Domain name transactions and strategies.


Cohn Legal, PLLC has represented domain name holders in multiple industries, negotiating large sums of money in transactions for buyers and sellers and developing strategies for the protection and enforcement of IP in domain name disputes.

Our intellectual property attorneys have a tremendous amount of experience in trademark law which is the cornerstone legal jurisprudence for domain name laws and disputes. We have represented clients before the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) and successfully battled trademark examiners in Ex Parte disputes before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).

Simply, we understand domain names and the legal principles which animate domain name strategies and disputes.

Examples of Domain Name Documents

Agreement of purchase and sale;






Portfolio purchase;

Portfolio sale;

Revenue sharing;




Website joint venture development;

Experts in Internet Law and Domain Name Transactions

Our domain name attorneys protect your digital interests

Our attorneys are true experts in IP law and have worked with numerous companies to develop and protect brand assets and digital properties. Our legal services include domain name acquisition services, cease and desist actions, intellectual property enforcement measures through WIPO, The FORUM, and the TTAB. We provide strategic counseling and advice on domain name disputes and negotiate and manage escrow transactions.

Domain name registration and transactions

As part of our IP service package, we work with clients to perform a domain name and clearance searches prior to registration to mitigate potential trademark infringement actions. We also assist our clients with guidance on best registration practices and TLD options to maximize brand protection.  This often manifests itself in Defensive Domain Name Acquisition strategies which entails the pre-emptive purchasing of sufficiently similar domain names.

UDRP Complaints and Arbitration Proceedings 

UDRP Complaints and Arbitration Proceedings refer to a specific process for resolving disputes related to domain names through the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP). This policy is designed to address instances of domain name registration and use that infringe upon the rights of trademark owners or are engaged in bad-faith activities. Here’s an explanation of these terms:

  1. UDRP Complaints: A UDRP Complaint is a formal submission filed by a trademark owner or a party with legitimate interests in a trademark against the registrant of a domain name that is believed to infringe upon their rights. These complaints are typically filed with the dispute-resolution provider approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversees domain name registrations.
  2. Arbitration Proceedings: UDRP Arbitration Proceedings refer to the legal process used to resolve domain name disputes in accordance with the UDRP. These proceedings involve an impartial arbitrator who evaluates the evidence presented by both the complainant (trademark owner) and the respondent (domain name registrant). The arbitrator’s role is to determine whether the disputed domain name should be transferred or cancelled based on the criteria specified in the UDRP.
  3. Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP): The UDRP is a policy established by ICANN that provides a standardized framework for resolving disputes concerning domain names. It was created to address cases of domain name squatting, cybersquatting, and abusive registrations that violate the rights of trademark owners. The UDRP sets out specific criteria that must be met for a complaint to be successful.
  4. Criteria for UDRP Complaints: To succeed in a UDRP Complaint, the complainant must prove the following three elements: a. The domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights. b. The respondent has no legitimate rights or interests in the domain name. c. The domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
  5. Arbitrator’s Decision: After reviewing the evidence presented by both parties, the arbitrator makes a decision based on the UDRP’s criteria. If the arbitrator finds in favor of the complainant and determines that all three elements are met, they may order the transfer or cancellation of the disputed domain name. If the arbitrator finds in favor of the respondent, the domain name remains with the registrant.
  6. Legal Implications: UDRP arbitration proceedings are not a substitute for legal action in a court of law. While UDRP decisions are binding on the parties involved, they do not have the same legal weight as a court judgment. Parties dissatisfied with a UDRP decision can still seek legal remedies through court litigation.

UDRP Complaints and Arbitration Proceedings provide a streamlined and cost-effective way to address disputes over domain names, especially those involving trademark infringement or bad-faith registration. These processes help protect the rights of trademark owners and maintain the integrity of the domain name system.

Domain Name Registration and Acquisition

Registering and acquiring a domain name involves a series of steps to secure a unique web address for your website or online presence. Here’s a general overview of the process:

  1. Choose a Domain Name: Select a domain name that reflects your brand, business, or website’s purpose. Make it memorable, easy to spell, and relevant to your content or offerings.
  2. Check Availability: Use a domain name registrar’s search tool to check if your desired domain name is available. If it’s already registered, you might need to choose an alternative name or a different domain extension (TLD, like .com, .net, .org, etc.).
  3. Select a Registrar: Choose a reputable domain name registrar to facilitate the registration process. Popular registrars include GoDaddy, Namecheap, Google Domains, and many more.
  4. Domain Extension (TLD) Selection: Decide on the top-level domain (TLD) you want to use. Common TLDs include .com, .net, and .org, but there are also many specialized TLDs like .tech, .store, and .blog.
  5. Register the Domain: Once you’ve chosen an available domain name and TLD, follow the registrar’s instructions to complete the registration process. Provide your contact details, choose your registration duration (usually in yearly increments), and make the necessary payment.
  6. Provide Accurate Information: Ensure that you provide accurate and up-to-date contact information during the registration process. This information is used for administrative and legal purposes, and inaccurate information can lead to domain ownership issues.
  7. Domain Privacy Protection (Optional): Many registrars offer domain privacy protection, which hides your personal contact information from the public WHOIS database. This can help reduce spam and protect your privacy.
  8. DNS Configuration: Configure your domain’s DNS (Domain Name System) settings. This involves setting up DNS records to point the domain to the appropriate web hosting server or service.
  9. Website Hosting: If you’re creating a website, you’ll need to secure a web hosting service. Some domain registrars offer hosting services as well, or you can choose a separate hosting provider.
  10. Domain Transfer (Optional): If you’re acquiring an existing domain from someone else, you may need to initiate a domain transfer. This involves transferring ownership of the domain from the current registrant to you. The process can vary depending on the registrar and TLD.
  11. Domain Appraisal and Negotiation (Acquisition): If you’re acquiring a domain from someone else, you might need to negotiate a price. In some cases, domain names can have significant value, and you might want to consider getting a professional domain appraisal to determine its market worth.
  12. Escrow Services (Acquisition): For higher-value domain acquisitions, consider using an escrow service to ensure a secure transaction. This protects both the buyer and the seller until the domain ownership is successfully transferred.
  13. Legal Agreements (Acquisition): When acquiring a domain from another party, it’s important to draft and sign a clear agreement outlining the terms of the transfer, payment, and any additional conditions.

Remember that domain registration and acquisition can vary based on factors like the registrar, TLD, and the specific circumstances of the acquisition. Always use reputable registrars and be cautious when dealing with domain sellers to ensure a smooth and secure process.

ACPA Proceedings

ACPA proceedings refer to legal actions initiated under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). The ACPA is a United States federal law enacted in 1999 to combat cybersquatting, which involves the bad-faith registration and use of domain names that are identical or confusingly similar to trademarks or distinctive names. ACPA proceedings provide a legal mechanism for trademark owners to address instances of cybersquatting. Here’s an explanation of ACPA proceedings:

  1. Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA): The ACPA was designed to address the growing issue of cybersquatting, where individuals or entities register domain names with the intent to profit from the goodwill associated with well-known trademarks or brands.
  2. Cybersquatting Definition: Cybersquatting involves registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with a bad-faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark that belongs to someone else. This includes instances where the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark.
  3. ACPA Legal Remedies: The ACPA provides legal remedies to trademark owners who believe their trademarks are being infringed upon through cybersquatting. Trademark owners can bring a civil action in a U.S. federal court against the alleged cybersquatter to seek remedies and damages.
  4. Elements of ACPA Proceedings: To succeed in an ACPA proceeding, a trademark owner must generally prove the following elements: a. The domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark. b. The domain name was registered or used in bad faith. c. The registrant has a bad-faith intent to profit from the trademark’s goodwill. d. The trademark was distinctive at the time of registration.
  5. Remedies and Damages: If the court finds in favor of the trademark owner in an ACPA proceeding, it can order the transfer or cancellation of the infringing domain name. In addition, the court may award damages, attorney’s fees, and other remedies to the trademark owner.
  6. Bad-Faith Factors: Courts consider various factors to determine whether a domain name was registered or used in bad faith, including whether the registrant had a legitimate reason for registering the domain, whether they have a history of cybersquatting, and whether they’re using the domain to divert traffic from the trademark owner’s website.
  7. Jurisdiction and Venue: ACPA proceedings are typically brought in U.S. federal courts. However, jurisdiction and venue can vary based on factors like the location of the parties and the jurisdiction where the alleged cybersquatting occurred.
  8. International Application: While the ACPA is a U.S. law, it can have implications for domain registrants and trademark owners outside the U.S. who engage in commerce within the United States or have U.S. customers.

ACPA proceedings provide a legal avenue for trademark owners to protect their trademarks from abusive domain registrations that infringe upon their rights. Trademark owners seeking to address cybersquatting should consult legal experts with knowledge of intellectual property law to navigate ACPA proceedings effectively.

Manage Domain Name Portfolios

A legal professional with expertise in domain name law and intellectual property can play a critical role in effectively managing domain name portfolios. Here’s how they can assist:

  1. Strategic Planning: Legal professionals can work with you to develop a strategic plan for your domain name portfolio. This includes identifying important domain names, assessing which extensions (TLDs) to prioritize, and planning for potential acquisitions or sales.
  2. Domain Name Acquisition and Registration: They can assist with the acquisition and registration of domain names that align with your business goals and branding strategy. This involves conducting searches for available domain names, negotiating purchases, and ensuring proper registration.
  3. Domain Name Disputes: Legal experts can handle disputes involving domain names, such as cybersquatting cases. They can help you enforce your rights through processes like UDRP (Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy) proceedings and legal actions if necessary.
  4. Trademark Considerations: Legal professionals can evaluate the trademark implications of domain names you’re considering. They can help ensure your domain names don’t infringe on existing trademarks and provide advice on potential risks.
  5. Portfolio Management: A legal professional can assist in maintaining and monitoring your domain name portfolio. They can track renewal dates, manage domain transfers, and handle administrative tasks to ensure the portfolio is up to date and well-maintained.
  6. Domain Name Sales and Transfers: If you’re selling or transferring domain names, a legal professional can draft agreements, ensure proper transfer procedures, and handle any legal aspects of the transaction.
  7. Domain Name Valuation: Legal experts can provide insights into the valuation of domain names based on factors like market demand, brand relevance, and potential for resale.
  8. Domain Name Privacy and Protection: They can advise on domain name privacy protection measures to shield your personal information from public databases and potential spam.
  9. Monitoring and Enforcement: Legal professionals can set up systems to monitor for potential infringements of your domain names and take legal action against parties using similar or confusingly similar names.
  10. Domain Name Strategy Alignment: Legal experts can align your domain name strategy with your broader intellectual property strategy, ensuring consistent protection across different platforms.
  11. Licensing and Agreements: If you intend to license your domain names to third parties, legal professionals can draft licensing agreements to outline terms, usage restrictions, and other relevant details.
  12. Domain Name Due Diligence: When involved in mergers, acquisitions, or partnerships, legal professionals can conduct due diligence on domain name assets to assess their legal status and value.

In essence, a legal professional specializing in domain name management provides essential guidance to protect your online brand, maximize the value of your domain name assets, and navigate the legal complexities associated with domain ownership, disputes, and transactions.

Internet Monitoring for Infringements

A legal professional can provide valuable assistance in setting up and managing internet monitoring for trademark infringements. Monitoring the internet for potential trademark violations is crucial for protecting your brand’s reputation and intellectual property rights. Here’s how a legal professional can help with this process:

  1. Develop a Monitoring Strategy: A legal professional can work with you to create a comprehensive monitoring strategy tailored to your business and trademark portfolio. This includes identifying key platforms, websites, social media channels, and marketplaces where trademark infringements are likely to occur.
  2. Identify Monitoring Tools and Services: Legal experts can recommend and help you choose appropriate tools and services for monitoring online platforms. These tools can include brand monitoring services, online search tools, and software that scans websites and social media for potential infringements.
  3. Set Up Monitoring Alerts: Legal professionals can configure monitoring tools to generate real-time alerts when potential trademark infringements are detected. This ensures that you’re promptly informed of any unauthorized use of your trademarks.
  4. Review and Analyze Alerts: Once alerts are generated, a legal professional can review and analyze the potential infringements to determine their validity. They can assess the level of infringement, potential harm to your brand, and whether further action is necessary.
  5. Cease-and-Desist Letters: If unauthorized use of your trademarks is detected, a legal professional can help draft and send cease-and-desist letters to the infringing parties. These letters inform them of the infringement and request that they cease using the trademarks.
  6. Negotiation and Settlement: Legal experts can engage in negotiations with infringing parties to resolve the issue amicably. This might involve negotiating usage rights, removal of infringing content, or other appropriate remedies.
  7. Enforcement Actions: In cases where cease-and-desist letters and negotiations are unsuccessful, a legal professional can help you decide on appropriate enforcement actions. This could include pursuing legal remedies such as filing a lawsuit for trademark infringement.
  8. Domain Name Disputes: If domain names that infringe on your trademarks are identified, legal professionals can help initiate domain name dispute proceedings, such as UDRP (Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy) cases.
  9. Social Media Enforcement: Legal experts can assist in reporting trademark infringements on social media platforms, which often have specific processes for addressing such issues.
  10. Documentation and Records: A legal professional can help maintain detailed records of all monitoring activities, responses, and actions taken. This documentation can be valuable if legal action becomes necessary.
  11. International Considerations: If your trademarks are registered internationally, a legal professional can help you navigate trademark enforcement across different jurisdictions, considering local laws and regulations.
  12. Ongoing Monitoring: Trademark infringements can happen at any time, so legal professionals can help you establish an ongoing monitoring system to continuously protect your trademarks.

By collaborating with a legal professional, you can ensure a proactive and effective approach to monitoring and addressing trademark infringements on the internet, safeguarding your brand’s integrity and intellectual property rights.

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