Registering a domain name (for example, www.yourwebsite.com) is usually a simple process. You go to one of the companies that provide the registration service, pay a small fee, and in a few days the Web site is live around the world.
One of the companies many people recognize is GoDaddy.com, they of the risqué SuperBowl advertisements, is one of the companies that provides this service. Another one is Network Solutions. I always liked Network Solutions, because I trusted them as an established company. However, they have apparently been engaging in some shady business practices recently.
According to a number of articles that have recently popped up on the Web, if you used Network Solutions' free service to check if a domain name was available, they would also reserve that domain name. The result? By using their free service, they found out you had an interest in a domain name, and they would reserve it, thereby forcing you to purchase it from them.
At BEST, that's really shady. At worst, that is fraud and punishable by all sorts of bad things. Is it really fraud? Three days ago, someone filed a lawsuit against them.
Link to early article
Article about Network Solutions being sued