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Brand Protection / Featured Blogs

Why the Pandemic Makes Domain Names More Valuable Than Ever

In the United States, at least 25,000 brick and mortar businesses will close in 2020 due to the Coronavirus (source: Coresight). I believe this will only be the tip of the iceberg. The businesses that fight to stay alive will become 100% dependent on the Internet to generate their revenue. No longer able to rely on foot traffic to their old brick and mortars, the popularity and brand-ability of their websites will solely dictate their ability to survive in the coming years. more

How Global Trends Arising from COVID-19 May Influence Online Brand Protection Strategies

We're in an interregnum where society has paused, and there's no telling how things may turn. In such times of crisis, we are the explorer; exploring the uncharted waters of change, where dangers and opportunities lie. How the pandemic caused this greater societal change may not be something that an individual can alter, we may, however, take the helm and navigate. more

What Trademark Owners Need to Know to Avoid Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

A cybersecurity company recently attempted reverse domain name hijacking for an exact match domain name of its brand, and in so doing, failed in both its bid to take ownership of the domain and potentially damaged their reputation by using this somewhat nefarious tactic and abusing the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) process. more

Confusingly Similar But No Likelihood of Confusion in UDRP

The word "confusion" in the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) signifies two separate states of mind. The first in ¶4(a)(i) appears in the phrase "identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights." It is a test to determine whether the mark owner has standing to maintain a UDRP proceeding. more

Beware of Abandoned Domain Names in this Turbulent Time and as the Global Economy Changes

The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused worldwide disruption -- for whole nations and their economies. Unfortunately, there will be some side effects for businesses. A number of brands will disappear from the streets and shelves, as businesses that fail to weather the storm will have to fold. Companies that do survive will likely focus more on their core markets, pulling brands out of higher risk, less profitable markets... more

Exceedingly Close and Difficult UDRP Cases

The ordinary run of cybersquatting cases is neither "exceedingly close nor difficult." Quote from Harvest Dispensaries, Cultivations & Production Facilities, LLC v. Rebecca Nickerson / Rock City Harvest, FA2004001892080 (Forum June 26, 2020) which is one of those rare cases in which the case was exceedingly close and difficult. For 90% of the docket (the percentage has been creeping up since 2016), even when Respondent appears (which it mostly does not), there is neither a defense nor merit to Respondent's contentions. more

When is Similarity Confusing? Cybersquatting and Abusive Registration

The case I'm reporting on today has garnered attention from a number of quarters. One commentator, Andrew Allemann tells us that "[he's] struggling with this UDRP decision" and Nat Cohen of Telepathy Inc. in a couple of Tweets and a private conversation is concerned that the holding could be a Trojan Horse by erasing the distinction between merely confusing and confusingly similar. The problem centers on the Panel's holding that everyfamily.org is confusingly similar to EVERYTOWN... more

Is Booking.com a Generic Term?

A fundamental rule of trademarks is that they have to be distinctive, and that nobody can register a trademark on a generic term like "wine" or "plastic." In a case decided today by the U.S. Supreme Court, the court decided 8-1 that online travel agent Booking.com could register its domain name as a trademark. In this case, I think the majority got it wrong, and Justice Breyer's lone dissent is correct. more

Online Businesses to Benefit from Supreme Court "Booking.com" Ruling

Today, in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com, the Supreme Court of the United States has affirmed that generic terms including .com domain names may be trademarked when consumers do not perceive the mark to signify the class of services, with heightened distinctiveness and recognition attributable to top-level domains that add meaning like .club, .guru, and .vip. more

Asserting but Not Proving Cybersquatting Under the UDRP

Having trademarks (registered or unregistered) is the prerequisite for maintaining a UDRP, but having one is not conclusive of either Respondent’s lack of rights or legitimate interests or that it registered and is using the domain name in bad faith. The cautionary tale in many of these cases, especially for the Complainant who has the burden of proof, is that it has to satisfy each of the elements in the three subsections... more