Introduction to ACPA and UDRP | mrisch | August 17, 2014


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Introduction to ACPA and UDRP

As prior materials show, traditional trademark solutions fail to adequately address issues of cybersquatting - the act of holding someone else's trademark as a domain name for personal gain.

Traditional trademark protection fails for one of two reasons. First, courts anxious to stop cybersquatting reduce or ignore the requirement for use in connection with goods and services, which can harm legitimate trademark uses like gripe sites. Second, courts that do not ignore this requirement leave victims of cybersquatting with out a remedy.

Similarly, courts using dilution statutes are more likely to find marks famous or blurred/tarnished when they are not. This creates poor precedent for future cases involving real dilution disputes.

Thus, Congress passed the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) and ICANN adopted the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) to handle cybersquatting and other domain name disputes. Neither overrides trademark law, but they provide alternatives better suited to the particular issues associated with cybersquatting. The ACPA is US law. The UDRP is a provision that applies to every domain name registrar everywhere in the world.


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August 17, 2014

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Professor of Law

Villanova University School of Law

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