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Domain Names / Featured Blogs

Vulnerabilities of Weak Marks and Uncurated Websites

Dictionary words, alone, combined as phrases, modified by other parts of speech, and single letters that function as marks also retain in parallel their common associations that others may use without offending third-party rights. As a rule of thumb, generic terms are not registrable as marks until they perceivably cross a threshold to suggestive and higher classifications. more

ICANN Issues Guidance to Domain Registrars and Registries in Light of Hurricane Maria

ICANN has issued a guidance notice to registrars and registries in relation to Hurricane Maria, which caused massive damage throughout the Caribbean. This isn't the first time that this has happened, with a previous incident in Asia triggering action from both registrars and registries to give domain name registrants impacted by the natural disaster breathing space. more

UDRPs Filed - Brand Owners Take Note

After being in the domain industry for over 15 years, there aren't too many things that catch me by surprise, but recently a few UDRP filings have me scratching my head. Both ivi.com and ktg.com have had UDRPs filed against them, and I have to say for anyone holding a valuable domain name, it's a cautionary tale and one that should have folks paying attention to the outcome of each. more

When UDRP Consolidation Requests Go Too Far

Although including multiple domain names in a single UDRP complaint can be a very efficient way for a trademark owner to combat cybersquatting, doing so is not always appropriate. One particularly egregious example involves a case that originally included 77 domain names -- none of which the UDRP panel ordered transferred to the trademark owner, simply because consolidation against the multiple registrants of the domain names was improper. more

Apple (Not Surprisingly) is Not a Cybersquatter

It's highly unusual for a well-known trademark owner to be accused of cybersquatting, but that's what happened when a Mexican milk producer filed a complaint against Apple Inc. under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) in an attempt to get the domain name lala.com. Not only did Apple win the case, but the panel issued a finding of "reverse domain name hijacking" (RDNH) against the company that filed the complaint. more

Confusing Similarity of Domain Names is Only a 'Standing Requirement' Under the UDRP

WIPO's newest overview of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) succinctly states what decisions have made clear through the years: The UDRP's first test is only a "standing requirement." Standing, under the law, simply means that a person or company is qualified to assert a legal right. It does not mean or imply that one will necessarily prevail on any claims. The UDRP includes a well-known three-part test that all trademark owners must satisfy to prevail, but the first element has a low threshold. more

Reverse Domain Hijacking Where Complainant Knew but Did Not Disclose Geographic Significance of Mark

In the case of Oy Vallila Interior Ab v. Linkz Internet Services, a 3-member WIPO Panel denied the Complainant's efforts to have the disputed domain name vallila.com transferred because the Complainant did not prove that the Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith. The Complainant is in the business of providing fabrics and interior design services and claimed trademark rights in its registered mark VALLILA in the European Union. more

Losing a UDRP Case: Questionable Decision or Questionable Submission?

Complainants naturally want to prevail on their claims of alleged infringing conduct and respondents (when they appear) naturally do their best to resist having their domain names taken from them in proceedings under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), but their success depends on their submitting the right constituents of fact and proof. In a forum that has adjudicated over 60,000 cases, it would be surprising if there were no questionable or badly reasoned decisions. more

Brands and Domains Conference Recap

The best and most knowledgeable experts of dot Brand met in the Brands and Domains conference, on October 2 and 3 in the Hague, Netherlands. Brand and project owners were also present, coming from all around the world -- from Australia or Japan to the USA and Canada. The keynote by Georges-Edouard Dias, CEO of Quantstreams and founder of the concept of brand hospitality, explained how customers are not anymore the targets of brands. more

Popular ccTLDs for Domain Name Disputes

As I've written before, the registry operators for many country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) have adopted the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) or a variation of it, while other ccTLDs have crafted their own dispute policies, or none at all. Although no ccTLD appears as frequently as .com in domain name disputes, it's interesting to see which ccTLDs are subject to dispute the most often. more

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