Typosquatting Law and Legal Definition

Typosquatting is the process of acquiring misspellings of a domain name in the hopes of catching and exploiting traffic intended for another website. For example, a typosquatter might purchase domain names such as www.lnadsend.com and www.landswnd.com and then demand money for referring customers under the Land's End affiliate program. Typosquatting is a variation of cybersquatting, an illegal practice in which a domain name is acquired in bad faith.

The typosquatter's URL will usually be one of four kinds, all similar to the victim site address:

(In the following, the intended website is "example.com")

A common misspelling, or foreign language spelling, of the intended site: exemple.com

A misspelling based on typing errors: xample.com or examlpe.com

A differently phrased domain name: examples.com

A different top-level domain: example.org

Once in the typosquatter's site, the user may also be tricked into thinking that they are in fact in the real site; through the use of copied or similar logos, website layouts or content.

Typosquatting is also called URL hijacking.