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'Pokemon' Domain Names are a No-Go

The legal issues surrounding the sudden success of "Pokemon Go" -- one of the world's fastest-growing apps or games -- are popping up as quickly as unhatched Eggs at a PokéStop. Within days of the game's release, the National Safety Council issued a call that "urges pedestrians to exercise caution while playing the Pokémon Go augmented reality game" and "implores drivers to refrain from playing the game behind the wheel." more»

Fair Use Incorporating Trademarks in Domain Names

The paragraph 4(c)(iii) safe harbors of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy are construed from a five word phrase, "legitimate noncommercial or fair use." "Noncommercial" like "identical" in paragraph 4(a)(i) has a defined meaning; it does not include domain names inactively held (for any alleged purpose), although non-use is not necessarily fatal to rights or legitimate interests. "Fair use" has a larger canvass; it includes nominative (commercial) use that is fair and Constitutionally protected speech. more»

5 Myths About DMCA 'Take-Down' Notices

The so-called notice-and-take-down provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provide both a very effective tool for copyright owners to get infringing content removed from the Internet as well as an important protection for service providers (such as website hosting companies) that may inadvertently publish infringing material, either directly or via user-generated content. more»

Open Internet Access on the Line in Brussels

This summer EU regulators are finalizing their guidelines for member states on legal protections for wired, wireless and mobile open Internet access service. European citizens, businesses and NGOs have one last chance to make their voices heard on the so-called "net neutrality" guidelines by writing a comment for Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) by July 18. more»

Domain Names Identical to Trademarks But No Likelihood of Confusion

Confusion is a basic element in both cybersquatting and trademark infringement. It appears twice in the UDRP; once in paragraph 4(a)(i) in the adjectival phrase "confusing similarity", and once in paragraph 4(b)(iv) in the phrase "likelihood of confusion." Each use of the distinctive phrases is directed to a different observer. More of this in a moment. The first relates to standing; the second to infringement. Unless a party has standing it can have no actionable claim. more»

Cyber Infringement of Trademarks by Typosquatting

A fabled, serial cybersquatter of the early Internet argued that typographical errors in domain names were not cybersquatting at all because they had their own distinct identities. Moreover, "I have" (he argued) "just as much right to own the [misspelled] Domain Names as the person who owns the correct spelling of [a] domain name." That dispute involved and <wallstreet journel.com>. Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and Dow Jones LP v. John Zuccarini, D2000-0578 (WIPO September 10, 2000). more»

Luddites of the 21St Century Unite? (Revisited)

In the winter of 2014 I wrote a blogpost under the title 'Luddites of the 21st century unite?' (read here). In the post I wondered where the 21st century Luddites were. ICT, automation, artificial intelligence all threatened jobs, yet all those affected embraced smartphones and the Internet in droves. It seems I found them, but what to do? Brexit and Luddites Fast forward to early summer 2016. more»

No Time Bar for Cybersquatting Claims Under UDRP

Headline in TheDomains.com, June 18, 2016: "Wow: 20 Year Old Domain Name WorldTradeCenter.com Lost in UDRP." For those who don't follow UDRP decisions carefully this may elicit, how can this be? Well, surprised or not, and assuming complainant has priority in the string of characters that is both a domain name and a trademark... delay is not a factor in prevailing on cybersquatting claims when there is an alignment of other factors... more»

The Popularity of .co (not .com) Domain Name Disputes

One of the most popular top-level domains under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is not even a gTLD (generic top-level domain). It's a ccTLD: .co, the country-code top-level domain for Colombia, in South America. Based on statistics at WIPO as of this writing, 29 .co domain names have been the subject of UDRP disputes this year, making it the most-disputed ccTLD under the popular domain name dispute policy. more»

Statutory Remedies for UDRP Grievants

The U.S. is unusual in that grievants of a UDRP award have a statutory remedy from an adverse UDRP award, namely an action for declaratory judgement under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). The action is not an appeal, but a de novo assessment of the parties' rights, either that the domain name holder is cybersquatting or its registration was lawful. Under U.S. law UDRP awards are not treated as arbitration awards subject to the Federal Arbitration Act but as new disputes. more»

The DotBible Litmus Test for Domain Name Dispute Panelists

A dispute policy for the new '.bible' top-level domain name requires panelists who agree to hear cases to affirm that they "enthusiastically support the mission of American Bible Society" and that they "believe that the Bible is the Word of God which brings salvation through Christ." The DotBible Community Dispute Resolution Policy appears to be the first domain name dispute policy that requires panelists to take a religious oath - or, for that matter, an oath other than anything related to maintaining neutrality. more»

Which Direction Will the Internet Go? Take Our Survey and Help Us Explore the Forces at Work

In the past seven years, the number of people online has essentially doubled, from 1.7 billion in 2009 to about 3.4 billion today. New and innovative services have also emerged and people and companies around the world are using the Internet in ways barely imagined at the turn of the decade. Looking ahead to the next five to seven years, there are many forces at work that could have a significant impact on the Internet. more»

Disputes Falling Outside the Scope of the UDRP

The UDRP is a forum of limited jurisdiction designed for trademark owners to combat a certain kind of tortious (sometimes tipping to criminal) conduct by which registrants register domain names with the bad faith intent of taking economic advantage of owner's marks and injuring consumers by beguiling them to disclose personal information. The forum is not open to trademark owners whose claims are outside its scope, even though they may include allegations of cybersquatting. more»

Declaring and Declining to Find Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

What to one panelist is clearly bad faith conduct in filing a UDRP complaint, to another is excusable for lack of proof. The disagreement over reverse domain name hijacking centers on the kind of evidence necessary to justify it and the nature of the burden. RDNH is defined as "using the UDRP in bad faith to attempt to deprive a registered domain-name holder of a domain name." Rule 1, Definitions. more»

Unlawful Targeting of Trademarks and Consumers in Registering Domain Names

Unlike trademark applications which go through a lengthy examination process before advancing to registration, anyone (anywhere in the world) can register a domain name identical or confusingly similar to a trademark - instantly and no questions asked, at least, in the traditional space (the legacy gTLDs)! With the new gTLDs registrants will receive notice of possible infringement if the brands are registered with the Trademark Mark Clearing House, but notices do not function as injunctions to block registrants from registering infringing names. more»

News Briefs

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

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

ICANN Says It Will Not Get Directly Involved With Infringing Domains

China One Step Closer to Implementing Controversial Cybersecurity Law

GOP Lawmakers Say NTIA Violated Law in IANA Transition Plan

'Spam King' Sanford Wallace Sentenced to 2.5 Years In Prison

US Seeks to Intervene in EU vs Facebook Case

PirateBay Domains to Be Handed over to the State, Swedish Court Rules

Brazil Judge Orders 72-Hour Ban on WhatsApp

U.S. House of Representatives Passes H.R. 699, the Email Privacy Act

H.R. 2666 Bill Proposes Deregulating U.S. Broadband Rates, Obama Threatens to Veto

White House Taking Hands-Off Approach to Encryption Bill Debate

UK's Proposed Spy Law Can Force Apple to Bypass Security, Plus a Gag Order

Internet Society Responds to FBI vs Apple Encryption Debate

US Senate Gives Final OK to Ban Internet Taxes

Proposed UK Bill Will Make it Criminal Offence for Tech Firms to Warn Users of Government Spying

U.S. Senators Introduce SEC Cybersecurity Disclosure Legislation

French Police Pushing to Outlaw Anonymous Web Browsing

New Bill Bans Internet Companies From Offering Unbreakable Encryption

European Court Invalidates EU-US Data Pact

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