Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act vs. UDRP

18th August, 2021

Posted by ESQwire

When you have a domain name dispute due to cybersquatting or typosquatting, you are likely seeking advice about where and how to file a claim. If you work with a domain attorney, you will learn that business or trademark owners generally may be able to file a lawsuit under the federal Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (more commonly known as the ACPA), or may be eligible to file a UDRP complaint under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (or, the UDRP). A domain name dispute will arise under one of these two laws, but each has its own benefits and limitations. The following information will provide you with details about the key differences between filing a claim under the ACPA and the UDRP, but it is ultimately critical to seek advice from a domain name attorney who can assist you with your claim.

What is the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act and How Does it Work?

The ACPA was enacted just before the UDRP in 1999, and it is a federal law that concerns bad faith in registering domain names. In order to win a claim under the ACPA, a plaintiff typically must prove that the defendant registered or used a domain name in bad faith (i.e., the defendant registered or used a domain name with the bad faith intention of profiting from the plaintiff’s trademark or service mark or intended to dilute the plaintiff’s mark). There are a number of factors that the court will consider and weigh when determining whether the defendant acted in bad faith.

What is the UDRP and How Does it Work?

The UDRP was adopted in 2000, shortly after the ACPA was enacted. It is an online process in which domain name disputes can be heard. It is an administrative procedure as opposed to a court process. A panel hears the domain name dispute and makes a decision. A UDRP lawyer can represent you throughout the process.

How Do Claims Differ Under the ACPA and the UDRP?

There are benefits and limitations to ACPA and UDRP processes.

An Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act claim must be filed in federal court, while UDRP proceedings do not need to go through the federal court system. Although it typically costs substantially more to file an ACPA lawsuit, there are benefits. For example, a business can file an ACPA lawsuit in order to reverse a UDRP ruling, or more immediately, to stop a UDRP decision that could harm the business. An ACPA lawsuit may have broader remedies than a UDRP claim. With a UDRP claim, you can be eligible to have the domain name transferred to you. With an ACPA lawsuit, if you win the claim, you can be eligible to receive monetary damages as a result of the defendant’s cybersquatting. Those same monetary damages are not available in a UDRP claim. The ACPA also allows you to seek attorney’s fees from the defendant, which is different from UDRP proceedings.

Yet there are considerable benefits to UDRP claims. The cost of an ACPA lawsuit is usually significantly more expensive (both in terms of time and cost) than a UDRP claim. While a lawsuit filed under the ACPA ultimately may be tens of thousands of dollars, the UDRP cost is typically around $1,500 plus legal fees. Generally speaking, the UDRP is not only more cost-effective but also tends to be quicker and more accessible to trademark owners since you do not need to file a claim in federal court. Indeed, to file a UDRP complaint, you do not need to go through the processes involved in federal litigation.

Seek Advice from a Domain Name Lawyer 

For many parties involved in a domain name dispute, it is important to work with a domain name attorney to decide whether it is best to file a complaint under the ACPA or the UDRP. One of the experienced cybersquatting lawyers at our firm can speak with you today about your case. Contact ESQwire for more information.

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