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In 2010 I registered a .net domain name (my family surname). At this time I was very young and it was my first experience with domains/websites, etc.

Around 15 days after registering my domain, a well known squatting company registered the .com equivalent of my domain.

From this it is pretty clear that they were simply monitoring for .net registrations, and would then snap up the .com equivalent.

They are now selling the .com domain for $4,000. It just has a parked domain page with 'For Sale' info, etc.

My .net domain does not represent a registered company or trademark, it is just my family name.

Do you I have any recourse to dispute this based on the fact that they registered it in response to me registering the .net version? Or perhaps because it is my (probably not unique) family name?

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    Short answer is "no" unless the name is your registered trademark – Steve Jul 18 '18 at 23:24
  • Steve is right, but, I might add that in some countries it depends on when it was registered as a trademark (before or after they purchased the domain). – Emirodgar Jul 19 '18 at 6:41
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In .COM/.NET (single registry) besides going to court over domain names dispute you are bound by ICANN rules and procedures.

There is one created especially for domain names disputes to be resolved out of court (but it does not preclude going to court after it either). the UDRP for Uniform Dispute Resolution Procedure.

You can find all details at: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/dndr-2012-02-25-en

It is however mostly related to trademark issues, and if you do not have any trademark this is not a procedure that will help you. Because to win it you are supposed to argue that the domain name disputed falls under these 3 points (all together):

(i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and

(ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

(iii) your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

Note that there are indeed Reverse Domain Name Hijacking, where a trademark holder tries to goes after a domain name when the trademark was registered after it or mostly with just the goal of capturing the domain name. See http://www.circleid.com/posts/20161020_understanding_reverse_domain_name_hijacking_under_udrp/

Of course, besides litigations, the faster way is to be able to strike a deal with the current owner and transfer it to you, in general.

Now the question is more: you have the .NET, it does not seem to be related to any kind of commercial service where you could fear competition or collution, so why exactly do you want to have the .COM also, besides "emotional" reasons? Why stopping particularly there, why not having the .ORG, .BIZ, .INFO, etc.? Do not get me wrong, I can understand why you are irked by this case that looks like to you as someome trying to exort money from you, but on the other hand, I am sure that your familyname is not unique worldwide, or can mean something else to someone somewhere, so why is one domain name not enough in your case?

Note that people "parking" domain names in the hope of selling them do that also based on the measured or supposed popularity of the name, and may at some point just drop the name if they do not believe to be able to recoup their costs over it (and/or their whole operation). So by doing nothing you may get good surprises... or just register the name in any other TLD, there are plenty nowadays, if you absolutely need another one.

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