It has been nearly 20 years since the federal Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (the ACPA) was enacted in 1999 to battle what an alarmed Congress understood to be a rising wave of “cybersquatting.” As the Senate Judiciary Committee explained, the ACPA was designed to “protect consumers and American businesses, to promote the growth of online commerce, and to provide clarity in the law for trademark owners by prohibiting the bad-faith and abusive registration of distinctive marks as Internet domain names with the intent to profit from the goodwill associated with such marks.” S. Rep. No. 106-140, at 4 (1999).

Soon after the ACPA became law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in apparently the first appellate interpretation of the ACPA, recognized that cybersquatting involves “the registration of domain names of well-known trademarks by non-trademark holders who then try to sell the names back to the trademark owners.” See Sporty’s Farm v. Sportsman’s Market, 202 F.3d 489, 493 (2d Cir. 2000).

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