Here is a e-mail we received a week ago:
“””I am the owner of a large web development company about to embark on a project for …………. and noticed you are inappropriately squatting on and selling their rightful domain name. I am writing this on his behalf and at the moment offering you a settlement now of $50 to transfer ownership of …………………………… to my client. The other option is our pursuit of legal action down a long winded trial process which you will lose and end up paying all of our legal fees and will have to hand over the domain anyway. Or we will go after you for cybersquatting and you will have to pay a fine of $100,000. My client has been operating in this space for over 10 years under the business name …………….. .us and has full legal right to the .COM Please contact me to discuss further. Thank you.””
Here was our answer:
“””We have been in business for over 15 years and have never lost a domain in a legal proceeding.
I have never heard of a case where the owner of a .us was awarded a .com based on the ownership of a .us domain. If you have a reference in which this occurred we would like to see the citation.
To attempt to make a claim for a domain, you would have to had a federally registered trademark, dated prior to our registration, which you don’t, and you would also have to prove that the mark was famous, which yours is not.
We will not lose this name to you and will hold you responsible for all our legal fees if you bring this frivolous action.””
So after receiving our answer I received this e-mail back:
“””Worth trying. Thank you for the valuable info.
We get e-mails and letters like this every few weeks. People having no claim or right to a domain, trying to get them to give it to them based on some ridiculous argument. No trademark, no brand, no nothing.
If the Snowe bill passes these letters will increase 20 fold, but instead of threatening $100,000 fine, they are going to threaten, contacting the FTC, the Attorney General of the state they live in, the Attorney General of the state you live in, and threaten fines of up to 6 Million.
They are not going to have to show they have a federally registered trademark predating your domain registration. they are not going to have to show any federal trademark registration.
They are not going to have to show any state trademark registration.
They are not going to have to show that their name is famous or even known to anyone.
All they are going to have to say is we have a business located somewhere in the U.S. which is similar to your domain and we want it.
healthstore.com, that’s our name, we own a health store in Ocala Florida, called the “health store”.
Give me the name or else
eatout.com, we own a fast food joint in Boone, NC called eat out. Yes i’s only been in business for 2 years and makes 10K a year, but give us the name or else.
The list will go on and on.
Lets not forget our friends and CADNA member Dell computer. How long will it be before they go after computer.com after this law passes??
This law will create a nightmare for all domain owners, large and small, public companies that own domains and individuals and companies that only on 1 domain name that they use for their business.
Meantime, we will keep getting the Phishing e-mails every day with .ru extensions and from all the other Eastern Europe, former soviet republic countries.
Ball’s in your court.