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New York Times Correctly Defines Cybersquatting

New York Times article offers up correct definition related to trademarks.

It seems that the domain industry is quick to pounce on mainstream journalists who broadly define cybersquatting to include what many of us would refer to as domain investing — buying generic domain names. Perhaps we should pat a journalist on the back when he correctly defines “cybersquatting”, as New York Times writer Steve Lohr did in his August 31 article “A New Battle Is Beginning in Branding for the Web.”

The article generally covers brands online, and talks about the first challenge brands faced on the web:

The first round of trademark conflict on the Internet, focused on cybersquatting, has subsided. Cybersquatters were early profiteers who bought up the Web addresses, or domain names, of well-known trademarked brands, and then tried to charge the companies huge amounts of money to buy them.

In 1999, Congress passed a bill against cybersquatting that allowed companies to sue anyone who, with “a bad faith intent to profit,” buys the domain name of a well-known brand. The same year, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a nonprofit oversight agency, established a system for resolving domain name disputes.

Of course many would argue that cybersquatting hasn’t subsided since UDRP complaints are increasing. Most of these focus on typosquatting, a form of cybersquatting when the domain is a typo of a trademark.

What’s the next online fight for brands? The article says:

The new areas of conflict, according to legal experts, include trademark owners trying to assert their rights to stifle online criticism of their products, and to stop trademarked brands from being purchased as keywords in Internet search advertising.

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