Intellectual Property

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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

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

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

Google Can, at Least for Now, Disregard Canadian Court Order Requiring Deindexing Worldwide

U.S. federal court issues preliminary injunction, holding that enforcement of Canadian order requiring Google to remove search results would run afoul of the Communications Decency Act... Canadian company Equustek prevailed in litigation in Canada against rival Datalink on claims relating to trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition. After the litigation, Equustek asked Google to remove Datalink search results worldwide. Google initially refused altogether... 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

Trademark Rights Paramount to Contract Rights for Domain Names

UDRP decisions come down from providers (principally from WIPO and the Forum) at the rate of 7 to 10 a day. Complainants mostly prevail; this is because in 90% of the cases (more or less that percentage) respondents have no plausible defense and generally don't bother appearing, although default alone is not conclusive of cybersquatting; there must be evidence of infringement. When complainants do not prevail, it is not because they lack rights... more

Will October Be Our Biggest Month Yet for .brand TLDs?

I'll admit I tend to get evangelical when I'm talking about .brands. To me and the team at Neustar, every development in this space is exciting and significant and we're always eager to share the latest news and insights. But you don't have to be a .brands nut to see that the last few weeks have shown some serious signs of momentum. And it makes me wonder, with everything that's developed in just the last week or two, could we be set for October to be the biggest month in .brands we've ever seen? more

One Week Left for the Upcoming Brands and Domains Conference

There is only less than one week left for the second edition of the Brands and Domains conference to take place in The Hague, Netherlands, at the Amrath Kurhaus. The domaining conference will be held during the 2nd and 3rd of October, 'the place to be' for all those whose companies are interested in developing the so-called dotBrands. More than 500 companies have already requested their dotBrand domain, and many of them are already using it, but it is 'together' how we can move forward... more

Beware of Extra Fees in UDRP Proceedings

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is known as an inexpensive alternative to litigation (and that's true), but some proceedings can end up costing a trademark owner more than it may have expected. There are generally two additional types of expenses that can arise during the course of a UDRP proceeding: (1) extra filing fees for certain aspects of a case filed at the Forum, and (2) an increased filing fee if the domain name registrant wants a three-member panel to decide the case. more

Upcoming Brands and Domains Conference to Explore Various Views on DotBrands

After its first edition in Valencia, Brands and Domains will travel this time to the Netherlands where the second conference will take place from the 2nd to 3rd of October 2017. This time, Dot Stories, the main organizer, chose the Hotel Amrath Kurhaus for the event. Nowadays, more than 600 applicants hold already the right to start their own dot brand, but there are not so many who have been brave enough to use it. more

Is a New Set of Governance Mechanism Necessary for the New gTLDs?

In order to be able to reply to the question of whether a new set of governance mechanisms are necessary to regulate the new Global Top Level Domains (gTLDs), one should first consider how efficiently the current Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has performed and then move to the evaluation of the Implementations Recommendations Team (ITR) recommendations. more

Trademark Registrations on the 'Supplemental Register' Don't Count (in Domain Name Disputes)

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) has never required that a complainant own any trademark registrations to succeed in a domain name dispute, given that common law trademark rights (if properly established) are sufficient. But, as a pair of recent UDRP decisions reminds us, even some registrations are inadequate. The issue relates to the first element of every UDRP complaint, which requires the party seeking relief to prove that the "domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark... more

The URS Also Applies to These Top-Level Domains

The Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) is often described as a domain name dispute policy that applies to the new gTLDs. While that's true, the URS is actually broader than that. The URS (a quick and inexpensive policy that allows a trademark owner to obtain the temporary suspension of a domain name) applies to more than just the new gTLDs, that is, those top-level domains that are a part of ICANN's 2012 domain name expansion. more

Nation Scale Internet Filtering — Do's and Don'ts

If a national government wants to prevent certain kinds of Internet communication inside its borders, the costs can be extreme and success will never be more than partial. VPN and tunnel technologies will keep improving as long as there is demand, and filtering or blocking out every such technology will be a never-ending game of one-upmanship. Everyone knows and will always know that determined Internet users will find a way to get to what they want, but sometimes the symbolic message is more important than the operational results. more

News Briefs

EFF Warns ICANN Not to Engage in Censorship, Says It Should Stick to Technical Role

Civil Society Groups Call for Deletion of Internet Filtering Provision in EU Copyright Proposal

EFF Cautions Against Unfair TLD Policies, Offers Advice on Choosing New gTLDs for Best Protection

Domain Registrations in New TLDs Overwhelmingly for Defensive Purposes, INTA Study

Cycling Legend Greg LeMond Sues Cybersquatters Upward of $6.6 Million

Feds Shut Down Largest File-Sharing Site KickassTorrents - Founder Arrested, Domains Seized

Thomson Reuters in Definitive Agreement to Sell Intellectual Property Unit Including MarkMonitor

UK Bill Ups Prison Term for Online Piracy from 2 to 10 Years

Internet Governance Forum USA 2016 on Thursday, July 14

ICANN Says It Will Not Get Directly Involved With Infringing Domains

WIPO Reports Rise in Cybersquatting Cases, Triggered by New gTLDs

TLD Operators Should Not Police Content, Says EFF

Google Received 65.9 Million Take Down Requests Last Month, Company Reports

European Parliament Backs Resolution to Break Up Search Giant

US Should Take More Aggressive Counter-Measures On IP Theft, Including Use of Malware

Domain Seizures for Copyright Infringement Likely to Move Beyond U.S. Based Registries

Feds Shut Down File-Sharing Website Megaupload.com, Seven People Charged

Protect IP Act to Be Amended in Response to Pressure from Technical Community

Over 80 Internet Inventors and Engineers Send Open Letter to US Congress

ISOC Joins Opposition to Stop Online Piracy Act

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