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Brand Protection / Recently Commented

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

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

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

Notice, Takedown, Borders, and Scale

I was on the front lines of the SOPA wars, because SOPA touched on two matters of strong personal and professional importance for me: protecting the Internet infrastructure, and protecting the economy from Internet related crime. I've continued to study this field and advise industry participants in the years since then. The 2017-02-20 paper by Annemarie Bridy entitled Notice and Takedown in the Domain Name System: ICANN's Ambivalent Drift into Online Content Regulation deserves an answer, which I shall attempt here. more

Domain Enforcement in a Post-GDPR World

The implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and ICANN's conservative temporary policy, which favors privacy and limits registrar liability, has made domain enforcement against cybersquatters, cyber criminals and infringement more difficult, expensive and slow. With heightened concerns over privacy following high-profile breaches of consumer data and its subsequent illicit use and distribution, there is no question that consumer data protection practices would come under scrutiny. more

The Ageless Warning of Icarus

It wasn't that long ago that, during a visit home, my brother asked me, "Why are you so stuck on this Internet thing?" His direct question caused me to realize that I had never actually stopped and considered why I was investing so much time – and in such a highly visible manner – into Internet governance when I wasn't being compensated for doing so and, in fact, was – not putting too fine of a point on it – flat broke. more

Back to the Future Part IV: The Price-Fixing Paradox of the DNS

GenX-ers may remember spending a summer afternoon at the movie theater and seeing the somewhat corny but beloved antics of Marty McFly and Doc as they used a souped-up Delorean to travel the space-time continuum. In Back to the Future Part II, Doc and Marty travel into the future, where the bullying, boorish Biff causes a time-travel paradox when he steals the Delorean and takes a joyride into the past to give his younger self a sports almanac containing the final scores of decades worth of sporting events. more

Portrait of a Single-Character Domain Name

Let's take some crayons and draw a picture of the current state of affairs regarding single-character domain names (SCDNs), and specifically O.COM. During the public comment period for the current O.COM RSEP, ICANN's own Intellectual Property and Business constituencies recommended implementation of rights protections mechanisms (RPMs) for intellectual property, including Sunrise and Priority Access periods. It is curious that such hard-won protections are being so easily set aside by Verisign and ICANN. more

Can Trademarks and Brands Help Save the Internet From Itself?

Trademarks and brands are often among a company's most valued assets. Customers associate trademarks and brands with producer integrity. They engender consumer trust. Without TMs and Brands, companies struggle for attention and find it more difficult to link the company's integrity and trustworthiness in the marketing of its goods and services. Representing company promise and customer expectations, they are uniquely positioned to symbolize common values and aspirations. more

The Hidden Perils of Filing a Baseless UDRP Complaint

When properly used, the UDRP enables trademark owners to take control of abusive domain names. Yet sometimes the UDRP itself is misused by trademark owners to try to seize desirable domain names to which they have no legal entitlement. Is there a downside to misusing the UDRP to attempt a domain name hijacking? Unscrupulous companies at times misuse the UDRP by improperly invoking its power to compel a transfer of ownership in order to seize inherently valuable, non-infringing domain names that the companies desire for their own use. more

Addressing Infringement: Developments in Content Regulation in the US and the DNS

Over the course of the last decade, in response to significant pressure from the US government and other governments, service providers have assumed private obligations to regulate online content that have no basis in public law. For US tech companies, a robust regime of "voluntary agreements" to resolve content-related disputes has grown up on the margins of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the Communications Decency Act (CDA). more

Undone! Failure of Persuasion in UDRP Proceedings

A split Panel in an early decision under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) held that parties deserve more than "[i]t depends [on] what panelist you draw." Time Inc. v. Chip Cooper, D2000-1342 (WIPO February 13, 2001). That's one side of the paradigm; the other side makes demands on the parties to prove their contentions, either of cybersquatting (one element of which is proving that respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests) or rebutting the claim (one element of which is respondent demonstrating it has rights or legitimate interests). more

Should Domain Names be Considered 'Contracts for Service' or 'Property Rights'?

The legal status of domain names is one of the most hotly debated topics with regards to evolving property rights and how they should be applied to technological and intellectual property 'innovations' in cyberspace. At present, there are two opposing factions on this topic: On one hand, there are those who maintain that domain names should be considered as contracts for services, which originate from the contractual agreement between the registrant and the registrar. more

Leveraging Traffic Statistics to Manage Corporate Domain Portfolios

Corporate domain name portfolios often consist of domain names that do not resolve to relevant content. In fact, it's not uncommon for less than half of corporate domains to point to live content. Sure there are domains such as those that point to "sucks" sites or those registered anonymously for future use that purposely do not resolve, but those are the exception to the rule. 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