Los Angeles litigation attorney can advise those interested in these matters.