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The Suitable Defendant Rule: In Rem Jurisdiction under the ACPA

The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) creates two distinct avenues by which mark owners may seek a remedy for cybersquatting. A person who is a suitable defendant under 15 U.S.C. §1125(d)(1)(A) is one over whom the court has in personam jurisdiction. However, if the mark owner is "not able to obtain in personam jurisdiction over a person who would have been a defendant" in the ACPA action, then "[t]he [mark] owner may file an in rem civil action against a domain name in... more

Only Bad Actors Should Worry About the URS

With DNS abuse a topic of increased concern throughout the community, any controversy over adopting the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) for all generic top-level domains (gTLDs) seems misplaced. The URS was designed as a narrow supplement to the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), applicable only in certain tightly defined circumstances of clear-cut and incontrovertible trademark infringement involving the registration and use of a domain name. more

How Will the New .AU Domain Licensing Rules Impact You?

The .AU Domain Administration (auDA) will soon implement new .AU domain administration licensing rules either late this year or early next year. These rules apply to new registrations and around 3 million existing domain names in the com.au, net.au, org.au, and more .AU namespaces... Previously, an Australian trademark application or registration may constitute the required Australian presence for an .AU domain name, but the domain name need not match the trademark. more

UDRP and the Law: Should Cybersquatting be the Default View?

I have returned to the subject of the title on a number of occasions and it is worth revisiting. Like judicial proceedings, the substance of disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and Panel determinations are publicly available. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) mandates in its Rules that all decisions must be delivered to the parties within "three business days" of their receipt of the decision and posted on providers' websites. more

Uniform Rapid Suspension Not Appropriate for .com Domain Names

The Internet Commerce Association has been actively involved for the last four years on the ICANN Working Group reviewing the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) policy and the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). The Working Group is currently wrapping up its review of the URS. The UDRP will be reviewed in an upcoming second phase. more

How Digital Asset Management May Change Due to COVID-19

One of the "fathers of the internet," Vint Cerf, in a September 2019 article he published, said: "Today, hackers routinely break into online accounts and divert users to fake or compromised websites. We constantly need to create new security measures to address them. To date, much of the internet security innovation we've seen revolves around verifying and securing the identities of people and organizations online. more

Assessing Intent to Cybersquat

It, perhaps, does not have to be said that cybersquatting is an intentional tort. No one would expect the respondent to admit unlawful intention, but complainant's proof must nevertheless support that contention. The Panel in Hästens Sängar AB v. Jeff Bader / Organic Mattresses, Inc. FA2005001895951 (Forum July 31, 2020) reminds us that it takes more than bad faith use of a domain name to find cybersquatting. more

How Brexit Raises Risks for Non-Compliant .EU Domain Names

On June 3, 2020, EURid, the registry for .EU domains, published its timeline and action plan to withdraw and delete .EU domains registered to entities and individuals located in the U.K. ... Following the .EU regulations that were published on March 29, 2019, registrations of .EU domain names may be held by EU citizens, citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, independent of their place of residence -- as well as organizations that are established in the EU. more

Why the Pandemic Makes Domain Names More Valuable Than Ever

In the United States, at least 25,000 brick and mortar businesses will close in 2020 due to the Coronavirus (source: Coresight). I believe this will only be the tip of the iceberg. The businesses that fight to stay alive will become 100% dependent on the Internet to generate their revenue. No longer able to rely on foot traffic to their old brick and mortars, the popularity and brand-ability of their websites will solely dictate their ability to survive in the coming years. more

How Global Trends Arising from COVID-19 May Influence Online Brand Protection Strategies

We're in an interregnum where society has paused, and there's no telling how things may turn. In such times of crisis, we are the explorer; exploring the uncharted waters of change, where dangers and opportunities lie. How the pandemic caused this greater societal change may not be something that an individual can alter, we may, however, take the helm and navigate. more

What Trademark Owners Need to Know to Avoid Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

A cybersecurity company recently attempted reverse domain name hijacking for an exact match domain name of its brand, and in so doing, failed in both its bid to take ownership of the domain and potentially damaged their reputation by using this somewhat nefarious tactic and abusing the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) process. more

Confusingly Similar But No Likelihood of Confusion in UDRP

The word "confusion" in the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) signifies two separate states of mind. The first in ¶4(a)(i) appears in the phrase "identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights." It is a test to determine whether the mark owner has standing to maintain a UDRP proceeding. more

Beware of Abandoned Domain Names in this Turbulent Time and as the Global Economy Changes

The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused worldwide disruption -- for whole nations and their economies. Unfortunately, there will be some side effects for businesses. A number of brands will disappear from the streets and shelves, as businesses that fail to weather the storm will have to fold. Companies that do survive will likely focus more on their core markets, pulling brands out of higher risk, less profitable markets... more

Exceedingly Close and Difficult UDRP Cases

The ordinary run of cybersquatting cases is neither "exceedingly close nor difficult." Quote from Harvest Dispensaries, Cultivations & Production Facilities, LLC v. Rebecca Nickerson / Rock City Harvest, FA2004001892080 (Forum June 26, 2020) which is one of those rare cases in which the case was exceedingly close and difficult. For 90% of the docket (the percentage has been creeping up since 2016), even when Respondent appears (which it mostly does not), there is neither a defense nor merit to Respondent's contentions. more

When is Similarity Confusing? Cybersquatting and Abusive Registration

The case I'm reporting on today has garnered attention from a number of quarters. One commentator, Andrew Allemann tells us that "[he's] struggling with this UDRP decision" and Nat Cohen of Telepathy Inc. in a couple of Tweets and a private conversation is concerned that the holding could be a Trojan Horse by erasing the distinction between merely confusing and confusingly similar. The problem centers on the Panel's holding that everyfamily.org is confusingly similar to EVERYTOWN... more

News Briefs

WIPO Becomes First Non-Chinese Entity to Provide Domain Dispute Resolution Services for China's .cn

WIPO Reports Cybersquatting Cases Grew by 12% Reaching New Records in 2018

Amazon Gets the Green Light for .Amazon TLD Following Intense Negotiations Involving South America

Kodak Announces a Blockchain Platform Initiative for Image Rights Management

EFF Warns ICANN Not to Engage in Censorship, Says It Should Stick to Technical Role

Civil Society Groups Call for Deletion of Internet Filtering Provision in EU Copyright Proposal

EFF Cautions Against Unfair TLD Policies, Offers Advice on Choosing New gTLDs for Best Protection

Domain Registrations in New TLDs Overwhelmingly for Defensive Purposes, INTA Study

Cycling Legend Greg LeMond Sues Cybersquatters Upward of $6.6 Million

Feds Shut Down Largest File-Sharing Site KickassTorrents - Founder Arrested, Domains Seized

Thomson Reuters in Definitive Agreement to Sell Intellectual Property Unit Including MarkMonitor

UK Bill Ups Prison Term for Online Piracy from 2 to 10 Years

Internet Governance Forum USA 2016 on Thursday, July 14

ICANN Says It Will Not Get Directly Involved With Infringing Domains

WIPO Reports Rise in Cybersquatting Cases, Triggered by New gTLDs

TLD Operators Should Not Police Content, Says EFF

Google Received 65.9 Million Take Down Requests Last Month, Company Reports

European Parliament Backs Resolution to Break Up Search Giant

US Should Take More Aggressive Counter-Measures On IP Theft, Including Use of Malware

Domain Seizures for Copyright Infringement Likely to Move Beyond U.S. Based Registries

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Brand Protection Updates – Sponsor

Shopping and the Pandemic: Increased Reliance on Mobile Apps 

Savvy retailers who expanded their offerings to include e-commerce app options have reaped the benefits of this forethought during the coronavirus outbreak. As the pandemic has driven more shoppers to buy online, retailers who offer e-commerce apps have seen dramatic increases in the number of sales, even as traditional shopping has dropped off precipitously. more

Internet and Mobile Exploitation of the Coronavirus

Following our initial blog on the subject of Internet sites and domains seeking to profit from the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, we dug deeper into the topic. Appdetex looked at keywords within domain names, website content, social media handles and marketplace listings that would likely be related to the coronavirus outbreak. Though the result of this work is related to a very limited set of keywords, the quantities of results delivered are statistically significant in many cases. more

Retrospective: Post-GDPR Compliance Rates for Domain Enforcement

A success rate of one out of four might not seem like a reason to celebrate, but when it comes to registrar compliance rates, the current 25% rates that AppDetex clients enjoy is a substantial improvement from the single-digit compliance rates initially experienced immediately following the implementation of GDPR. more

Mobile Apps Take the Lead, Scammers Follow

Mobile commerce has just reached another landmark milestone. For the first time ever, mobile transactions made up almost $1 of every $3 spent online during the post-Thanksgiving 2019 shopping weekend. more

Industry Updates

Detecting Possible Domain Generation Algorithm-Related Threats Using Typosquatting Data Feed

Radix Announces the Launch of Namify

Radix's H1 2020 Premium Domains Report

DNS Records Lookup of "Walmart Drive-In Movie Theater" Domains Indicates Likely Typosquatting

June 2020 Dot Brand Insights Report: How .SHARP Surged to the Top of the Alexa Rankings

What a WHOIS Registrant Lookup Can Tell about "Kanye West" Newly Registered Domains

Host to IP and DNS Analysis of Dozens of Fortnite-Inspired Typosquatting Domains

MarkMonitor Releases New gTLD Quarterly Report for Q2 2020

Bulk Domain Lookup of 3,000+ NRDs with "Deal" Word Strings Appearing Days before July 4

Bulk WHOIS Lookup of Florida SMMC Lookalike Domains Shows Signs of Typosquatting

Hundreds of Election-Related Domain Names Seen as 2020 U.S. Elections Nears

Upward Trend Seen in "All Lives Matter," "BLM," and "Protest" Domain Registrations

Punycode Phishing: Internationalized Domain Names Remain a Threat in 2020

Domain Security Report – Forbes Global 2000 Companies

WhoisXML API Detects Hundreds of Microsoft-Inspired Typo Domains

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