Category Archives: Domain Name Disputes

Cybersquatters with IPHONE

As for the first iPhone, there was one area of the product’s launch where Apple failed to take care of business the company failed to register the domain names of likely misspellings of iPhone.

These common misspellings, things like uPhone.com or iPnone.com, are a gold mine for cybersquatters, people who register these pages, put ads on them, then profit when people mistakenly click.

Soon after the original iPhone was announced, 20,000 such domain names were registered, according to Graham MacRobie, CEO of CyberHawk, whose company helps businesses get back their domain names.

While most of those won’t generate much revenue, a few will make money. Those that do are most likely done by professional cybersquatters who are willing to risk a $100,000 fine because they know they can make that up and more in ads.

There is a video attached to the rest of this article if you go to : http://www.vator.tv/news/show/citizen-hawk-int-2-08-10

.BZ Domains not associated

By Wayne Harrison

According to the ICANN framework for ccTLD’s each country has a ‘delegatee’ ( this is the rather odd word that they use), who is responsible for ensuring that the ccTLD is used to reflect the unique cultural identity of the country and in the best interests of the Internet community of the country, and an ‘administrator’, appointed by the delegatee, who is in charge of the technical aspects of registering domain names, running the name servers etc.

Our previous investigations appear to show, the .bz domain is not being used in a manner that reflects the cultural identity of Belize and in accordance with local law, it is the responsibility of the delegatee to correct the situation.

It is unclear how the University College of Belize became the delegatee of the .bz domain. In the normal course of ICANN ccTLD matters, the Government of the country bearing the country code is supposed to appoint a delegatee.

The article can be found : http://www.reporter.bz/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=2791&Itemid=2

Disputes Running More Frequent

Owners of three letter domain names do come at risk of being disputed by large corporations using trade marks as part of their arsenal. Current claims through the court give great insight in to the future of domain owners and company owners.

The number of pending and recently settled claims on three character domains is staggering. Here is a portion of the current disputes :

Ace.com
Ace.us
Dsn.com
Rcu.net (claim denied)
Own.tv
Ucp.com (transferred, domain may have been stolen)
Pao.com
Kpn.info
Tcn.com
Cbq.com
Cbq.net
Cbq.org
All.com

There have been cases due to bad faith were the domain has been released back onto the domain market so the trade mark holder has to chase the domain. The outcome is extra legal costs and a long parking period for the domain.

Further Information : http://domainnamewire.com/2008/05/29/acronym-domain-name-owners-stave-off-attacks/

Shutting Down Domain Crooks

A good registrar will ask a client for their details to place in the whois if the information is provided by the client is false the domain will not be registered. Domain applications being submitted to registrars are not getting flagged and causing issues with spam, Cyber squatting and obtaining information by deception. Large Corporations protect there interests by brand protecting there name and obtaining there name on a world wide scale covering the ccTLD market and the generic name spaces. ICANN are aware of this problem and are taking action.

Burnette told UPI that ICANN has no authority to directly target spammers and other criminals who register domain names and that the registrars it accredits are not required to proactively ensure the accuracy of their registrants’ WHOIS information. But they are obliged to follow up reports from ICANN or from the public about missing or incorrect WHOIS data.

“If we find that registrars are not investigating reports (of inaccurate or non-existent WHOIS data) as they are required to, our escalation procedure can ultimately result in their accreditation being terminated,” effectively shutting them down, she said.

Further Information : http://www.upi.com/International_Security/Emerging_Threats/Analysis/2008/05/29/analysis_crackdown_on_domain_name_crooks/8781/

Intellectual property rights in cyberspace

Protecting your company with a trade mark gives the owner a title to claim of a “company name”. This works in the domain name industry as well, a trade mark will in most cases cover the owner in obtaining a domain name. A few registry’s will not allow a client to obtain a domain without a trade mark. Reading through IBLS new article covers intellectual property and what rights a owner with a trade mark has.

The United States (“US”) Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (“ACPA”) prohibits the registration of a domain name with the intent to deceive consumers. Political speech even if not agreed with is an important feature of the First Amendment of the Constitution. Speech however that impacts the use of a trademark and would cause consumer confusion and a dilution of the trademark rights of a company and their goodwill is not permitted. The following cases demonstrate that this type of behavior will not be tolerated even if the speech is important to the advancement of ideas.

Trademarks are defined in the US Lanham Act § 45 (15 U.S.C. Section 1127). They are defined as “any word, name, symbol, or device or any combination thereof (1) used by a person or (2) which a person has a bone fide intention to use in commerce and applies to register on the principal register.” Trademarks serve to identify and distinguish the goods including “a unique product, and from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of goods, even if that source is unknown.” Trademarks must either be used in commerce or the applicant must have a bona fide intent to use them in commerce.

Further Information : http://www.ibls.com/internet_law_news_portal_view.aspx?s=articles&id=84B96726-D419-4ECE-8A8B-80DD970D0F85

Mayweather Jr goes for his 1st round against Cybersquatters

LAS VEGAS—Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. scored a TRO in the first round of a federal cybersquatting lawsuit against the operators of a Web site using the domain name “floydmayeather.net” without his backing.boxing16.jpgA U.S. District Court judge in Las Vegas issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday to stop “an entity of unknown origin” called Atlanta Sports & Entertainment Marketing from using Mayweather’s name and likeness on the site.

U.S. District Court Judge Philip Pro set a May 28 hearing on a preliminary injunction, ordered the domain name frozen, and declared Mayweather likely to succeed on the arguments of the cybersquatting case.

“Mayweather has demonstrated that he will suffer irreparable harm,” the judge wrote, because the defendant could transfer ownership and force Mayweather to file more lawsuits to “chase the infringing domain name.”

Atlanta Sports & Entertainment Marketing did not immediately respond to messages left by e-mail and telephone with domain name registrar Network Solutions LLC in Herndon, Va.

A Network Solutions spokeswoman cited a company privacy policy and said she could not release information about the Web domain registrant.

Mayweather’s lawyers also did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Cybersquatting Bharti

New Delhi: The Delhi high court has restrained a cybersquatter from using the domain names bhartiwalmart.in and bharti-wal-mart.com.

The court passed the interim order on a suit filed by Bharti Wal-Mart Pvt. Ltd, a Bharti and Wal-Mart joint-venture for wholesale cash-and-carry business, seeking an order restraining Bangalore resident Somesh Gupta, who has registered the domains in his name.

The infringement suit also sought a direction to Gupta to transfer the domains in the name of Bharti Wal-Mart.

http://www.livemint.com/2008/05/19012344/Cybersquatter-using-Bharti-dom.html

Dilusion of Trade Mark and Domain Name

The case of E. & J. Gallo Winery v. Spider Webs Ltd, considered the issue of dilution of a trademark through the use of domain names. In this case, plaintiff, a holder of a trademark, sued defendant under the Anti-Cyber Squatting Act and under Texas Anti-delusion and Trademark Law. The case was decided in 2002 and became one of the first cases in applying (“ACPA”) together with state intellectual property laws. Cyber squatting of domain names will not be permitted and state and federal laws provide remedies to prevent this type of action that directly affect trademarks.

Although the Internet permits the exercise of free speech, United States courts have been prompt to ban borderline exercise of free speech, especially when it infringes upon intellectual property rights. Trademarks are defined in the Lanham Act Section 45 (or 15 U.S.C. Section 1127). They are defined as “any word, name, symbol, or device or any combination thereof (1) used by a person or (2) which a person has a bone fide intention to use in commerce and applies to register on the principal register.”

A domain name or a web address is the Internet Protocol (IP) address that provides an Internet identity. Domain names provide an easy means for locating Internet addresses that otherwise would be impossible to memorize if we were to use numerical identification only. Domain name registrars assist with registering domain names.

Further Information : http://www.ibls.com/internet_law_news_portal_view.aspx?s=articles&id=20812F6F-2C05-42E4-B844-2AE8343769B3

100,000 Domains Hijacked

Large numbers of legitimate Web sites, including government sites in the UK and some operated by the United Nations, have been hacked and are serving up malware, a security researcher said Wednesday as massive JavaScript attacks last detected in March resume.

“They’re using the same techniques as last month, of an SQL injection of some sort,” said Dan Hubbard, vice president of security research at Websense, referring to large-scale attacks that have plagued the Internet since January.

Among the sites hacked, said Websense, were several affiliated with either the UN or UK government agencies.

The exact number of sites that have been compromised is unknown, said Hubbard. He estimated that it’s similar to the March attacks, which at their height infected more than 100,000 URLs, including prominent domains such as MSNBC.com.

Further information : http://www.linuxworld.com.au/index.php/id%3B895511146%3Bfp%3B4%3Bfpid%3B4

Wipo & Orion Bancorp

A US court has ordered a company to use ‘negative keywords’ to avoid being associated with another firm’s trade mark. The innovative order was one of a series of measures ordered by the judge.

Orion Bancorp took Orion Residential Finance (ORF) to court in Florida over ORF’s use of the word ‘Orion’ in relation to financial services and products, arguing that it had used the term since 2002 and had held a trade mark for it since then.

ORF offered some similar services to Orion, mostly related to housing finance. It was ordered by the US District Court for the Middle District of Florida from to refrain “from any and all use of the term Orion, Orion Residential Finance, or any other confusingly similar term”.

The judge in the case went further, though, restraining ORF from “purchasing or using any form of advertising including keywords or ‘adwords’ in internet advertising containing any mark incorporating Plaintiff’s Mark, or any confusingly similar mark, and shall, when purchasing internet advertising using keywords, adwords or the like, require the activation of the term ‘Orion’ as negative keywords or negative adwords in any internet advertising purchased or used”.

Keyword advertising is the display of adverts on search results pages which are triggered by the use of a certain term in the search itself.

By ‘negative adword’, the judge is referring to the fact that keyword advertising systems allow someone to instruct the system never to display their advert when a certain term is searched for, as well as to pay to have their ad displayed when a certain term is searched for. Google, which runs the market-leading AdWords system, calls them ‘Negative Keywords’. In Yahoo!’s equivalent system, advertisers can list terms as ‘Excluded Words’.

Orion Bancorp took the case over the domain name orionresidentialfinance.com, but took a general trade mark case rather than a specific domain name case to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)’s dispute resolution service.

The ruling was a default judgment, since ORF did not submit an opposing case, though it was represented by a lawyer in the hearing itself.

The judge said that ORF “is and has been actively engaged in the business of offering to the consuming public financial and real estate related services utilizing the term ORION or various iterations thereof, including use in interstate commerce, on various signs, advertising, slogans, promotional material, a top level domain name at www.orionresidentialfinance.com and other matters containing the term “Orion”, all without Plaintiff’s authorization or consent”.

Further Information : http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/05/negative_keywords_ruling/