Citibank violating the cybersquatting law?

Search for PayPal at Google, and the first hit you’ll get is PayPal, but the two micro-ads on Google are for competitors – eBay and C2IT (a Citibank knock-off of PayPal). So far, no problems. Except that Citibank has registered PatPal.com, a misspelling of PayPal’s domain name.

Isn’t this a violation of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA )? A good overview of the federal law (P.L. 106-113) that went into effect in 1999 is available here at Gray Cary’s web site. As I read it, Citibank has deliberately registered a common misspelling (the “t” on the keyboard is right next to the “y”, resulting in patpal.com instead of paypal.com) with the express purpose of diverting traffic intended for PayPal.com.

Ernie, Denise – any thoughts? Is Citibank’s behavior protected?