Domain Names

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Cybersquatting & Banking: How Financial Services Industry Can Protect Itself Online (Free Webinar)

Businesses in the financial services sector are among the most frequent targets of cybersquatters. In this free webinar, I will be joining Craig Schwartz of fTLD Registry Services to provide important information about how domain name fraud is affecting the financial services industries, including banking and insurance, and what businesses and consumers can do to protect themselves online. more»

Warranties and Representations on Purchasing Domain Names: What are they Worth?

The WIPO Final Report published in April 1999, from which sprung the UDRP the following October, is useful in shedding light on what the assembled constituencies had in mind in agreeing to particularly contentious issues. One of those issues was whether registrants had to actively search trademark records before purchasing domain names. Other than paragraph 2 of the Policy which codifies registrants' representations, there is no guidance as to what registrants must do... more»

The Future of Domain Name Dispute Policies: The Journey Begins

A just-launched ICANN "working group" (of which I am a member) will - eventually - help to determine the future of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), the 17-year-old domain name arbitration system that has been embraced by trademark owners and criticized by some domainers; as well as the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS), the new (and limited) arbitration process that applies to the new gTLDs. more»

Trademark Owners' Rights to Corresponding Earlier Registered Domain Names

As I pointed out in last week's essay, having trademark rights that come into existence later than registrations of corresponding domain names only gets complainants to first base; they have standing but no actionable claim. I also noted a nuance (not a difference in substance) in standing requirements between the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). However, standing depends upon the specific facts of the case... more»

Even Lawyers Have Domain Name Problems

No industry is immune from cybersquatting - not even the legal industry. In three recent (and unrelated) UDRP decisions, law firms won decisions ordering the transfer of domain names that contain their trademarks. One of the cases involved Alston & Bird, the large law firm where I began my legal career and first learned about domain name disputes 20 years ago. As the UDRP decision describes it, Alston & Bird is a well-known law firm founded in 1893 with offices throughout the world. more»

Quintessential and Other Acts of Bad Faith in Acquiring Domain Names

There are two essential differences between the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), one procedural and one substantive. The procedural difference is quite minor, a mere quirk that Panels adopted by consensus in the early days of the UDRP and deserves no more than a footnote. Under the UDRP, complainants have standing on proof that they have trademark rights when they file their complaints... more»

ICANN Fails Consumers (Again)

In its bid to be free of U.S. government oversight ICANN is leaning on the global multistakeholder community as proof positive that its policy-making comes from the ground up. ICANN's recent response to three U.S. senators invokes the input of "end users from all over the world" as a way of explaining how the organization is driven. Regardless of the invocation of the end user (and it must be instinct) ICANN cannot seem to help reaching back and slapping that end user across the face. more»

The New Marketing Vanguard: Domain Extensions (nTLDs)

Back in 2014, hundreds of new Top Level Domains (nTLDs) rolled out into availability. This means that the .com, .gov, and .org extensions that are typically used for business domains were joined by a multitude of other, more specialized extensions such as .attorney, .cars, and .recipes. As a channel partner, it's crucial to know how these new units will influence your presence online. more»

Split UDRP Decisions on (Almost) Identical Domain Names

A company called Rocketgate PR LLC, which owns a U.S. registration for the trademark ROCKETPAY, filed two UDRP complaints on the same date against two different domain name registrants - for the domain names and . (The only difference is that the latter domain name is plural.) In both cases, the disputed domain names were associated with inactive websites. The UDRP cases were assigned to two different panelists, who issued their decisions one day apart. more»

No Barrier to Reading Across the Dot with New TLDs and Trademark Infringements

Even before the introduction of new top level domains in 2014, Panels had grappled with the before and after the dot issue with country code suffixes. The traditional procedure is to compare the characters of the accused domain names with the characters of trademarks for identity or confusing similarity. But this did not exclude the possibility of reading across the dot. more»

Usage Trumps Registrations: Why Past TLDs Failed and Why Many Will Follow in Their Path

First of all I am biased. I am a common sense thinker who tries to analyze risk and reward based on societal trends and conventional wisdom. Watching the new gTLDs (generic Top Level Domains) launch over the last 2 years reminds me of the circus we are now seeing in the U.S. election. Myself, a self-proclaimed libertarian, can now be labeled as the establishment, while the so called "outsiders" act and behave like they are not politicians yet seem to be masters of messaging and propaganda. more»

U.S. Congressional Trademark Caucus Haggles Over Price

It was standing-room-only at the Congressional Trademark Caucus session in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, April 6. The topic, brand protection in the new top level internet domain names, is still, it seems, a draw. With nearly two years' experience and statistical evidence of far fewer problems at far lower costs to brand owners than opponents of the program said would occur, it might be expected that the tone would cool. But the price of peace, I guess, remains eternal vigilance. more»

One We've Been Waiting For: Google Switches TLD Registrar to .Google Domain Name

If you've read my posts before you'll be well aware that as a strong advocate for .brands and the power they have to revolutionise digital marketing effectiveness, I am always eager to share some love with organisations that have taken the leap and launched their .brand TLDs. In recent months we've seen diverse and exciting examples from BMW, the Australian Football League and CERN - just to name a notable few. I have the privilege of advising some of the world's largest companies on their .brand strategy, but one recurring question I hear is "When will we see .google and how will they use it?" more»

Running the Gamut: Commentary, Criticism, Tarnishment, Disparagement, and Defamation

The two bookends of speaking one's mind are commentary and criticism, which is indisputably acceptable as protected speech, and (in order of abuse) tarnishment and disparagement. Defamation, which is a stage beyond disparagement, is not actionable under the UDRP, although tarnishment and disparagement may be. In ICANN's lexicon, tarnishment is limited in meaning to "acts done with intent to commercially gain" (Second Staff Report, October 24, 2009, footnote 2). more»

Why Overseas Registries Shouldn't Worry About China's New Domain Name Regulation

On March 25th, 2016, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) officially posted its revisions to the "Chinese Measures for the Administration of Domain Names" (2016 edition) for public comment. A decade has gone by since the latest administration measures were introduced in 2004 (2004 edition). Registries and registrars have been longing to see this update for a while, and it is therefore no surprise that the new edition has drawn substantial attention at home and abroad. more»

News Briefs

China's Draft Rule Targets Domain Name Supervision, Could Limit Access to Foreign Sites

WIPO Reports Rise in Cybersquatting Cases, Triggered by New gTLDs

TLD Operators Should Not Police Content, Says EFF

Facebook-owned Instagram Wants Domain Deal Upheld

Close to 3.1 Million Domain Names Registered in the Third Quarter of 2015

Sony Uses Brand TLD '.sony' for Bond Game Site

Harm Caused by Typosquatting Is Still Modest, Research Suggests

Newly Released "Domain Name Arbitration" Book Offers Guide for Navigating UDRP

Megaupload Domains Seized by FBI Now Link to Scam Ads and Malware Due to Renewal Failure

FTC Puts Burden Back on ICANN Concerning .Sucks Dilemma

China's New Law Could Severely Damper Domain Name Registrations

2017, Year of Consolidation for Domain Name Market, AFNIC Study Suggests

Placing New Domain Names in Temporary "Penalty Box" Could Deter Malicious Use, Says Paul Vixie

A Look at the Current State of ccTLDs, Particularly in Europe

ICANN Asks U.S. Federal Trade Commission Whether .SUCK is Violating Any Laws

M3AAWG Releases Anti-Abuse Best Common Practices for Hosting and Cloud Service Providers

Internet Grew by 4 Million Domains in 4Q 2014, Reaching 288 Million Worldwide

Governments Concerned Over ICANN's Complex, Lengthy and Ambiguous Processes

A Unique Seven-Month Long Study of the Typosquatting Landscape

Google Unleashes Domain Name Registration Service

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