Someone is using my trademark as their URL or a similar URL to confuse my customers. Are they infringing my trademark?
When I started my business, I trademarked my business name, "Magqic," with the USPTO and registered my URL with a domain registrar. Since I did so, someone has purchased the URLs Magqic.net, Magqic .org, Magqics.org, and Magquics.com. Is this considered a trademark infringement? Is there anything I can do to stop them?
Trademark Infringement and Trademark Dilution
Trademark infringement and dilution are two separate claims with different standards and different recourses.
You can only suffer trademark dilution if your name is famous. Think of Apple, Disney, Nike, Ford, etc. Unless Magqic (or whatever the name of you business is) resonates with the public and is famous, it is going to be difficult to claim trademark dilution.
Trademark dilution gives the owner of a famous trademark standing to forbid others from using that mark in a way that would lessen the mark's uniqueness.
Trademark infringement depends on several factors, the two primary factors of which are:
(1) Who used the name Magqic for commercial purposes first, and (2) What goods and/or services were sold using that name.
As a general rule, whoever started using the name for similar goods and/or services has the superior trademark rights to the mark.
Trademark infringement is based on the likelihood of customer confusion, meaning, will a consumer likely to be confused that the other company's goods or services come from your company? If the another website with the same or similar name carries different merchandise or offers different services, the likelihood of confusion may be low.
Buying a domain name that reflects the name of a business or famous person with the intent of profiting off that business is considered to be cybersquatting. For example, buy a URL with the sole purpose of selling the name back to the business or celebrity for a profit is considered cybersquatting.
The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act of 1999 authorizes a cybersquatting victim to file a federal lawsuit to regain a domain name or sue for financial compensation. Under the act, registering, selling or using a domain name with the intent to profit from someone else's good name is considered cybersquatting.
Cybersquatting victims may also use the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy adopted by ICANN (an international tribunal administering domain names) to enter arbitration to resolve a dispute of cybersquatting on a URL.
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