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Reclaiming Your Business Domain

Reclaiming Your Business Domain: Legal Steps to Address Former Employees Holding Domain Names

If someone has left your business but still owns or pays for the domain names related to your 
business and is demanding a large sum of money for them, the legal situation can be complex.  
Here are some key points to consider: 

Ownership and Registration: Legally, the person who registered the domain name is considered the owner. If this former employee registered the domain names in their name and not the company’s, they have legal ownership and control over them. Its important to note they have ensured the renewal has happened and that the appropriate SSL has been included and activated.

Agreement and Contracts: Check if there were any agreements or contracts signed that specify the ownership and control of the domain names. If there is a clause in their employment contract or a separate agreement stating that domain names related to the business belong to the company, you may have grounds to reclaim them.

Trademark Rights: If the domain names include your business name or trademarks, you might have a case under trademark law. You could argue that the domains are being used in bad faith or are infringing on your trademark rights.

Uniform Domain-Name: Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP): This is a process established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for resolving disputes (Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy – ICANN) over domain names. You can file a complaint if you believe the domains were registered in bad faith or are being used in bad faith. This might be quicker and less expensive than a court case.

Legal Action: If negotiations fail, you might need to take legal action. Consult with a lawyer specialising in intellectual property or business law to explore options such as filing a lawsuit for the return of the domain names based on contractual obligations or trademark infringement.

Steps to Consider Review Documentation: Gather all relevant documents, including employment contracts, emails, and any agreements regarding domain names.

Negotiate: Attempt to negotiate with the former employee. Sometimes an amicable settlement can be reached without legal intervention.


Consult a Lawyer: Seek legal advice to understand your rights and the best course of action. A lawyer can help you determine if you have a strong case for reclaiming the domains.


UDRP Complaint: If the domains are crucial to your business and you believe you have a strong case, consider filing a UDRP complaint.


Legal Proceedings: As a last resort, be prepared to take legal action. This can be costly and time- consuming, but it may be necessary to protect your business interests.


By taking these steps, you can better understand your legal position and work towards reclaiming the domain names.

Please contact:

Richard Kerry
Solicitor Director
Bell Lax Solicitors
Ddi 0121 362 7566