Cybersquatting

Cybersquatting / Recently Commented

ICANN Board: You Got It Right. Then You Got It Wrong. Now, Get It Right Again.

The ICANN Board has itself in a pretty pickle. The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) Consultancy with the Board in Brussels was an apparent non-starter. After hundreds of man-hours' worth of comments provided by the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC), the Board continues to claim that it lacks sufficient information on trademark issues in order to respond to concerns. more»

A Tribute to the STI (Special Trademarks Initiative Team)

In the ICANN world, our relations are often a little tumultuous, as policy-making bodies can be. As I look back on my experiences over the last decade at ICANN (and many committees, working groups and task forces), one stands out for its quality, dedication, professionalism and hard work. That's the Special Trademarks Initiatives Working Team, or the STI. I was proud to be a part of the Team as an Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group (NCSG) representative, and this tribute reflects my high regard for the Team and the recommendations it produced. more»

2010 Domain Name Year in Review - Oh, What A Year It Was!

Many of us were expecting radical changes in 2010 to the domain name market. There definitely were some of those -- just not the ones I expected. From the seizure of domains names by the US Government to ICANN's removal of restrictions on Registry/Registrar cross-ownership, 2010 was a year full of surprises. In this post, I've compiled what I think were the biggest domain name stories in 2010. 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»

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»

Who Is Blocking WHOIS? Part 2

We have just returned from the Brussels, Belgium ICANN meeting where we released our Registrar audit, the Internet "Doomsday Book." There are many topics covered in the report, but we wanted to follow up specifically on the issue of WHOIS access and add data to our previous column Who Is Blocking WHOIS? which covered Registrar denial of their contracted obligation to support Port 43 WHOIS access. more»

Wildcarding Subdomains Is OK; Reverse Domain Name Hijacking Isn't - Goforit v. Digimedia

This is a super-interesting dispute involving two not-so-interesting litigants. The plaintiff Goforit runs a type of meta-search engine at goforit.com. After spending 5 minutes at the site, I couldn't identify a single reason why anyone would want to use it. Also inexplicably, Goforit appears to be quite pleased with its trademark rights in "Goforit," a term that seems more like an exhortation than a trademark. more»

Implications of ICANN's New TLD Disqualification Policies and Cybersquatting 3-Strike Law

ICANN's proposed final applicant guidebook unraveled some new policies that would disqualify applicants from the new TLD program. ICANN states that if you lose 3 UDRP cases, you will be disqualified from being a major shareholder, partner, officer, director of a new top-level domain registry... Has ICANN opened a new can of worms with the 3-strike rule? more»

Understand the Value of Defensive Domain Registrations

The bulk of corporate domain portfolios largely consist of defensive registrations which often include common misspellings, product names, and abbreviations in countries where they may not even be doing business. More than ever, with the launch of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) expected to occur next year, companies are now taking a hard look at their defensive holdings and asking themselves whether or not they really need all of these registrations. more»

NAF Panelists and Complainants Caught Systematically Copying/Pasting Nonsense Into UDRP Decisions

In a recent article at DomainNameWire.com, CitizenHawk was called out by a National Arbitration Forum (NAF) panelist for the submission of automated complaints which contained complete nonsense. Through the discussion in the comments to that article, the community discovered that the problem is far deeper. It turns out that UDRP panelists at NAF have been churning out boilerplate cut/paste decisions of their own, with utter nonsense of their own, and that this has been going on for years. more»

U.S. Uses Domain Names As New Way to Regulate the Net

Governments have long sought ways to regulate Internet activity, whether for the purposes of taxation, content regulation, or the application of national laws. Effective regulatory measures have often proven elusive, however, since, unlike the Internet, national laws typically end at the border. Earlier this month, the United States began to move aggressively toward a new way of confronting the Internet's jurisdictional limitations - the domain name system. more»

Policy Failure Enables Mass Malware: Part II (ICANN and OnlineNIC)

On Wednesday September 29th at 1PM there will be a meeting in the Old Executive Building in Washington D.C. with Registries and domain Registrars to discuss illegal Internet sales of prescription drugs. ICANN was originally invited but declined because citing "inappropriateness" . One "U.S." Registrar who definitely will not be in attendance is OnlineNIC more»

ccIDNs: So Many Choices, So Little Time

As a result of ICANN's IDN ccTLD Fast Track process, which was launched in November of last year, a number of new ccIDNs (Country Code Internationalized Domain Names) have been successfully added to the root including: China (.中国, .中國), Egypt (.مصر), Hong Kong (.香港 ), Russia (.рф), Saudi Arabia (.السعودية), Taiwan (.台湾, .台灣) and the UAE (.امارات). ... With so many new registration possibilities available, and several Sunrise periods quickly approaching, many corporate domain managers are asking themselves whether new registrations should be added to portfolios which are already bursting at the seams. more»

Domain Names as Second-Class Citizens

A new book by Dr. Konstantinos Komaitis (Lecturer in Law at the University of Strathclyde) provides a passionate yet legalistic and well-researched overview of the legal, institutional and ethical problems caused by the clash between domain names and trademarks. This is really the first decent book-length treatment of what is now a decade and a half of legal and political conflict between domain name registrants and trademark holders. more»

Brand Protection Domain Registrations: There Are More Than You Think

One of the major problems for brand owners is protecting the brand in new TLDs. Most new Top-Level Domain (TLD) registries will depend on brand protection registrations for a major part of their registration volume and some may become almost completely dependent on these registrations if the new TLD fails to capture the public's imagination. Short of comparing the registrant data for each individual domain, there is no 100% accurate method of measuring the level of brand protection registrations in a TLD. more»