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Domain Names Often a Subject of Online Arbitration

Friday, September, 23, 2011

Online arbitration to settle domain name disputes is a phenomenon not unique to the United States.  Companies that wish to secure a domain name for certain in Canada are also advised to promptly register it.  The conventional wisdom holds that registration is important in order to maintain control of intellectual property associated with your business enterprise, but there is actually another reason to register a domain name without delay: it might create a financial windfall in the future.


“People speculate in hopes they’ll hit the proverbial jackpot,” remarked Michael Stewart, who serves as a general counsel for CIRA, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority. “People will pay what the market will bear.”


Online Arbitration and Cyber Squatting

The practice is known as cyber squatting and is frowned up on in some circles, but in many cases those who registered a desired domain name first had their claims upheld when an arbitration attorney decides ownership of a disputed name.  In that case, the firm who desires the name has little alternative but to purchase it outright from the registered owner.  


Purchase offers can sometimes represent staggering sums.  This is the case for the domain which is currently owned by a rock band named the Tea Party.  Based in Toronto, the band may decide to sell the domain to the Tea Party organization, a branch of the Republican Party.  Its value is estimated at more than $1 million.