In case you thought cybersquatting had gone away since its heyday in the 1990s, you should know that it’s alive and well in Western Pennsylvania, if this morning’s Post-Gazette is any indicator.
According to the P-G article, Fagnelli Plumbing Co., a Pittsburgh-based plumbing company is accusing Gillece Services, a larger competitor of cybersquatting related to Gillece’s purchase of the domain “fagnelli.com,” which, according to the article, redirected visitors to the website of Gillece Services– at least until May 4, when Gillece stopped rerouting traffic, apparently in compliance with a demand letter from Fagnelli.
This case doesn’t have the soap opera qualities of an early cybersquatting case such as Kremen v. Cohen. This case involves plumbing, not porn. And (as far as I know) no one involved in this dispute is on the lam in Mexico.
The elements of cybersquatting under the UDRP, requires that plaintiff show: (1) that the domain is confusingly similar to its trademark; (2) that the registrant does not have a legitimate interest in the domain name; and (3) that the registrant registered and is now using the domain in “bad faith.”
One final fact that’s worth noting here is the alleged volume with which Gillece has been registring domain names. According to the complaint, Gillece has registered more than 180 domain names that are “identical or confusingly similar,” to the marks of competitors in the Greater Pittsburgh area.