What?! Someone Else Registered Your Domain Name!

You have registered a domain name and then one day you find that your website is down. What could have happened? Could it have been that your domain name registration lapsed and someone else registered the domain name?

When you enter into an agreement (think domain name registration, lease, service agreement, etc.), the agreement will terminate one of three ways. First, the agreement will terminate at the end of the term. Second, the agreement will automatically renew unless a party provides notice of its intent to terminate. Third, the agreement will terminate unless a party provides notice of its intent to renew the agreement.

For agreements such as domain name registration agreements, the agreement will terminate at the end of the term but you generally have the ability to make a selection that the registration will automatically renew upon termination. This is helpful because if you will want to maintain this registration for a number of years then you will not have to be concerned about tracking the termination date. However, if you are unsure if you will want to maintain this registration for a number of years, then auto renew could result in the registration being extended even though you may have wanted the registration to lapse.

It is important to review the agreements you have entered into in order to check the termination date and if the agreement contains any renewal provisions. It is common that if the agreement contains a renewal provision, then you will have to provide some sort of advance notice if you will want to renew or terminate the agreement. When leasing real property, it is common for the lease term to expire unless the tenant provides notice of its intent to renew and the tenant usually has to provide the notice to the landlord six to nine months prior to the termination date.

The take away is that you should review the various agreements that you have entered into in order to track the termination dates and the amount of notice which needs to be provided if you intend to renew or terminate the agreement. I suggest that these dates be docketed in a calendaring system, providing tasks with the necessary due dates, or just by inserting appointments in your calendar.

Has someone else registered your domain name?

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Chris Corpus

Founding Partner at Corpus Law Inc

This article does not provide legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about this topic or if you have other legal questions, do not hesitate to contact Chris Corpus, Esq. of Corpus Law Inc at 216-973-2475. Copyright Christopher A. Corpus 2016.