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Brand Protection / Most Commented

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

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

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

The Ageless Warning of Icarus

It wasn't that long ago that, during a visit home, my brother asked me, "Why are you so stuck on this Internet thing?" His direct question caused me to realize that I had never actually stopped and considered why I was investing so much time – and in such a highly visible manner – into Internet governance when I wasn't being compensated for doing so and, in fact, was – not putting too fine of a point on it – flat broke. more

Can Trademarks and Brands Help Save the Internet From Itself?

Trademarks and brands are often among a company's most valued assets. Customers associate trademarks and brands with producer integrity. They engender consumer trust. Without TMs and Brands, companies struggle for attention and find it more difficult to link the company's integrity and trustworthiness in the marketing of its goods and services. Representing company promise and customer expectations, they are uniquely positioned to symbolize common values and aspirations. 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

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

Confessions of an Ex-Opponent of Whois Privacy

The following is the easyDNS response to ICANN's public comment period on GNSO Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues Working Group Initial Report. The public comment period is open until July 7, 2015. We strongly urge you to make your voice known by signing the petition over at Save Domain Privacy. I submit these comments as a CEO of an ICANN accredited registrar, a former director to CIRA and a lifelong anti spam contributor with an unblemished record of running a managed DNS provider that maintains zero tolerance for net abuse or cybercrime... more

Of Canaries and Coal Mines: Verisign's Proposal and Sudden Withdrawal of Domain Anti-Abuse Policy

Too many techies still don't understand the concept of due process, and opportunistic law enforcement agencies, who tend to view due process constraints as an inconvenience, are very happy to take advantage of that. That's the lesson to draw from Verisign's proposal and sudden withdrawal of a new "domain name anti-abuse policy" yesterday. The proposal, which seems to have been intended as a new service to registrars, would have allowed Verisign to perform malware scans on all .com, .net, and .name domain names quarterly when registrars agreed to let them do it. more

What Could the RIAA's Switch in Strategy Mean?

The Wall Street Journal and others are reporting that the Recording Industry Association of America is adjusting its strategy for combating the massive infringement occasioned by the sharing of music files over the internet. Since 2003, that strategy has been to pursue copyright infringement cases against individual file sharers. The RIAA now says it will focus less on pursuing infringement litigation and more on working with internet service providers to shut down the accounts of individuals suspected of illegally trading files. more

Expansion of Top-Level Domain Names: Why Current Brand Protection Procedures Will Be Impractical

As ICANN introduces new generic top level domains (gTLDs) and separates itself from US oversight, it has the opportunity to distance itself from the taint of cybersquatting, brand abuse, and criminal activity involving domains... To underscore the scope of the issue, consider this research on just 30 top Interbrand-ranked global brands. The most recent MarkMonitor Brandjacking Index found cybersquatting incidents increased over 40% in the last year for the brands that were studied; these leading brands suffered as many as 15,000 incidents per brand... more

Domain Name Lessons from Napster

I first outline a brief history of free file-sharing technology, then draw some general and domain name lessons, then outline the what, how, and why that make your activism effective and necessary... The domain name industry is decentralized and atomic in that anyone from anywhere in the world can register a domain name, keep the ownershp name and address private, and host it from a country where the U.S. and European legal systems don't apply. Thus, legal action will only drive domain owners further underground. more

In Historic Vote on WHOIS Purpose, Reformers Win by 2/3 Majority

It has taken almost three years -- by some counts, more than 6 years -- but ICANN's domain name policy making organization has finally taken a stand on Whois and privacy. And the results were a decisive defeat for the copyright and trademark interests and the US government, and a stunning victory for advocates of the rights of individual domain name registrants... more

Digital in 2021 – Five Predictions for Brand Protection

While smartphones were an integral part of our lives before 2020, now, as a result of the changes associated with COVID, our mobile devices are virtually "super-glued" to our hands. The worldwide pandemic has heavily influenced our lives. Based on our past experiences with digital brand protection and the trends we're currently seeing, we've made five predictions regarding the future of internet usage in 2021. more

Industry Updates

A List of Potential Attack Artifacts for the Top 3 Phished Brands in 2020

Why Protecting Your Brand from Online Fraud is More Important Than Ever

SolarWinds Cyber Intel Analysis Part 2: A Look at Additional CISA-Published IoCs

Brand Abuse is Systemic: The Role of Networks in Brand Abuse

Boosting Domain Protection Strategies with Typosquatting Domain Intelligence

Appdetex Accelerates Growth With $12.2 Million Financing Led by Baird Capital

Post-Riot Domain Registration Trends: Findings From Tracking Trump-Related Domains and Subdomains

The New .AU Domain Licensing Rules and Their Impact

Cyber Threat Intel Analysis and Expansion of SolarWinds Identified IoCs

All Roads Lead to… Domains: Why the Humble Domain Name is the Foundation of Your Online Security

Enriching Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems with IP and Domain Intelligence

Attack Surface Discovery: A Review of FINRA-lookalike Domain and Linked IoCs

MarkMonitor Releases New gTLD Quarterly Report for Q4 2020

Mobile, Social, and Recommerce: The Top eCommerce Trends from 2020

How Much of a Fortune 500 Company's Digital Footprint Can Be Publicly Attributed to It?