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Domain Names / Featured Blogs

Exceedingly Close and Difficult UDRP Cases

The ordinary run of cybersquatting cases is neither "exceedingly close nor difficult." Quote from Harvest Dispensaries, Cultivations & Production Facilities, LLC v. Rebecca Nickerson / Rock City Harvest, FA2004001892080 (Forum June 26, 2020) which is one of those rare cases in which the case was exceedingly close and difficult. For 90% of the docket (the percentage has been creeping up since 2016), even when Respondent appears (which it mostly does not), there is neither a defense nor merit to Respondent's contentions. more

When is Similarity Confusing? Cybersquatting and Abusive Registration

The case I'm reporting on today has garnered attention from a number of quarters. One commentator, Andrew Allemann tells us that "[he's] struggling with this UDRP decision" and Nat Cohen of Telepathy Inc. in a couple of Tweets and a private conversation is concerned that the holding could be a Trojan Horse by erasing the distinction between merely confusing and confusingly similar. The problem centers on the Panel's holding that everyfamily.org is confusingly similar to EVERYTOWN... more

Is Booking.com a Generic Term?

A fundamental rule of trademarks is that they have to be distinctive, and that nobody can register a trademark on a generic term like "wine" or "plastic." In a case decided today by the U.S. Supreme Court, the court decided 8-1 that online travel agent Booking.com could register its domain name as a trademark. In this case, I think the majority got it wrong, and Justice Breyer's lone dissent is correct. more

ICANN Registrar Stakeholder Group Leadership Handover

The ICANN Registrar Stakeholder Group (RrSG) is one of several stakeholder groups within the ICANN community and is the representative body of ICANN accredited domain name registrars. It is a diverse and active group that works to ensure the interests of registrars and their customers are effectively advanced. The leadership team (ExCom) consists of five officers who manage the Registrar Stakeholder Group. more

Online Businesses to Benefit from Supreme Court "Booking.com" Ruling

Today, in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com, the Supreme Court of the United States has affirmed that generic terms including .com domain names may be trademarked when consumers do not perceive the mark to signify the class of services, with heightened distinctiveness and recognition attributable to top-level domains that add meaning like .club, .guru, and .vip. more

Asserting but Not Proving Cybersquatting Under the UDRP

Having trademarks (registered or unregistered) is the prerequisite for maintaining a UDRP, but having one is not conclusive of either Respondent’s lack of rights or legitimate interests or that it registered and is using the domain name in bad faith. The cautionary tale in many of these cases, especially for the Complainant who has the burden of proof, is that it has to satisfy each of the elements in the three subsections... more

Building a New Era of Trust on the Internet

Since Tim Berners-Lee first introduced us to the world wide web, we have seen several major phases of its growth. From the early years -- where researchers and open Internet pioneers led the way; to the dot-com boom; to the era of social media domination; the web has come a long way. While the pandemic circling the globe has undermined many critical systems and institutions of our society, I believe it also has the potential to strengthen is the resolve of the Internet community... more

Article 22 of the GDPR Should Not Preclude Contemplated Automation

There is an ongoing disagreement among various members and groups in the ICANN community regarding automation -- namely, whether and to what extent automation can be used to disclose registrant data in response to legitimate data disclosure requests. A major contributing factor to the complications around automation has been confusion about how to interpret and apply Article 22 of the GDPR. more

Your Domain Name Does Matter in Search Results – Microsoft Says So!

I stumbled upon a study conducted by Microsoft eons ago back in the paleolithic era of search; 2012... It is about how "premium domains" are perceived by the consumer when seeing them in the search results compared to a lower value "non-premium" domain. I like to use quotations sparingly, but I felt it was necessary because the varying opinions on premium v non-premium domains is a bridge I do not want to cross in this post.  more

Top-Level Domain Bias in Search Engine Indexing and Rankings

As a search engine optimization (SEO) and domain name consultant, one of the questions I get asked most often about domain names is whether or not the domain name or TLD (Top-Level Domain) matters. Will the domain name ending have an effect on SEO or search engine rankings. Are certain domain name endings preferred by the search engines over other domain name extensions? I decided to answer this question... more

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