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Prudential Settlements for Alleged Cybersquatting/Reverse Domain Name Hijacking Under the ACPA

Given the number of awards endlessly arriving from Panels appointed to decide cybersquatting disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) (ten to fifteen published daily), the sum total of grievants filing de novo challenges under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protect Act (ACPA) is remarkably small -- one or two at most in any single year; and those rarely proceeding to summary judgment or trial. more

CircleID's Top 10 Posts of 2018

It is once again time for our annual review of posts that received the most attention on CircleID during the past year. Congratulations to all the 2018 participants for sharing their thoughts and making a difference in the industry. more

Typosquatting as Per Se Cybersquatting Unless Proved Otherwise

The quintessence of typosquatting is syntactical variation: adding, omitting, replacing, substituting, and transposing words and letters. Since these minor variations are mostly indefensible, respondents rarely respond to complaints, although as I will explain in a moment there can also be innocent and good faith syntactical variations which are not typosquatting. It follows that if there are defenses, respondents should prudently respond and explain their choices because default generally favors complainants. more

2018 Domain Name Year in Review

Well, it's that time of year again. The time of year when I look back at all of the biggest domain news stories from the last twelve months, and also reflect on my predictions from last year. As expected, GDPR has had a major impact on the ability to access domain ownership information. And we did indeed see a number of M&A transactions over this last year. However, there wasn't a lot of new .Brand activity. This is one prediction where I may have missed the mark... more

The Hidden Perils of Filing a Baseless UDRP Complaint

When properly used, the UDRP enables trademark owners to take control of abusive domain names. Yet sometimes the UDRP itself is misused by trademark owners to try to seize desirable domain names to which they have no legal entitlement. Is there a downside to misusing the UDRP to attempt a domain name hijacking? Unscrupulous companies at times misuse the UDRP by improperly invoking its power to compel a transfer of ownership in order to seize inherently valuable, non-infringing domain names that the companies desire for their own use. more

Abusive Conduct: Domain Name Registrants and Rights Holders

Abusive conduct or cybersquatting is the essence of disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), usually by domain name registrants violating their warranties of registration but also (in appreciable numbers) by trademark holders overreaching their statutory rights. The UDRP remedies are asynchronous: there is forfeiture of offending domain names; for abusive use of the process there is reverse domain name hijacking (RDNH), essentially a shaming remedy that substitutes for a monetary penalty. more

Has President Macron Thrown Multistakeholderism Under the Bus at UN IGF 2018 Paris?

Today, President Macron threw down the gauntlet to President Trump and the US administration on Multistakeholderism. In his welcome address to IGF 2018 Paris a few hours ago, President Macron challenged IGF to become more relevant by reinventing itself in factoring in multilateralism into IGF's non-decision-making body and to move beyond the mere talk-ship lip service it has been for the last 13 years. more

Internet Watch Foundation Uses Hashes to Block Child Abuse Material

Last week during the ICANN meeting in Barcelona I attended a short presentation from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). Their mission is pretty simple: ...eliminate child sexual abuse imagery online. Fortunately, the presentation I was at did not include any of the actual material (which would have been illegal anyway) but even without seeing any of it the topic is one that I think most people find deeply disturbing. more

Law Enforcement Agencies Will Have Authority on Registries and Registrars

Accessing Whois information and acting on a litigious domain name is becoming a nightmare for law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement agencies must have an access to the information provided by registrants in the Whois database and, in specific cases, have authority to act FAST on a domain name. The EU has a solution for this and it's coming in 2020. more

Addressing Infringement: Developments in Content Regulation in the US and the DNS

Over the course of the last decade, in response to significant pressure from the US government and other governments, service providers have assumed private obligations to regulate online content that have no basis in public law. For US tech companies, a robust regime of "voluntary agreements" to resolve content-related disputes has grown up on the margins of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the Communications Decency Act (CDA). more

The Road Less Traveled: Time Is Running Out for NTIA-Verisign Cooperative Agreement

It is remarkable  -  for all the wrong reasons  -  that only two months remain before the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) must make a fateful decision on how it will address its' long-standing Cooperative Agreement with Verisign  -  the private-sector corporation that edits the authoritative address book of the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS), maintains two of the DNS root servers, and operates the .com and .net registries of the Internet, undoubtedly one of the most lucrative concessions ever granted. more

The Emergence and Consolidation of a Jurisprudence of Domain Names

One of the fallouts of disruptive inventions is the need for new laws to counter their unexpected consequences. As it concerned the Internet, these consequences included a new tort of registering domain names identical or confusingly similar to trademarks and service marks with the intention of taking unlawful advantage of rights owners. Prior to 2000 the only civil remedy for "cybersquatting" or "cyber piracy" was expensive and time-consuming plenary actions in courts of competent jurisdiction under national trademark laws. more

Respondent Had Rights or Legitimate Interests in Domain Name by Using It to Promote Genuine Business

In the case of Avon Products, Inc. v. Jenika Mukoro, Heirs Holdings, a 3-member WIPO Panel denied the Complainant's efforts to have the domain name avonhealthcare.com transferred because the Complainant failed to sustain its burden of establishing that the Respondent had no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Panel found that the Complainant proved that its trademark AVON (which has been in use since 1929) is well-known in the field of cosmetics... more

What Do UDRP Panels Look for in Assessing Parties' Rights to Disputed Domain Names?

Panels appointed to adjudicate domain name disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) have written in the region of 50,000 decisions involving over 75,000 domain names (minuscule of course when measured against the number of registered domain names). What may surprise some parties, their representatives, and counsel is that these publicly accessible decisions have fueled the emergence and development of a jurisprudence of domain names. more

Challenging UDRP Awards in Federal Court: Recent Outcomes

Challenging UDRP awards in actions under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) is infrequent though steady. There are currently a number of court filings in U.S. district courts that are in the early stages, most notably the ADO.com case reported on in an earlier essay and several others have either been referred to mediation (the IMI.case) or settled or discontinued. more

News Briefs

Government Officials, Academia, and Advocacy Groups Say Time for US to Get Its Own GDPR

US Senate to Hold Hearing on Consumer Data Privacy Issues

Biggest Fine Yet: French Watchdog Slaps Google With a $57M Fine Under the New GDPR Law

US Tech Firm Cloudflare Accused of Providing Cybersecurity Services to Foreign Terrorist Groups

Facebook Used VPN App to Collect Competitive Data on App Usage, According to Reports on Leaked Docs

FCC to Classify Text Messaging as Information Service to Fight Spam Texts, Others Oppose the Move

EU Should Not Be Setting US WHOIS and Privacy Policy, Says MPAA

US Senator Wyden Proposes Bill That Could Jail Executives Over Repeated Data Privacy Violations

US Copyright Office Expands Security Researchers' Ability to Hack Without Going to Jail

Yahoo Agrees to Pay $50M and Other Costs for the Massive Security Breach Disclosed in 2016

Easy Access to ICANN, IP Address Data Beats Info on Encrypted Data, Says Telstra Cybersecurity Head

US Department of Justice Sues California Over Its New Net Neutrality Law

"Seven Dirty Words" Restriction Policy Lifted from .US Domain Name Registrations

New Zealand's Domain Name Commission Wins Injunction in a Lawsuit Against DomainTools

EU Authorities to Give Internet Companies 1 Hour to Take Down Extremist Content or Face Hefty Fines

Special Interests Circulating Draft Legislation to Cut Short ICANN's Whois Policy Process

DomainTools Sued for Misusing New Zealand's .NZ Domain Name Registration Information

Domain Registrars Fined Over $2M for Scamming Australians

ACLU Released Guide for Developers on How to Respond to Government Demands That Compromise Security

ICANN Files Legal Action Against Domain Registrar for Refusal to Collect WHOIS Data

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