A domain name is a series of letters and numbers which is used as a portal to the internet. For example, the domain name for this site is “www.theexpiredmeter.com” and it contains a number (104564) that identifies specific information on the page that you are viewing. You can read more about domains by clicking here .
It is possible to legally protect your domain name by registering them with ICANN (The Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers) through an organization called eNom . The reason why you need to do this is because there are individuals out there who will try to hijack your domain name through what is called a domain name dispute resolution case. When someone files a complaint against your domain name, all of the legal documents filed against it contain the correct technical contact information which means that if you do not have your domains legally registered, they can be taken away from you without warning.
This post is part of a series which discusses the legal documents that will need to be filed with ICANN in order to protect your domain name properly. A lot of people out there are against this because it costs $10 per year and an additional fee for each domain that is registered under that account (this often ends up being around $15-20 per domain per year). While I understand their reasoning, I also believe it’s necessary because if you fail to do so, anyone could claim ownership over your domain names through what is called reverse domain hijacking . Once this occurs, it becomes exponentially more difficult if not downright impossible to regain control of your domain names.
Becoming familiar with the legal documents which need to be filed is not only important for protecting your domain name, but also in cases where you plan to file a trademark or patent application . As I discussed in an earlier post , when filing either one of these applications, if the specifications are not met precisely, they will be rejected and this could end up costing thousands of dollars. The last thing you want to do is spend time and money working on any type of intellectual property protection only to find out that it will never be approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) because you failed to properly file all of your paperwork according to their standards.
As mentioned above, once you are registered with ICANN, you will need to fill out an additional form called the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (the “UDRP”). This is primarily used by trademark owners who believe that their trademarks are being infringed upon by unauthorized third parties.
When I was first introduced to this system, it didn’t make much sense to me because if someone has already registered your domain name without your authorization, why would they now file a complaint against it with ICANN? On second thought however, I now realize that there are people out there who register multiple domain names and then use them as spamming tools for companies that they either own or have ties with. If one of those spam websites gets reported for whatever reason, these individuals can simply point the domain name’s WhoIs information to their desired website. This is also known as domain parking and is one of the reasons why I went on a rampage registering multiple versions of “The Expired Meter” (I own over 50 variations which are all currently up for sale). While this sounds like some form of internet stalking, it’s actually meant to protect my blog from shady individuals who either want to sell it or use it for their own benefit without giving me any credit.