Domain Names

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Could a Vanity URL Strategy with Your .Brand Be the Key to Supercharging Your SEO?

I feel incredibly lucky to work every day with some of the biggest, most recognised and most innovative organisations from around the world on developing strategies for their .brand TLDs. In this capacity, I also have the privilege to meet some of the most knowledgeable and forward-thinking experts in branding, digital marketing, web development and technology, to name a few. One such person is the brilliantly talented Matt Dorville. more»

Timing Is All: Cybersquatting or Mark Owner Overreaching?

Admittedly, timing is not altogether "all" since there's a palette of factors that go into deciding unlawful registrations of domain names, and a decision as to whether a registrant is cybersquatting or a mark owner overreaching, is likely to include a number of them, but timing is nevertheless fundamental in determining the outcome. Was the mark in existence before the domain name was registered? Is complainant relying on an unregistered mark? What was complainant's reputation when the domain name was registered? What proof does complainant have that registrant had knowledge of its mark? Simply to have a mark is not conclusive of a right to the domain name. more»

Market Flatlines After ICANN Introduces New gTLDs

The choices for consumers and business in Europe to get themselves online have never been so great. Social media, apps and blogsites all have made a lasting impression, and we are now in an increasingly crowded market with the addition of hundreds of new gTLDs. So how has all this affected growth and market shares among domain names in Europe? more»

Thoughts on the Proposed Copyright Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy

A proposal from the Domain Name Association (DNA) would provide copyright owners with a new tool to fight online infringement -- but the idea is, like other efforts to protect intellectual property rights on the Internet, proving controversial. The proposed Copyright Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy is one of four parts of the DNA's "Healthy Domains Initiative" (HDI). more»

Narcotics Traffic Is Not Part of a Healthy Domain System

A stack contrast is emerging within the DNS between providers who tolerate blatantly illegal domain use and those who do not. Our study, just published here focuses on five U.S.-based providers, their policies, and their response to reports of opioid traffic within their registry or registrar. There are many providers, not covered here, who removed hundreds of domains selling opioids and I applaud their efforts. more»

Healthy Domains Initiative Isn't Healthy for the Internet

We had high hopes that the Domain Name Association's Healthy Domains Initiative (HDI) wouldn't be just another secretive industry deal between rightsholders and domain name intermediaries. Toward that end, we and other civil society organizations worked in good faith on many fronts to make sure HDI protected Internet users as well. Those efforts seem to have failed. more»

How to Suspend a .US Domain Name

Although rarely used, the usTLD Rapid Suspension Dispute Policy (usRS) allows a trademark owner to seek the suspension of a domain name in the .us country-code top-level domain (ccTLD). The usRS has many things in common with the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS), which applies to domain names in the new generic top-level domains (gTLD). more»

Websites Are Dead. Long Live Websites.

Remember not very long ago when social media experts were preaching the value of a Facebook page over a website? It was not uncommon to be told to dump your website altogether in favor of a Facebook page and Twitter feed. Why bother with HTML when you could simply hashtag your way to global success? My how times have changed. more»

Domain Name Association Outlines Healthy Practices as Part of Key Initiative

The domain name system is in good health. But it's about to get even better. The Domain Name Association (DNA), the Internet domain industry's trade association, undertook an effort in 2016 it named the Healthy Domains Initiative (HDI). It's an ambitious, self-motivated effort to build on the DNS' already secure and stable platform and meet select challenges head-on, before they develop. more»

Next gTLD Round - A Seven Year Itch?

Five years ago today, the ICANN Board committed to opening a second application window for the New gTLD Program as expeditiously as possible. The same resolution also directed the ICANN CEO to publish a document describing the work plan required prior to initiating a second application window. Ask a Board member or ICANN staff when they expect the next application window to open, and they will inevitably suggest 2020 -- another three years away. more»

Identical or Confusingly Similar to Trademarks but Noninfringing Domain Names

Domain names may be confusingly similar to trademarks or even identical or but not infringing. This is particularly true of trademarks acquired later than the allegedly infringing domain names ArcBest Corporation v. Domains By Proxy, LLC, Registration Private / Vernon Troupe, D2016-2381 (WIPO January 13, 2017) (<arcbest.com>, in which "ark" is a contraction of "Arkansas"), but it can also apply to marks composed of common element that predate domain name registration... more»

Are Domain Names Contract of Services or Property Rights?

There are several perspectives from which one can give various answers to the question of 'what are domain names?'. Originally the domain name system started and continues to be a human-friendly way of addressing to a set of machines or specific machine connected to the Internet. Hence, from the technical perspective, a domain name is simply an address consisting of a combination of alphanumeric and symbols to communicate with a machine which also happens to be hosting certain services in form of data and information on it. more»

When a 'Response Fee' is Required in a URS Case

Although filing fees in domain name disputes are usually paid for by the trademark owner that files a complaint, the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) contains a little-noticed provision that, in large cases, requires the domain name registrant to pay a fee to defend itself. The so-called "Response Fee" is only required in URS cases that include 15 or more disputed domain names. more»

When to Consider 'Both Sides of the Dot' in a Domain Name Dispute

In the case, filed by Michelin, the panel found the domain name 'tyre.plus' confusingly similar to the trademark TYREPLUS. Specifically, the panel wrote: "If one ignores the 'dot' between the Second-Level Domain ('tyre') and the Top-Level Domain ('plus'), the mark and the Domain Name are identical..." It's an issue that's arising with increasing frequency -- just as I had predicted. more»

Counterfeit Marks and Counterfeit Goods: Pretense in Cyberspace

The term "counterfeit" is defined under U.S. trademark law as "a spurious mark which is identical with, or substantially indistinguishable from, a registered mark." 15 U.S.C. § 1127 (Lanham Act, Sec. 45). Used as a noun, domain names ultimately found to have been registered in bad faith make their registrants cybersquatters by definition. But more commonly we encounter counterfeiting as an adjective as it applies to spurious goods (counterfeit goods) -- "made in exact imitation of something valuable or important with the intention to deceive or defraud." more»

News Briefs

SBI, One of India's Largest Banks, Switching Its Domain to Branded TLD, bank.sbi

Pakistan to Get Its Country TLD in Urdu

Thick Whois Policy for .COM Goes Live

CADNA Returns to Lobby for Stronger Cybersquatting Laws

New Technique Detects and Eliminates Abusive Domains at Time of Registration

.COM Registrations Continue to Rise, Unphased by New gTLDs, ICANN Study Reveals

Close to 7.9 Million Domain Names Registered in Q2 2016

AusRegistry Celebrates 30th Anniversary of .au

ICANN Publishes gTLD Statistics and Trends Report, Asks for Community Feedback

12 Million New Domains Registered in Frist Quarter 2016, Total Domains Reach 326.4 Million Worldwide

ICANN Says It Will Not Get Directly Involved With Infringing Domains

ICANN to Extend Verisign .COM Registry Contract for Another Six Years

Neustar Announces Intention to Separate Into Two Independent and Publicly Traded Companies

Sweden Makes its TLD Zone File Publicly Available

PirateBay Domains to Be Handed over to the State, Swedish Court Rules

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

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