Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I would like to acquire a domain name which is currently completely unused except to redirect to an unrelated domain's website. I have performed several port scans and the only active port is 80 which promptly sends a 302 on HTTP Get.

The site may be held by a domain squatter. How can I force them to give up the site? It is, for all intents and purposes, unused.

If it is registered to a domain squatter, how can I make it expensive for them to keep?

share|improve this question

closed as primarily opinion-based by John Conde Apr 7 '14 at 22:36

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

up vote 1 down vote accepted

How do you know that they're not using it? Perhaps they are using it for their internal Active Directory domain, which recommends in one scenario using a purchased, but un-used, registered domain name.

Perhaps it is used for staging purposes internally.

Perhaps the domain is tied up in a VC funding round and and is awaiting trademark registration and they don't want to run the risk of using the domain while the trademark is pending.

I'm not a lawyer, but I believe the only case you have is if they are infringing on your trademark. You may be able to launch a trademark infringement case against them to claim a domain name. But this has mixed success in the United States. See nissan.com or on Wikipedia.

I had a similar situation a while back. A 5-letter .com domain name that matched our registered trademark exactly. I checked the Wayback Machine, saw that it was just personal domain in the late 90's and redirected to an IT provider now. I contacted the IT provider, and he explained that his client released the domain in the early 2000's but he had just held onto it.

We negotiated on a price over the next 2 months and settled on a very, very reasonable sum that was approximately 1/3 of which he had originally asked for the domain.

If you approach politely and with patience, you never know what you might get.

share|improve this answer
I honestly do not see where he even mentions the information regarding trademark in his question, yet your answer is very useful also. – user37204 Apr 7 '14 at 22:40
@Traven he doesn't mention trademarks. I bring it up specifically because he does not mention it, so I don't believe he has a trademark claim. No trademark claim == no legal recourse. – Mark Henderson Apr 7 '14 at 22:46
I had already researched the trademark angle. As I did not have trademark before they registered the domain, there is no option for trademark recourse. That being said, I would like to think that there is some recourse against a registrant which isn't using it, even to host a domain. – KG6ZVP Apr 7 '14 at 23:02
@KG6ZVP - actually you can claim for a prior trademark infringement post-registration. But you need to have good lawyers and lots of money. – Mark Henderson Apr 7 '14 at 23:17
And there is no recourse. It's one of the weaknesses of the domain registration system, but also one of its strengths. – Mark Henderson Apr 7 '14 at 23:18

If they hold the registration of the domain, you can not do anything about it, because they own the rights of the domain and what they are using it for, regardless if it is a redirect or being used for a website. It is their choice. There is nothing you can do about it till the registration period is up or they give up the rights to the domain.

Easy summary: They own it. They going to do as they please with it. Period.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.