People Eating Tasty Animals Shouldn’t Cybersquat: the Anti-Cybersquatting Piracy Act
Businesses acquire rights in a trade name which they use in commerce, whether they register it or not. One of those rights is protection from “cybersquatting.” This protection was added to the federal Lanham Act in 1999, which protects against unfair competition and is the main federal law protecting trade names, when Congress passed the Anti-Cybersquatting Piracy Act (known as the “ACPA”).
Cybersquatters register domain names likely to be used by businesses – sometimes in the tens of thousands – and then attempt to sell them to businesses or people with similar names. Sometimes they register variations of popular trade names, which is referred to as “typosquatting.” They may also use a program to obtain domain names already registered when the registrations expire, often using automated programs, which is referred to as “alert angling,” “extension exaggeration” or “renewal snatching.” The name cybersquattnig itself comes from the term “squatting,” in which people trespass and occupy vacant buildings.