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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»

Do Trade Names Qualify as Trade Marks for Purposes of the UDRP?

Naming is the first imperative. It precedes the launching of new lives as much as it does new businesses. Names secure a presence, and for businesses in the marketplace names can grow into trademarks, if they function like one. Are we not sometimes made aware that not all names are equally distinctive, and that some of them are distinctly commonplace? more»

Trademark Owner Loses Two Domain Name Disputes - On Same Domain Name

I've said many times that winning a domain name dispute under the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) is much more challenging than under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). But, that doesn't mean trademark owners should take the UDRP for granted. One complainant learned that lesson an especially hard way -- first by losing a URS determination and then by losing a UDRP decision on the same domain name. more»

What It Takes to Prove Common Law Rights in UDRP Complaints

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy now has seventeen years of history. A high percentage of disputes are indefensible and generally undefended. As the history lengthens, early registrants of dictionary word-, common phrase-, and arbitrary letter-domain names have been increasing challenged in two circumstances, namely by businesses who claim to have used the unregistered terms before respondents registered them and later by emerging businesses with no history prior to the registrations of the domain names. more»

Registered Your DMCA Contact Address Yet?

It is not much of an exaggeration to say that the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998 makes the Internet as we know it possible. The DMCA created a safe harbor that protects online service providers from copyright suits so long as they follow the DMCA rules. One of the rules is that the provider has to register with the Copyright Office to designate an agent to whom copyright complaints can be sent. The original process was rather klunky; send in a paper form that they scan into their database, along with a check. more»

Balancing Rights: Mark Owners, Emergent Businesses, and Investors

Is there any act more primary than naming? It comes before all else and makes possible what follows. For the most part, names are drawn from cultural assets: collections of words, geographic locations, family names, etc. They can be valuable, which is why they are guarded, protected, and hoarded. The balancing of rights among those competing for names is a deliberate feature of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). more»

How Should I Present .Brand Domains in Advertising? (Part 2)

Part 2: How do I choose the right option for my brand? In my previous article, I discussed the question of how to represent .brand domains in advertising. As you can imagine, it's a balancing act -- stimulating awareness of the domain, creating the desired customer behavior of the future using .brands, whilst ensuring that we are considerate to the fact that .brands are yet to hit mainstream awareness. Sounds simple right? more»

Brand Control: The Next Stage for Digital

Social and Digital Marketing are two of the fastest growing, and arguably the most important, pieces of branding today. According to eMarketer, 2017 digital marketing expenditures will account for 38.4% of total ad spending and are projected to be almost 45% by 2020. This is double what they were just a few years ago and growth doesn't seem to be slowing down. more»

The Limits of Notice and Takedown

In The Limits of Filtering, Evan Engstrom and Nick Feamster argue eloquently that the costs of a "takedown-staydown" system to defend against copyright infringement would be prohibitive for online service providers (OSPs) and therefore deprive OSPs of otherwise interested investors. I agree that Engstrom and Feamster raise some valid points, particularly including that content recognition technologies are not perfect... However, we must also remember that the current DMCA regime imposes significant costs... more»

In Whose Language? Cybersquatting by Foreigners

There are no gatekeepers to prevent registrants from acquiring domain names incorporating marks that potentially violate third-party rights. Anyone anywhere can acquire domain names composed of words and letters in languages not its own through a registrar whose registration agreement is in the language of the registrant. For example, a Chinese registrant of a domain name incorporating a Norwegian mark as in <statoil.store> in which Complainant requests the proceeding be in English notes that Chinese is not an official language in Norway. more»

How to Get a Domain Name Transferred Under the URS

The Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) is designed to get a domain name suspended, but in some cases this dispute policy can be used to help get a domain name transferred. It's an uncommon result but one that trademark owners may want to keep in mind. The suspension remedy is often viewed as the greatest limitation of the URS. Trademark owners that want to have a domain name transferred typically file a complaint under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) instead of the URS - but, the UDRP is more expensive and time-consuming. more»

Trademarks and Domain Names Composed of Common Terms

The lexical material from which trademarks are formed is drawn from the same social and cultural resources available to everyone else, which includes domain name registrants. Since trademarks are essentially a form of communication, it is unsurprising that a good number of them are composed of common terms (dictionary words, descriptive phrases, and shared expressions) that others may lawfully use for their own purposes. more»

How Long Does a URS Case Take?

The Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) -- which allows a trademark owner to suspend certain domain names, especially those in the "new" gTLDs -- was designed as a quicker and less-expensive alternative to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). As I've written frequently before, there are significant differences between the URS and the UDRP. One of those differences is how long a typical proceeding lasts. more»

News Briefs

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

Major ISPs in Australia Reveal Plans to Crack Down on Online Piracy

EFF: Court Refuses to Return Seized Domain Name

Americans Soon Facing Harsh Penalties for Illegal Downloads

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