Some of my most common clients are CrossFit Affiliate owners looking to give their existing websites and branding a massive face-lift or create a professional brand for their new box; however, one of the biggest issues I have recently come across of is Affiliate owners who are unable to register their domain name because someone else is cybersquatting in an attempt to make a quick buck.
Cybersquatting is also known as “domain squatting”, it basically refers to a company or individual who is registering a domain with ill faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark or copyright belonging to someone else. In short someone who offers to sell the domain to the person or company who owns a trademark at an inflated price.
How does CrossFit Affiliation Protect You?
The number one thing I tell my clients is “Do not pay their asking price”, the name “CrossFit” is a registered trademark, CrossFit Affiliates license the use of the trademark once their affiliation has been approved as part of their yearly fee; therefore, the offending party is in violation of the law. If you find yourself in the same situation the following steps have helped my clients:
- Do a “Who Is” database search for the contact information of the party holding the domain name.
- Attempt to contact the party in a peaceful manner and advise them of the fact that you own the affiliate name and they are in direct violation of copyright / trademark law.
- Explain that you wish to complete a peaceful transfer of the domain to you, offer to pay the transfer cost (typically $14.99 if you go with GoDaddy.com)
- You may wish to list some sources from CrossFit HQ to back up your email, some good articles are:
- Provide your contact information and wait for a reply and make sure you keep a printed and digital copy of the email for your records
What to do if they are unwilling to relinquish?
At this point my best advice is to contact CrossFit HQ by using the following form: Trademark Infringement/IP Theft Form. Make sure you provide as much information as possible so that you make it easier on their awesome CrossFit Legal Team. Explain to them that you attempted to contact the offending party and that they ignored you or denied your transfer request.
From past experience they are usually very good at getting back to you within a couple of days so be patient and follow their instructions, once the issue has been resolved you will either be able to obtain the domain transferred to you or register it by normal means.
I am not a lawyer and I am in no way giving legal advice; however, this are steps and measures that have helped in the past and if you find yourself in a similar situation I hope that it helps you as well.