ACPA (Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act) was legislated by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on November 29, 1999. ACPA protects the trademark of individuals and businesses in the United States against cybersquatters who abusively register domain names that are confusingly identical or similar to certain trademarks and take advantage of the good will of the legal owners of the trademark to gain profit.
Senator Spencer Abraham from Michigan introduced s 1255 known as Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act in the Senate on July 21, 1999.The bill was co-sponsored by Senators John Breaux, Orrin Hatch, John McCain and Robert Torricelli. Subsequently on July 22, the Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing. Several individuals testified in the hearing which include Anne H. Chasser, president of the International Trademark Association, Christopher D. Young, president and CEO of Cyveillance, Inc. and Gregory D. Phillips, Partner at Howard, Phillips & Anderson Law Firm in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Based on Section 2 of the Report of Sen. Hatch from the Judiciary Committee on August 5, 1999, the Congress found:
- The registration, trafficking in, or use of a domain name that is identical to, confusingly similar to, or dilutive of a trademark or service mark of another that is distinctive at the time of registration of the domain name, without regard to the goods or services of the parties, with the bad-faith intent to profit from the goodwill of another’s mark (commonly referred to as "cyberpiracy" and "cybersquatting."
- results in consumer fraud and public confusion as to the true source or sponsorship of goods and services;
- impairs electronic commerce, which is important to interstate commerce and the United States economy;
- deprives legitimate trademark owners of substantial revenues and consumer goodwill; and
- places unreasonable, intolerable, and overwhelming burdens on trademark owners in protecting their valuable trademarks.
2. Amendments to the Trademark Act of 1946 would clarify the rights of a trademark owner to provide for adequate remedies and to deter cyberpiracy and cybersquatting.