Stolen domain name legal advice
Losing your domain name
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Imagine: All of a sudden you wake up to find that the great website that is providing your business with thousands, hundreds of thousands, or perhaps millions of pounds — has suddenly disappeared.
And there’s a good chance that your domain name is owned not by you, as you always believed, but by somebody else.
Unfortunately, though the matter is crucial to your business, it’s all too easy to let domain name ownership slip through the cracks. The domain name business is still in its infancy, and many aspects of it remain largely unregulated.
Domain names are international, and disputes over domain names are similar to international disputes over land.
Your domain is your land, it’s your own little kingdom. It is crucial to hold and maintain legal rights to it, because if you don’t, someone may march in and take it over.
Most people take their website for granted. They perhaps needed some help getting it set up, but once it’s up and running, they believe they need no longer think about it.
This is a common misconception, and a dangerous one that leads to immense stress and frustration when things go wrong.
When things do go wrong with domain name ownership, it’s not like getting a traffic ticket. Domain law is very different from the type of local laws most of us are familiar with. Simply starting the process of recovery once a domain name is lost can be Byzantine.
How You Can Lose Your Domain Name
- Departure of a business partner or a director who has de facto ownership of name.
- You forget the email address under which the domain was registered and/or the password to the domain control panel.
- The web developer who purchased the domain name on the organisation's behalf has gone out of business or left the company, or was a friend with whom you fell out, so no one responded to an email prompting them to renew the domain.
- The web developer, deliberately—or more likely out of ignorance—improperly registered the domain name to themselves or to their own company.
- The web developer, deliberately or out of negligence, did not renew the domain name. The web developer did not have a system of renewals in place for their clients and was only relying on automated email reminders from the registrar, which for one reason or another, they never received.
- The domain name that was registered by the web developer was held hostage to a billing dispute with you, and was subsequently sold in an auction under a small section of the terms-and-conditions agreement that you signed with your web developer.
- The domain name was registered by a former employee of the company who still holds the log-in details for the domain name control panel.
- The domain name was registered correctly, but changes in the contact details, particularly the email address, were not recorded with the registrar.
- The domain name was registered correctly, but it infringed upon somebody else’s trademark. This can happen if no one bothered to carry out a trademark check before choosing the name of their new company and subsequently purchasing related domain names.
- An employee of the company improperly registered the domain name to themselves.
- An employee of the company registered the domain to the company, but did so erroneously.
- A partner or a co-director of the company registered the domain name to themselves. The domain name was stolen by professional domain name thieves for the purpose of cybersquatting.
- A domain name extension (i.e., .com, .co.uk, .net) or a misspelled version of your trademark name was registered by competitors or cybersquatters who might or might not use it to steal your customers.
- A domain name reseller from whom you might bought the name has gone out of business.
- A former partner or director accessed the domain name account through credit card information which was left in the account after he departed, and changed the domain name ownership details.
- Somebody attempted to transfer the domain to a different registrar after it was already expired.
- Failure to renew the domain name, which can happen all too easily for a variety of reasons.
We offer the safest and most secure way to maintain youe company's domian names.
Our Secure Domain Mandate™works in a way similar to your bank. We will only authorise ownership changes by authorise signaturies.
Secure Domain Mandate™ will:
Prevent unilateral changes by a co-director, a business partner or an employee to the domain name properties.
Stop sudden and unlawful transfer of your company's domain name.
Allow only authorised signatories to make changes to the domain name registration details.
Ensure that only authorised signatories may transfer the domain name to a different person or entity.
Secure the integrity of your domian name by having it kept safe under the authority of a fully regulated and insured law firm.
Guarantees the perpetual renewal of your domain name.
Give you unrestricted access to a professional point of contact for enquiries and/or notices concerning your domain name.
Never lets your company's domain name slip through your fingers.
Provide you with instant, personal alerts for attempts to transfer or make changes to your domain name.
Keep the master key to your domain name secure.