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What is Reverse Domain Hijacking?

7th August, 2020

Posted by ESQwire

 If you are planning to open a new business and you have purchased a domain name for that company, or if recently purchased a new domain name, you could become a target of reverse domain name hijacking.  If you are contacted by anyone who alleges you have engaged in cybersquatting and that you must lawfully turn over a domain name you have paid for, it is important to seek advice from the best domain lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you are not the victim of something known as Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.

Understanding Reverse Domain Name Hijacking and Cybersquatting 

As a domain name attorney can explain, Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH) is a term that refers to a practice that is the opposite of cybersquatting, and is sometimes known as reverse cybersquatting. You may know that cybersquatting involves buying a domain name that uses a trademark with a bad faith intention of profiting from that trademark. Reverse domain hijacking refers to a situation in which another party alleges that she, he, or it holds a trademark, and that party acts in bad faith to deprive you your domain name.

Defining Reverse Cybersquatting According to the UDRP 

Reverse domain hijacking can result in relief for your business if you have been unfairly accused of cybersquatting. How does reverse domain hijacking often come to light?  Typically, the party either will contact you and try to get ownership of your domain name and that party then files a UDRP complaint that alleges you are cybersquatting.    Not all situations are RDNH and the circumstances surrounding the domain name registration and use and the parties discussions will need to be evaluated.

In situations in which your business has been harmed by cybersquatting, you might consider initiating a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) proceeding, likewise, if another party alleges that you have engaged in cybersquatting, but the Complaining party has done so in bad faith, you could prevail and the Complainant might be found guilty of RDNH. The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) provides a definition for reverse domain name hijacking: 

“Using the UDRP in bad faith to attempt to deprive a registered domain-name holder of a domain name.” 

Under 15(e) of the UDRP Rules, “the panel shall declare in its decision that the complaint was brought in bad faith and constitutes an abuse of the administrative proceeding” if, “after considering the submissions the panel finds the complaint was brought in bad faith, for example in an attempt at Reverse Domain Name Hijacking or was brought primary to harass the domain-name holder.”   UDRP case decisions provide additional guidance on which types of facts should give rise to a finding of RDNH. 

Learn More from a UDRP Lawyer

If you need assistance bringing a cybersquatting claim or initiating UDRP proceedings, a UDRP lawyer at our firm can help. If you have been contacted by a party who claims you have engaged in cybersquatting by purchasing and using a domain name that infringes on a trademark, it is extremely important to seek advice from a domain attorney or domain broker. You could be the victim of reverse domain name hijacking, and you could be eligible to file a claim. Do not hesitate to get in touch with a cybersquatting attorney at our firm today. Contact ESQwire to learn more about how we can assist you with a reverse domain hijacking case or any other domain dispute.

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