My nephew set up a business in Ireland two years ago and with it a website of the same name; .com. It would appear that as a result of an oversight his subscription ran out and when he went to renew he was informed that his domain (name)had been purchased by someone in the U.S.A. and to retrieve it he would need to buy it back. I haven't been told the cost but certainly beyond my nephew's capabilities.Seeing that this is his company name, is there any alternative avenue that might enable him to get it back?
It is possible to take action to retrieve a domain name in these circumstances, but you should only consider doing it if a) you feel that you have a good case to make for claiming the name - your business has used it for years,or has become well-known for its website on the domain. b) you have the financial resources to enter into what could be a long and costly dispute process.
Generally it's not a good idea to enter into any domain name dispute unless you have taken legal advice, and feel that you can produce evidence to show a valid claim to the name. Having a business with the same name, and having a site on it for two years would normally be considered a good ground for a dispute procedure, particularly if the new purchaser was in the same business,and was a direct competitor. A lot depends on the circumstances surrounding individual cases however, which is why legal advice is essential.
Normally web-hosting companies issue automatic renewal reminders for domain name renewals - did this not happen in your nephew's case? A name renewal is an important factor for a business that trades via a website,and it's unusual to miss a renewal date - you get a suspense period during which the name can still be renewed, and several reminders would normally be issued.
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