(The following situation is real, but all names are fictitious to protect the privacy of my client) I’m the webmaster for a site that I’ll call rusticwindows.com. RusticWindows is a division of Doe Construction, owned by John Doe, and incorporated in 1979. The name Doe Construction appears on all of RusticWindows’ literature and their logo.
If I am looking for Doe Construction and type in "doeconstruction.com" in a browser's address line, I am taken to the site of RusticWindows' main competitor, Meisterwindow. Although Meisterwindow doesn’t have anyone at that company by the name of Doe, they have purchased my client's legal name as a domain name, and they are diverting business intentionally from my client’s site. What they have done amounts to identity theft, false representation of the competitor as my client and piracy of their name and their business.
I advised my client to file a complaint with ICANN. The client would have had to pay a one or three-person panel what was called a "relatively minimal" fee to review the case. However, the least expensive option was to request a one-person review by the National Arbitration Forum, which would charge $1,150 for a single member panel to review their claim. As a small family-owned business, the Does did not feel they could afford to do this.
I then advised my client to backorder the doeconstruction.com domain name, which expired November 22. That attempt was unsuccessful and the name is registered to Meisterwindow for another year.
Are there any other options I might have overlooked? Have any of you had similar experiences? If so, what did you do about them?