On November 29, 1999, President Clinton signed into law the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). Generally, the ACPA is intended to protect the public from acts of Internet "cybersquatting," a term used to describe the bad-faith, abusive registration of Internet domain names. Section 3006 of the ACPA directed the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Federal Election Commission (FEC), to study and to recommend to Congress appropriate "guidelines and procedures for resolving disputes involving the registration or use by a person of a domain name that includes the personal name of another person, in whole or in part, or a name confusingly similar thereto."

On February 29, 2000, the Office of the General Counsel of the Department of Commerce published a Federal Register Notice and Request for Comments entitled "Abusive Domain Name Registrations Involving Personal Names; Request for Public Comments on Dispute Resolution Issues Relating to Section 3002(b) of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act." [Vol. 65 F.R. 10763] That notice sought comments from interested members of the public on the resolution of Internet domain name disputes involving personal names. By notice published in the Federal Register on April 6, 2000 [Vol. 65 F.R. 18032], the Department of Commerce extended the period for public comment until April 21, 2000.

In total, Fourteen comments were received. Subsequently, the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office prepared, with input from the FEC, the mandated report, Report to Congress: The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act of 1999, section 3006 concerning the abusive registration of domain names. The report was released in January 2001. Both it and the public comments received in response to the February 29, 2000 Request for Comments are made available here.

For further information, please contact Justin Hughes, [] or Jennifer Lucas [], Office of Legislative and International Affairs, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Box 4, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C. 20231. Telephone: 703-305-9300. For additional information relating to the report or public comments received, you may also contact Sabrina McLaughlin, [], Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C. 20230. Telephone: 202-482-3151.