Domain names are basically street addresses for the web. They are critical pieces of information that hold a ton of value, not just as a part of a company’s intellectual property portfolio, but also from the more practical perspective of branding your company and your website.
Unfortunately, this can lead to a lot of “trolls” that register domain names for no purpose other than to force legitimate companies that want to use the domain name to pay up. And in this ever-present internet world, legal disputes over domain names is a integral part of intellectual property law.
Sometimes this can lead to two parties going to court to resolve the matter. But there are alternatives to litigation that can help parties in a domain trademark dispute. The Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) governs any party that officially registers a domain name (“.com”, “.org”, “.net”), and a trademark holder can through the UDRP force arbitration over the issue of whether the domain name was registered or used in bad faith such that it must be transferred to the trademark holder. This limits costs, make the process more efficient, and can generally be beneficial for all parties involved in the dispute.
You will have to prove such “bad faith” if you are a trademark holder filing the claim. When these issues arise for individuals or companies in San Francisco, a trademark attorney experienced with domain name can help.