November 24, 2016
Cybersquatting, which consists in the registration of a domain name reproducing a - preferably well-known - trademark, has recently been in the spotlight again.
The registration in question is that of the domain name vinci.group by a cybersquatter on November 7 with Gandi. Although this type of registration is extremely usual, the consequences are much less so.
Indeed, cybersquatters generally try to sell the domain names they have purchased to the highest bidder, usually the trademark owner. However in this case, the buyer reproduced Vinci's website and Facebook page and, here lies the heart of the story, sent false information on the company and its management to numerous financial journalists with an e-mail address using this domain name.
In the hours that followed, Vinci's share at the Paris stock exchange fell dramatically by 18%.
Yet, both preventive and defensive measures exist to tackle such abuse : monitoring of domain names, registration at the Trademark Clearinghouse, so-called DPML blocks, abuse reports and, in extreme cases, UDRP and URS procedures. Equally, the registration of the domain name vinci.group by Vinci, at least as a precautionnary measure, would have been sufficient to prevent this attack.
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