The speed with which the world has changed with the advent of the internet is truly astounding. Before the early 1990s, no one knew what a “domain name” was, let alone assigned any value to a domain name. Now, domain names are the portal that explains the business, advertised its products and give customers an easy way to investigate and purchase products. The domain name of the business is an important communication medium in today’s world and is an essential part of your business – something that most businesses will go to court to protect when challenged or involved in a dispute.
However, in any domain name dispute, including claims of unfair competition stemming from similar domain names clearly design to draft on your businesses likeness, logo, and other marketing assets, it makes sense to advise your client to hold off on litigation and consider mediation. Bringing on an experienced commercial trial attorney in California who is trained and experienced in mediation can help businesses avoid the more expensive and slow-moving litigation process.
Domain name disputes are often unintentional and inadvertent. There was once a time when the Internet was home to a handful of companies, and registering a unique domain name for your company was relatively easy. However, the sheer number of businesses that have domain names and the absence of any substantive examination by ISPs results in claims of trademark infringement and unfair competition when the selection of the name was innocent or at least inadvertent.
This inadvertent aspect suggests that resolution through mediation may be a more effective and efficient path to resolution of domain name and related trademark and copyright issues. The starting point must be a willingness to assume, absent clear objective facts to the contrary, that the opposing party acted innocently so as to avoid any implication of any purposeful deceit or fraud. There will ample opportunity to raise bad motives or intentional conduct. However, partnering with a qualified California commercial trial attorney to pursue mediation instead of litigation often will result in a resolution without incurring the expense of initiating legal action.