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Cybersquatting Leads to Lawsuit and Emphasizes Need to Trademark

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The Houston Chronicle reported that Munday Chevrolet filed suit in a South Florida federal court, after people reported visiting the car dealership’s website and finding porn.


The website in question, www.mundaychevrolet.com, is slightly different that Munday Chevrolet’s actual website, which is www.munday-chevrolet.com. Cases like this are common.


When someone creates a website address that is similar to a company or organization in order to hijack traffic from a legitimate site or harm a company’s reputation, that is know as cybersquatting. Here, www.mundaychevrolet.com was purchased by Manuel Suarez from Florida-based moniker.com.


This scenario illustrates the importance of taking defensive measures to protect against such practices. It is advisable to trademark a business name with the United States Patent & Trademark Office and register as many domain names under similar variations as is feasible.


Many domain name disputes are handled by the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, which offers e-mail arbitration for trademark names that have been federally registered. If the entity does not have a registered trademark, it oftens has little recourse in cybersquatting cases but to go to court.


In this case, there were no records of Munday Chevrolet having a registered trademark.

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