October 11, 2011

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RE/MAX Alleges Cybersquatting


A Las Vegas agent has been accused of “cybersquatting” by RE/MAX International Inc. The Las Vegas Sun reports that Cristine Rosa Lefkowitz has been sued for allegedly registering more than 50 domain names using the RE/MAX name including remaxbrazil.com, remaxfrance.com and remaxsouthkorea.com.

Cybersquatting is the practice of registering a domain name related to an established brand and attempting to profit from this. Examples of strategies used by cybersquatters include trying to sell the domain name back to a company for an inflated price, or putting up paid links to a company’s actual website, thereby earning money each time a user clicks through to find the correct website.

The Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act outlines the damages cybersquatters can be made to pay. The fact that there are laws against the practice underlines how important a domain name is to a company’s brand.

The Las Vegas Sun quotes the lawsuit charges: “Defendants’ use of the infringing domain names has, upon information and belief, at all times been an intentional and willful attempt to profit, in bad faith, from the RE/MAX (trademarks).”

Lefkowitz told the Las Vegas Sun “It’s silly of them to have filed a lawsuit”. Lefkowitz stated that all the domain names, save remaxbrazil.com, have expired.

However, research by one real estate blogger suggests that the remaxsouthkorea.com domain name may not have expired either.

International agency network RE/MAX has a presence it in six continents and 65 countries. It owns many country-specific domain names from the Australian remax.com.au to remax.com.ec for Ecuador.


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