Cybersquatting

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The 'Domain Rights Dozen' - ICA's RPM Revision Review Principles

As the fall of 2012 begins the implementation of rights protection mechanisms (RPMs) for new gTLDs is reaching a critical stage... Given the half year interval between the upcoming Toronto ICANN meeting and the following Beijing meeting in April 2013, it is highly desirable, and perhaps essential, that community discussion in Toronto result in a clear consensus on how RPM implementation should proceed if new gTLDs are to launch without further delay and if potential registrants are to perceive them as acceptable platforms for speech and commerce. more»

Continued Controversy Over Google Ads on Typosquatted Domains

Regular readers of this site would be familiar with the ongoing legal battles involving the practice of typosquatting; the registration of misspelled domain names of well know brands with the intention of making a profit. Taking advantage of the fact that millions of online users mistype addresses of websites they intend to visit, typosquatters register common misspelled versions of popular sites and make money by displaying ads. Google's AdSense for Domains (AFD) program, often used for displaying such ads, has been particularly targeted by trademark owners which according to McAfee's SiteAdvisor, serves ads on more than 80% of typosquatting sites recently uncovered. more»

Risk of Portfolio Approach to Cybersquatting

A secret weapon is falling into dangerous hands. Organized cybercriminals are building up portfolios of cybersquatting domain names. A smart operator with such a portfolio can go beyond simple stealing and competing full out for traffic and revenues. Rightful brand owners, feeling the squeeze, will find out too late that the bandits have the money to fight legal action. The time to act is now, before pieces of the playing field have been bought up by the enemy. more»

Domains and the Freedom to Speak

For a very long time, predating the birth of ICANN, there's been a running battle about what should be required when one registers domain names. To oversimplify quite a lot, one side sees domain names as an essential component of free speech, so anyone should be able to register any domain without limit, the other notes that they're primarily used for commercial purposes and they enable quite a lot of mischief, so the more control, the better. more»

Online Property Protection and the Public Interest

Proposals to enhance online property protection have received a lot of attention lately. Brand managers, goods manufacturers, and content distributors strenuously argue that current law enforcement mechanisms are inadequate to meet the challenges of today's fast-paced marketplace. They specifically note that foreign-based "rogue websites" continue to distribute unlicensed products and content despite existing rules; they maintain that new legislation is needed to empower intellectual rights holders to counter such cyber-criminals more effectively. more»

ICANN's Trademark Clearinghouse to Provide Unprecedented Protections in the Domain Name Space - HUH?

Really ICANN? The Trademark Clearinghouse provides unprecedented protection. According to your recent announcement it does. Do tell, ICANN -- in what way does the Trademark Clearinghouse protect anything? more»

Creating, Protecting and Defending Brand Equity - Part 2

In the second of three posts about how brand owners can protect their trademarks from misuse, I will focus on two concepts: the role of "use" and registration in protecting your brand, and domain names -- specifically acquisition and protection. Internet domain names have emerged as a major battleground for brand promotion and protection. While it is easier than ever to register and promote your name on the internet, it is also easier for others to trade on another brand's equity. more»

Using Domain Name Privacy/Proxy Services Lawfully or to Hide Contact Information and Identity

Privacy/proxy services carry no per se stigma of nefarious purpose, although when first introduced circa 2006 there was some skepticism they could enable cybersquatting and panelists expressed different views in weighing the legitimacy for their use. Some Panels found high volume registrants responsible for registering domain-name-incorporating trademarks. Others rejected the distinction between high and low volume as a determining factor. more»

US Continues to Lead As Top Country Hosting Phishing Attacks

Recent study indicates that US continues to widen its lead as the number one country when it comes to hosting phishing sites. According to the latest Brandjacking Index just released by MarkMonitor, US-hosted phishing sites grew by ten percent from last quarter -- up from 36 percent to 46 percent. Canada is now at second position with 4.7 percent of all phishing attacks, followed by the Russian Federation (4.5 percent), France (4 percent), and Denmark (4 percent). more»

WIPO's Misleading Release

The World Intellectual Property Organization put out a release yesterday trumpeting an eight percent increase in domain name disputes handled by WIPO. In 2008 there were 2329 complaints filed with WIPO, the most ever. WIPO uses the increase to raise questions about the possible increase in the number of available generic top-level domains... more»

The Trembling Trademark Owners

Why is so much fear being created in the name of protecting trademark owners? Say, if ICANN allowed some third party a generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) called .panasonic will the sky fall? No, not at all, as Panasonic, the true and rightful TM holder will hit the unauthorized gTLD with a 2x4 and no judge would oppose issuing a cease-and-desist order. Now the other question is... more»

Cybersquatter Hit With Maximum Penalty

Defendant Shui registered the domain name citybank.org and established a site there promoting financial services, sometimes using the mark CITIBANK. The real Citibank, armed with its trademark registrations in over 200 countries and over 50 years of use of its CITIBANK mark, filed suit against Shui under the Anticybersquatting and Consumer Protection Act, 15 USC 1125(d) ("ACPA")... Citibank sought $100,000 -- the maximum amount of statutory damages available under the ACPA, plus payment of Citibank's attorneys' fees... more»

What is 'On-Tap' at ICANN 38 - Brussels (There's More to Belgium than Beer!)

As the shorter of the ICANN interregnums comes to a close and the ICANN faithful finalize their dinner reservation agendas for Brussels, it is time again for a preview of what will be 'on-tap' at next week's ICANN meeting. While, as always, there is a lot going on in ICANN Land, a scan of the blogosphere and ICANN list serves suggests that the four most discussed topics will be... more»

The Growing Threat of Cybersquatting in the Banking and Finance Sector

The apparent cyber heist of of $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank's U.S. account may cause some people to question the security of online banking. While the online theft prompted SWIFT - a cooperative owned by 3,000 financial institutions around the world -- to make sure banks are following recommended security practices, the incident also could have ramifications for banking customers worldwide. more»

Working With ICANN's IRT and Not Against is in Order

ICANN realized during the Mexico City public meeting that its draft proposals for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) did not take sufficient account of the trademark problems that might arise if the new top level domains become havens for cybersquatters. ICANN sensibly asked the trademark and brand owners to propose rules and procedures that might address these problems... more»