Should Contributory Cybersquatting be Actionable?

Download Full Text PDF

Volume 17, Issue 1 (Oct 2015)

Domain name registrars are increasingly targeted by trademark owners for registering and hosting infringing domain names, despite the lack of clear statutory authorization for these claims. Registrars, pressed by reduced profit margins, have begun offering value-added services such as sponsored domain parking and WHOIS-masking. However, such services incentivize and aid domain name purchasers to engage in infringement. Existing scholarship on secondary liability in trademark law and cybersquatting is scarce and outdated. This Article provides a theoretical approach to the question of whether, and when, contributory cybersquatting liability exists. The Article argues that the relevant statute, the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), was enacted against the backdrop of judicial precedent and Congressional intent to enhance trademark enforcement. By drawing upon the substantial case law undergirding traditional contributory trademark infringement, the Article contends that the motivations for including secondary liability apply to ACPA as well.

Nicholas Foss Barbantonis, Should Contributory Cybersquatting be Actionable?, 17 N.C.J.L. & Tech. 79 (2015), available at http://ncjolt.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Barbantonis_Final.pdf.

The North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology has adopted the Open Access Program, a part of the Scholar’s Copyright Project created by Science Commons. Authors designate the conditions under which their articles are licensed. By downloading articles, you agree to comply with the license terms specified. Please contact NC JOLT at eic.ncjolt@gmail.com with permissions inquiries.