Tech Term Tuesday, Issue 9


What is Cybersquatting?

Cybersquatting is the practice of registering, or using a domain name with the intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademarkbelonging to someone else. Most times this is done with the intention of reselling that domain name back to the legal trademark owner.

Sometimes not only trademarks can fall victim to cybersquatting but also well-known people. In the past many celebrities have been surprised when they realized that someone else registered a domain name containing their name.

Cybersquatting has been a common practice for a long time especially during the earlier Internet years. Became of this, the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) was a law enacted in 1999 in an attempt to prevent such activities.

Are There Any Examples of Cybersquatting?

In February 2001, American singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen, realized that someone had registered the domain name and immediately sought legal action. Unfortunately Bruce Springsteen lost his legal dispute even though it was a clear act of cybersquatting.

Similarly, In 2007 Microsoft  filed lawsuits against fifteen domain name registrants who registered various domain names including and The content of many of these domain names was various types of money-making advertising schemes that deceived users who may have typed various legitimate Microsoft-related web addresses incorrectly.

Any Interesting Facts?

  • Cybersquatting is reminiscent of the United States Gold rush of the 1800s where persons traveled west and claimed federal land as their own.