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Domain name hijacking

Article

Domain name dispute between a company and its service provider is a typical case retrieved by Nominet Court and that can be enlarged to other dispute resolution services. Service providers such as a registrar, a web-designer or an ISP, often register domain names under the instructions of a company.

However, some service providers do not hesitate to put their own name instead of the company one. Why ? The provider usually wants to ensure the payment reception for its work.

What are the risks for the company? The service provider benefits from illegitimate rights on the domain name to the detriment of the company. In case of conflict, there is a blackmail risk from the service provider, who appears as the owner in the WHOIS.

If the company takes legal actions against the service provider, the domain name will be all the more difficult to recover when the company holds no rights (trademarks, company registration etc.) on the domain name.

That is why companies must be cautious when registering new domain names and ensure they are the domain name holder. In certain cases, the company wants to delegate the ownership to a third party in order to protect its brand in a ccTLD that requires a local presence (see Domain name risk management and domain name surveillance).

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