You may have received an email or a letter claiming that you turn over your domain name to the person who wrote the letter. You may be wondering what it is and how you can find out how to handle it. Although the letter or email may not contain the words "cease and desist letter" or "demand letter," the common term used to describe this type of letter is "cease and desist letter." The letters are also occasionally referred to as "domain name demand letters."
An example of a domain name cease and desist letter is provided below so that you will be able to recognize whether your letter is a domain name cease and desist letter. A brief explanation is also included. In order to maintain the confidentiality of the sender and the recipient, the company on whose behalf the letter is being sent is referred to as "ABC Company" and the domain name owner is referred to as "Domain Name Registrant."
[Printed on Stationery Letterhead of Law Firm]
Our law firm represents ABC Company and its direct and indirect affiliates. ABC Company offers a wide range of products and services, including ______, ______ and _____ all under the ABC name and mark. ABC is the US trademark registration of the term ABC. ABC Company has been using the ABC name and mark since at least as early as _________. You are presumed to have knowledge of ABC Company's registered marks and reputation because your domain name incorporates the ABC mark in its entity and is essentially identical to ABC's web site address, www. ABC.com. See PNC Fin. Servo Group Inc. V. Unasi Inc., FA058000535925 (NAF Sept. 20, 2005).
It has recently come to the attention of ABC Company that you are the registrant of the domain name ABC.net. When this domain name is entered into an Internet browser, the user is redirected to a web page that contains a variety of links, the majority of which relating to the goods and services that ABC Company provides. Such uses are a violation of state and federal trademark and unfair competition laws, including, without limitation, the Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, 15 USC §1125 (d). Moreover, such uses, and registration are in violation of federal and state trademark and unfair competition laws, and Public Domain Registry's "Domain Registrar Agreement." widespread recognition of ABC Company and ABC marks across the United States. These marks are an invaluable asset of ABC and cannot and will not permit them to be weakened or destroyed as an identifier of its products.
On behalf of ABC Company, we are demanding that you immediately determine and desist all uses of the domain name, transfer the registration to ABC Company, and cease and desist all uses of ABC (and any term confusingly similar to ABC). In addition, ABC claims that you certify that you control no other registrations that include the term ABC (or any term confusingly similar to ABC).
ABC looks forward to your cooperation in resolving this matter quickly. Please contact the undersigned no later than noon Eastern Time, on [date] to provide notice that you agree to agree immediately with the demands set forth in this letter. Please note that if we cannot promptly resolve this matter on an amicable basis, we will advise ABC Company to take all required actions against you that it deems necessary to protect ABC's rights. You can find additional information about the risks of domain name infringement at the website http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains .
We are confident that ABC Company would threaten against you in any legal action. This letter is without any waiver of or prejudice to ABC Company s rights, claims, remedies, or claims, all of which are by expressly reserved.
Sincerely, Signature of Attorney
The foregoing is an example of a domain name cease and desist letter that was sent by a large law firm in an attempt to obtain the domain of the registrant. If you have received a letter similar to this type letter, you now know that you have received a domain name cease and desist letter.
The allegation made in these types of domain name cease and desist letters may be a bluff or it may actually have some legal basis. Because there may be a fundamental risk if you do not give up the domain, it is advisable that you consult with an attorney for a thorough evaluation of the situation.
Domain name cease and desist letters are being sent out with increasing frequency as the Internet grows and as the number of available domains diminishes. The letters are often unfounded attempts to intimidate the registrant. Other letters do, in fact, have a legal basis and can be the precursor of a sizable legal dispute. If you have received a domain name cease and desist letter of this nature, your response (and the consequences of your response) should be carefully considered. A domain name law firm that has had an extensive experience with domain name cease and desist letters is DomainNameLawyers.com
I remember the first time I received one of these letters, it was back in early 2000, I purchased the domain name 1800realtor.com, I thought I would build a realtor directory site similar to 1800dentist.com, my site was up and running for about 30 days when I received the letter, not knowing much of anything back then, I of course panicked, shut my site down in disappointment and letting the domain name go, now I am not a lawyer, but I can tell you I would have not given up that domain name knowing what I know today, lesson learned.