In domain name to the trademark owner” (Joy).

In
the cyberspace, there are many ways one needs to be careful. If one were to
develop a website they need to be very careful when coming up with the domain
name, as there are many other people and companies out there that own the
rights to certain names on the web. Domain names have taken on a new role as businesses
become aware that websites are important identifiers. Companies sometimes have
issues when creating domain names, as people just buy up names. These people
are hoping to get a huge payday from a company that needs a domain name they
own. The company will typically pay the person a decent amount of money, to
acquire the domain name from them for the company. Today, domain names serve as
a trademark, or a main identifier, so the company is easily identifiable to the
public (Joy). This is why companies will pay huge amounts of money to a person
who already owns a domain name that can easily distinguish that company. The
company wants people to be able to remember a website and know that it
corresponds with them. “Cybersquatting is the practice of registering a domain
name that is same as, or very similar to, the trademark of another with the
intention of selling (at a profit) the domain name to the trademark owner”
(Joy). Cyber squatters register phrases or words they think will win them a
payday in the long run. A trademark owner cannot register his own company name,
if a cyber squatter already owns that domain name, which means the trademark
owner will have to settle with the cyber squatter, as that is how the trademark
owner could get their name. Most of the time, the trademark owner will pay a lot
more than what the name is worth, as the cyber squatter probably only paid
around 10-15 dollars for the name per year. Cybersquatting is a very legitimate
practice, even though it seems unethical in a way, people are allowed to buy up
domain names and someday make a company pay a huge amount of money to own that
domain name.

            Another issue that happens with
trademarks and domain names is when an active domain name expires, and the
owner forgets to renew it right away, it could get snatched up by someone else,
and then the owner would have to pay a lot more for the name than he originally
was going to have to (Panjab University Follow, 2012). Fortunately, people can
sue for their domain names back in the United States, as for other places
someone may be out of luck and have to pay the cyber squatter a lot more for
their name back. They can sue under the Anti Cyber Squatter Consumer Production
Act.

            The first case I would like to
discuss is an old one but definitely one that is important when it comes to domain
names and trademarks. The first one is MTV vs. Curry. Adam Curry was a video
jockey for MTV in 1993. He decided he wanted to make a website for content that
was on MTV. He decided to call it mtv.com. He apparently told MTV what he was
doing with his website, and they apparently told him that they had no interest
in the internet, and that what he was doing was fine. Then in 1994 when Curry
quit the MTV network, MTV was not okay with Adam Curry owning the domain to
mtv.com. They took him to court and sued or tried to sue him for taking their
name. Then he came back with that they said everything was fine he was doing. MTV
claimed their contract with Curry was void unless it was in writing. Which it
was not as Curry claims everything he is saying was verbally told him by other
people at MTV. Eventually, Curry settled for an undisclosed amount out of court
and returned the domain name to MTV. I found this interesting, as a case as I
was not really sure how MTV could sue Curry if they had no interest in the
internet in 1993, but then since he quit became all interested and wanted to
sue for their name. I also, think Curry was smart to sign the name back over
the MTV after he quit, as he probably made a decent amount of money from them
after he quit. I feel like just from what I learned from Cyber Law, that Curry
could have sued MTV if they would have tried to take the name from him without
giving proper compensation, since he was the first to own it and everything.