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Brand Owners Unite Against Domain Squatters

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Domain squatters, who buy domains that are typos or variations of a popular company or brand name and then put ads on the site, have a new foe. A group of big-name brand owners has teamed up to form CADNA: the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse. CADNA is a non-profit organization based in Washington D.C. Members include Yahoo, Dell, Verizon and Marriott.

According to a CADNA statement, "the coalition's goals are to pursue Congressional legislation that would increase the statutory damages set forth by the existing Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, and to work with World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to introduce an international anti-cybersquatting treaty."

The Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), introduced in 1999, made it easier for brand and trademark owners to prosecute the unauthorized registration or use of their trademarks as domain names.

"As a result of the automation of the registration process and the monetization of domain name portfolios, the policing burden placed on brand owners has become almost insurmountable," Susan Crane, group VP of intellectual property for Wyndham Worldwide, said in a statement. "We have joined CADNA in this fight because we believe a coalition of companies from across multiple industries will be a more effective voice to address this issue than any one company or industry standing alone."

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