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»

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»

Verizon Awarded More Than $33M in Largest Cybersquatting Case

In the largest cybersquatting judgment ever, a federal court in the Northern District of California has awarded Verizon $33.15 million in a case in which an Internet domain registration company tried to take advantage of Verizon and Verizon customers by using Internet names chosen to be easily confused with legitimate Verizon names. The default ruling came in a case filed by Verizon against OnlineNIC, a company based in San Francisco that had unlawfully registered at least 663 domain names that were either identical to or confusingly similar to Verizon trademarks. 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»

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»

Here's the Largest URS Complaint Ever Filed

A complaint under the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) may -- like the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) -- include more than one domain name, but few URS complaints have done so. Now, one new URS case just changed everything. In the largest URS case ever filed, an expert at the Forum ordered the suspension of 474 domain names in a single proceeding. more»

Facebook-owned Instagram Wants Domain Deal Upheld

Facebook-owned Instagram has filed legal proceedings in the US to have a 2011 domain name purchase of 'instagram.com' upheld and block a 'sham' lawsuit in China. more»

Creating, Protecting and Defending Brand Equity - Part 1

Trademark laws exist around the world to facilitate the use, registration and protection of your brand. With the incredible growth of the internet and the surge in global commerce it has helped produce, the importance of having a recognizable name has grown. In tandem, the risk of infringement, the threat of someone else trading on or benefiting from someone else's brand equity, has also grown. While it is easier than ever to create a global brand, the challenges involved in protecting the equity it creates have increased. 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»

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»

Does ICANN's UDRP Preserve Free Speech and Allow Room for Criticism?

The phenomenal growth of the Internet has resulted in a proliferation of domain names. The explosion of '.com' registrations coincided with an increase in domain name disputes, and with it the legal branch of intellectual property devolved into virtual mayhem. ICANN's Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) was created... The UDRP was brought into force in October 1999, and it can be said that it has contributed handily to the resolution of domain name disputes. However, deeper investigation into the UDRP paints a different picture. more»

Dot-Com is Still King - of Domain Name Disputes

Despite the launch of more than 1,200 new gTLDs, .com remains far and away the most popular top-level domain involved in domain name disputes. In 2016, .com domain names represented 66.82 percent of all gTLD disputes at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the only domain name dispute provider that publishes real-time statistics. And, as of this writing, the rate is even higher so far in 2017, with .com domain names accounting for 69.78 percent of all disputes. more»

Parsing Domain Names Composed of Random Letters for Proof of Cybersquatting

The Respondent's cry of pain in AXA SA v. Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc. / Ugurcan Bulut, axathemes, D2016-1483 (WIPO December 12, 2016) "[w]hat do you want from me people? I already removed all the files from that domain and it's empty. What else do you want me to do???" raises some interesting questions. "A," "x," and "a" is an unusual string of letters but unlike other iconic strings such as "u," "b" and "s" and "i", "b" and "m" for example that started their lives as the first letters of three-word brands AXA is not an acronym. 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»

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»