Business Identity Theft under the UDRP and the ACPA: Is bad faith always bad for business advertising?

Bukola Faturoti

Abstract


Websites have provided a very strong platform for businesses to reach their customers. They surpass the regular billboards by providing portals through which transactions are conducted without any physical contacts between a seller and a buyer. This usefulness underscores the importance of domain names through which websites are navigated. Cybersquatters have in bad faith targeted or hijacked domain names of famous and reputable businesses exploiting the goodwill of these names and misleading customers and other internet users. This paper explores the construction of bad faith under both the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy and the US Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. The paper argues that, despite some inconsistencies, “bad faith” elements have been broadly interpreted to embrace various activities of cybersquatters. It cautions that an overzealous application of the instruments may stifle freedom of speech.

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