Lexicon > Typosquatting

IT Glossary


Typosquatting is the registration of a domain name that is similar to a trademark, a brand name, a family name or another domain name in order to deliberately create a risk of confusion in the mind of the Internet user and thus deceive him.

Domain name similarity is sought both visually, including the use of non-Latin alphabets (e.g. <airfrạnce.com>) but also phonetically (e.g. guchi.com).

The purpose of the typosquatter can be multiple, including:

  • Resell the domain name to the owner;
  • Monetize the domain name with advertising revenues from the traffic it diverts by deceiving Internet users;
  • Redirect traffic from the domain name to a competitor’s website;
  • Redirect traffic from the domain name to the trademark owner itself, but through an affiliate link, which allows the typosquatter to earn commissions from the trademark owner’s affiliate program;
  • Stealing personal data (passwords, bank details) from Internet users by imitating the website of the copied trademark;
  • Installing malware or adware that generates revenue on Internet users’ terminals;
  • Receive misdirected e-mails sent by mistake to the domain name by Internet users thinking they are addressing the owner of the trademark;
  • Block malicious use of the domain name by third parties; and/or
  • Expressing an opinion that differs from that of the target entity.

Typosquatting domain names do not necessarily refer to a website, and can be used only as mail servers.

It is therefore recommended that trademark owners register domain names that are similar to their trademarks, that they ensure that new domain names at risk are not registered, and that they act promptly in the event of suspected typosquatting, in particular within the framework of UDRP or SYRELI actions, where appropriate.

Legal action may also be taken by the victim of typosquatting, notably based on trademark infringement as well as unfair competition and parasitism depending on the facts of the case.

Update on trademark law

The use in the course of trade for goods or services is prohibited, unless authorized by the owner of the mark:

(1) a sign identical to the mark and used for goods or services identical to those for which the mark is registered;

(2) a sign identical or similar to the mark and used for goods or services identical or similar to those for which the mark is registered, if there is a likelihood of confusion in the minds of the public, including the likelihood of association of the sign with the mark.

Article L713-2 of the Intellectual Property Code

The Bouchara firm assists you in particular in :

  • Judicial and extra-judicial proceedings relating to domain names(SYRELI, UDRPcnDRP, ukDRP…);
  • The strategization of ;
  • The registration of ;
  • Negotiation and redemption of domain names registered in confidence;
  • The implementation of backorders.