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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

Is Booking.com a Generic Term?

A fundamental rule of trademarks is that they have to be distinctive, and that nobody can register a trademark on a generic term like "wine" or "plastic." In a case decided today by the U.S. Supreme Court, the court decided 8-1 that online travel agent Booking.com could register its domain name as a trademark. In this case, I think the majority got it wrong, and Justice Breyer's lone dissent is correct. more

Online Businesses to Benefit from Supreme Court "Booking.com" Ruling

Today, in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com, the Supreme Court of the United States has affirmed that generic terms including .com domain names may be trademarked when consumers do not perceive the mark to signify the class of services, with heightened distinctiveness and recognition attributable to top-level domains that add meaning like .club, .guru, and .vip. more

Asserting but Not Proving Cybersquatting Under the UDRP

Having trademarks (registered or unregistered) is the prerequisite for maintaining a UDRP, but having one is not conclusive of either Respondent’s lack of rights or legitimate interests or that it registered and is using the domain name in bad faith. The cautionary tale in many of these cases, especially for the Complainant who has the burden of proof, is that it has to satisfy each of the elements in the three subsections... more

Your Domain Name Does Matter in Search Results – Microsoft Says So!

I stumbled upon a study conducted by Microsoft eons ago back in the paleolithic era of search; 2012... It is about how "premium domains" are perceived by the consumer when seeing them in the search results compared to a lower value "non-premium" domain. I like to use quotations sparingly, but I felt it was necessary because the varying opinions on premium v non-premium domains is a bridge I do not want to cross in this post.  more

Thumb on the Scales

Does the ICANN Board putting its thumb on the scale, change the status quo assumption of a Policy Development Process (PDP)? The primary assumption of most PDPs is that, in the absence of consensus for change, the status quo remains. Otherwise, Policy would be made by fiat by the PDP's Chair or Co-Chairs and there would be a mad rush to occupy those unpaid, thankless positions. more

The Impact of a Pandemic on Cyberattacks and Business Continuity Plans

A new survey of security and IT leaders by csoonline.com sheds light on how organizations across industries are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, how prepared they were when the pandemic first hit, how vulnerable they are, and what the long-term impact on companies may be. Unsurprisingly, the survey found there has been an increased number of employees working from home. more

CircleID Launches the First in a Series of Community Dialogues on COVID-19 and the Internet

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the rapid migration of the world's workforce and consumer services to virtual spaces, has amplified the Internet governance and policy issues including infrastructure, access, exponential instances of fraud and abuse, global cooperation and data privacy, to name but a few. The need for practical, scalable and efficient solutions has risen dramatically. more

When It Comes to Domain Name Rights Protection, scapegoat.sucks

It is not surprising that the phase 1 review of domain name rights protection mechanisms is delayed, but it is a bit of a surprise that in responding to a question posed in 2020, business executives and their lawyers replied with answers first offered and rejected five years earlier. In that time before COVID-19, the launch of the Vox Populi Registry and its dotSucks domain names drew quite a lot of attention. more

A Cautionary Tale of Reputation Damage: Striking the Right Balance With Brand Protection

In early March 2020, a well-known European fashion brand found themselves on the receiving end of a protest campaign on social media. The background to the case was the fact that, in 2019, the brand had launched a cease and desist (C&D) action against a small, U.K.-based company in response to their use of similar product names and sale of associated clothing merchandise. more

Five Common Issues in Domain Management, and Solutions

Has your organization ever missed renewing a domain name? You really don't want to be in the news for that. Just look up "company forgot to renew domain name" and read about the historical consequences of missing vital domain name renewals. They range from failed services or infrastructure, lost revenue, lost business partners, wrecked reputation, hefty regulatory fines, to even the collapse of a business. more

Practical Pointers for Paring Domain Name Portfolios

As we enter the new normal, many legal departments have already begun looking for ways to reduce spend even as they are being asked to register COVID-19 domains. IP maintenance fees for patents, trademarks and domains are a natural place to start. While paring back patent and trademark portfolios can yield some significant savings, it's well-known that most corporate domain name portfolios contain registrations that are no longer needed. more

3 Reasons It's Crucial to Review Your Domain Lock Portfolio Now

Just as we started the new year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency's (CISA) issued an alert. On January 6, 2020 , they warned of domain name system (DNS) hijacking and other cyber threats that may be used by nation-state threat actors to disrupt business activity and take control of vital internet assets. A familiar refrain heard in 2019 now repeating in 2020. more

With Q1 in the Books, the Only Constant in the Domain Industry Is Change

As the first quarter of 2020 ended, the number of new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) domain registrations reached approximately 33.2 million. We expect to see additional growth through 2020 as TLDs such as .GAY will complete their launches before the end of the year. Meetings and conferences in the domain industry in 2020 are in flux but will go on in new formats, new timeframes and new locations. more

Coronavirus Online Threats Going Viral, Part 2: Marketplaces

In the midst of the coronavirus crisis and the partial or total quarantines happening around the world, more people are turning to eCommerce for their purchases. This, combined with the increased demand for healthcare and healthcare-related products, is causing surges of activity on online marketplaces. Perhaps least surprising is the growth in the number of listings for cleaning and hygiene products (e.g., hand sanitizer), as well as facemasks... 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

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

Typosquatting Data Feed Can Enhance Lloyds Bank's Typosquatting Protection

60+ PayPal Potential Typosquatting Domains Detected in the Beginning of June

Typosquatting Domains Every AppleID Owner Should Avoid

Shopping and the Pandemic: Increased Reliance on Mobile Apps 

Typosquatting Protection: A Look into Instagram-Themed Domain Names

Newly Registered Domains List Show Recent Registrations Continue to Pose Cybersecurity Risks

How to Avoid Phishing Campaigns Targeting CARES Act Recipients

Newly Registered Domains Database Shows Threat Actors Exploit the Need for N95 Masks amid the Pandem

Under the Hood of 3M- and 3M Mask-Themed Recently Registered Domains

Domain Intelligence Shows Cybercriminals May Abuse Video-Conferencing Services' Brand Names

Even for Available Domain Names, There Is No Leaving WHOIS History to Chance

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