Typosquatting: compensation to Facebook

2012 was a record year for cybersquatting. According to estimates by WIPO, over 2800 complaints have been filed in order to recover 5000 domain names that had been illegitimately registered by third parties. The custom of grabbing domain names with trademarks that belong to others is all but abandoned and the owners of famous trademarks are forced to deal with it. Luckily, for the most part, cybersquatters take a beating and they are required to transfer the domains, and in the worst cases, refund the damage experienced by the legit owners. A particular form of cybersquatting is the typosquatting which consists of registering domain names that do not match the famous trademarks, but that contain typographical errors based on the users’ most probable misspellings. Who bore the brunt was also Facebook that discovered registered domains like fagebook.com or www.facewbook.com that were visited by unfortunated and distracted users. Therefore Facebook filed a lawsuit against eleven people accused of typosquatting, and not only was it a crushing victory but also a profitable one. The Judge had indeed ruled the transfer of over 100 domains to the famous social network and sentenced the accused to a compensation of 2,8 million dollars.