Tag Archives: cybersquatting

Conflicts between Trademarks and Domain Names: A Critical Analysis by Snehlata Singh

Abstract: The essay discusses the issue of conflicts between trademarks and domain names. It discusses in detail the causes and kinds of the disputes and what the current legal system has to offer to this situation. Conflicts such as cybersquatting, typosquatting, reverse domain name hijacking are discussed in length with the help of relevant case laws.The proposed solutions such as ICANN and UDRP have been analysed in detail. As the essay proceeds, it is made apparent that the current legal system is incapable of handling these issues effectively. The essay concludes with the same remark and suggestions that might help in settling these disputes.To download this paper in full, see:
ssrn.com/abstract=2045222

ICM Registry Acts in Response to Reports of Cyber-squatting

 

ICM Registry XXX launch logo[news release] ICM Registry, the official registry of the new .xxx top-level domain TLD, announced that as part of its investigation of reported cybersquatting by a handful of individuals, it has suspended registrations that appear to involve unmistakable, blatant cybersquatting in violation of the Registry’s policies and the Registry-Registrant Agreement.  The suspended registrations include patterns of abusive registrations for names like businessweek.xxx, cnbc.xxx, geocities.xxx, nextag.xxx, snapfish.xxx, verizonwireless.xxx, washingtonpost.xxx, and gayroom.xxx, amongst others.

In announcing this action, ICM’s CEO, Stuart Lawley, reiterated the Registry’s commitment to enforce its policies.  “ICM Registry has raised the bar on responsible registry operations and we intend to maintain the highest standards.  We will not tolerate nefarious conduct and will exercise our right to take appropriate action when we detect widespread repeat patterns of cyber-squatting activity.  Would-be cyber-squatters are on notice – neither ICM Registry nor the .xxx community will be complicit in the theft or abuse of intellectual property. ICM takes a stand to facilitate user choice and parental control, protect the privacy, security, and consumer rights of consenting adults, fight child abuse images, and protect intellectual property,” said Lawley.

While cyber-squatters try to take advantage of legitimate rights owners in every TLD (from .com to .edu), ICM’s CEO, Stuart Lawley noted that the rights protections built into its agreement with registrants gives the Registry a number of innovative tools to combat malicious conduct and protect the .xxx TLD space.  In addition to its authentication policy, which makes it harder for cyber-squatters to hide, the Registry also makes a variety of innovative tools available to prevent and address abusive registrations, including a Rapid Evaluation Service (“RES”) to take immediate action on clear abuse of well-known, distinctive registered trademarks or service marks of significant commercial value, or of personal or professional names of individuals, and its Charter Eligibility Dispute Resolution Process (“CEDRP”) to resolve challenges to registered names in the .XXX TLD based on alleged use inconsistent with the qualifications for registration.  ICM Registry recently conducted a ground-breaking Sunrise process that enabled rights-holders to permanently remove their brands from availability for a cost-based one time fee.

Working with its sponsoring organization, the International Foundation for Online Responsibility (“IFFOR”), ICM has implemented a comprehensive and rigorous set of policies designed to protect third party rights and combat malicious conduct.  The IFFOR Policy Council, which includes representatives from the adult industry as well as experts in the areas of free expression, privacy, and child advocacy ratified the Registry’s baseline policies, including its policy prohibiting the registration of  “strings that infringe the intellectual property rights of a third party, including common law trademark rights; strings that are obvious variants of well-known trademarks not belonging to the registrant; first and last names of an individual other than the individual or his/her agent or names that suggest the presence of child abuse images.”  All registrants in the .xxx domain must agree to abide by those policies when they register .xxx names.

This ICM Registry news release was sourced from:
www.icmregistry.com/press/icm-registry-acts-in-response-to-reports-of-cyber-squatting/

Europe Registry logoTo register your .XXX domain name, check out Europe Registry here.

Australian Supermodel Victim Of Cybersquatting

The Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr has become a victim of cybersquatting following the registration of the domain name mirandakerr.com.au earlier this year by a company that was not connected with the model.The domain name was registered by domainer James Webster, a Sydney-based entrepreneur who owns about 6500 domains.”I speculate and try to look for anything that can make my company more valuable today, and heaps more valuable in the future,” he told the Sunday Mail.He claimed the domain name could have been worth up to $200,000 and that if he did not register the domain he “knew that a ‘domainer’ would use it for some ill-gotten gain”. And he also claims to have contacted the model’s representatives offering to transfer the domain name to them for free.However Webster fell afoul of registration policies for .AU domains where registering a domain name for the sole purpose of resale or transfer to another entity is not permitted.AuDA investigated the registration of mirandakerr.com.au and decided to cancel the current registrant’s domain name licence for breach of policy, and the domain name will be deleted.”The purpose of the rule against resale is to prevent people from ‘cybersquatting’ the names of well-known people and brands,” said Chris Disspain, CEO of auDA.”The rule has been in place since auDA assumed control of the .au namespace in 2002, and it has been affirmed in every public policy review that auDA has conducted since then. The Australian Internet community has made it clear, time and time again, that it values the high levels of trust and integrity that distinguish .au from other TLDs like .com.”

Cybersquatter Exploits Amy Winehouse Death And Father’s Foundation Plans

A cybersquatter has registered a domain name for a charity Amy Winehouse’s father intended to set up in memory of his late daughter.Mitch Winehouse is planning to set up a foundation to help young people suffering from drug abuse, a problem his daughter had, and has already received donations from the public.However Martin McCann bought the domain name amywinehousefoundation.com, hours after Mr Winehouse revealed his plans The Sun reports, and two weeks after Ms Winehouse died on 23 July.McCann also paid £160 to register the Amy Winehouse Foundation Ltd with Companies House on 2 August, The Sun further reported, despite having never met her or Mitch.”I’m not exploiting anything yet,” McCann told The Sun. “I’ve just bought some domain names. Anybody could have. It only takes the click of a mouse. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed. Detach yourself from emotions and think business.””He is making every effort to hijack this charity to satiate his own needs for the charity. She’s not the only Amy Winehouse in the world.”McCann said he was approached by his internet service provider and asked to hand over the domain name. He added that he wants to “come to an arrangement” with Mitch – but only if he apologises for insulting him on Twitter.McCann, of Uxbridge, West London, said: “I’m not the d***head. The d***head is sitting over there without the name in his possession.”

Bad Faith in Cyberspace: Grounding Domain Name Theory in Trademark, Property and Restitution by Jacqueline D. Lipton [Harvard Journal of Law and Technology]

Abstract: The year 2009 marks the tenth anniversary of domain name regulation under the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) and the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). Adopted to combat cybersquatting, these rules left a confused picture of domain name theory in their wake. Early cybersquatters registered Internet domain names corresponding with others’ trademarks to sell them for a profit.However, this practice was quickly and easily contained. New practices arose in domain name markets, not initially contemplated by the drafters of the ACPA and the UDRP. One example is clickfarming – using domain names to generate revenues from click-on advertisements. To avoid trademark liability, most clickfarmers and cybersquatters utilize personal names, geographic and cultural indicators, and generic terms as domain names. The application of current regulations to these practices is unclear, largely because of the lack of a coherent policy basis for domain name regulation.This article develops a new model for domain name regulation. It incorporates trademark policy within a broader theoretical framework incorporating aspects of restitution and property theory. The author suggests that a broader theoretical approach to domain name regulation would facilitate the development of more coherent domain name rules in the future. This discussion is particularly timely in light of the forthcoming implementation of a new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) application process.To download this paper from the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology in full, see:
ssrn.com/abstract=1484763

Thursday Seminar on How to Evict Cybersquatters

Cybersquatting can have harmful effects on a brand’s reputation, sometimes serious, sometimes minor. But it is a serious problem worldwide and to discuss the issue there will be a free online seminar this Thursday afternoon (15:00 Eastern US time/21:00 European time).

Topics to be covered include:

  • Definitions and examples of cybersquatting, typosquatting and domain name theft
  • How much money and market share companies lose when victimized by cybersquatting
  • Which industries and types of companies are most susceptible to cybersquatting
  • How to monitor your brand and trademark terms online
  • Domain name portfolio strategies and actions you can take now to protect your brand
  • Steps you can take if you become a victim of cybersquatting.

Panelists for the seminar will be:

  • Frederick Felman, Chief Marketing Officer, MarkMonitor, San Francisco, CA

o    Frederick’s career in marketing enterprise and security technology and services spans 25 years. He and his team created the Brandjacking Index®, an often-cited measure of the trends in online abuse targeting the world’s largest brands. As part of MarkMonitor’s commitment to securing brands online, Frederick leads advocacy initiatives for brandholders’ rights issues that intersect Internet governance.

  • Doug Isenberg, Owner / Founder, The GigaLaw Firm, Atlanta, GA

o    Doug is a recognized leader on Internet law. He has worked with clients on domain name transactions and disputes since 1996, and serves as a domain name panelist for the World Intellectual Property Organization. Doug is a frequent commentator on technology law for CNN and CNN Headline News, and has been quoted by numerous other media outlets.

  • Jeff Neuman, Vice President – Law & Policy, NeuStar Inc., Washington D.C.

o    Jeff is a recognized authority on Internet intellectual property. He has spoken before the U.S. Congress on Internet IP and related issues, and is a frequent speaker on topics including fighting domain abuse. At NeuStar, he is responsible for IP law and policy matters, information technology licensing, and is the external liaison with Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

To register for the free seminar, go to:
www.shiftworldwide.com/vpanels/cybersquatting.htm

The Menace of Cybersquatting!

by Rodney D. Ryder & Ashwin Madhavan [The Icfai University Journal of Intellectual Property Rights]

Abstract: The advent of technologies has brought many complexities. The World Wide Web and domain names are the contributions of technological development during the recent past. The new tech-inventions have resulted in various issues of the intellectual property rights and their protection. The relations between the domain name and copyrights on one hand and the trademarks on the other, are well envisaged and an opinion is cropping up whether the use of marks in the name and style of domain names are diluting the trademarks.

The World Wide Web or the cyberspace is becoming a platform for squatting activities resulting in loss to the copyright and trademark owners. Though the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) are trying to resolve the related disputes, they are not able to avert the squatting and provide required protection.

To download this paper by by Rodney D. Ryder & Ashwin Madhavan, originally published in The Icfai University Journal of Intellectual Property Rights, see:
ssrn.com/abstract=1410502

Cybersquatters Take Advantage of Tiger Woods

Cybersquatters, quick to take advantage of people’s misery, whether personal or more widely in the face of widespread disaster, have been quick off the mark to take advantage of Tiger Woods’ affairs.Some of the domain names, as pointed out by the Traverse Legal blog, registered to take advantage include:

Others up for sale include TigersHarem.com, allegedly on sale on eBay for $21 million, while Tigerisacheetah.com and six others are for sale for $150,000. As well, there are currently no bids for IDidTigerWoods.com.

Mayweather Knock Out Against Cyber Squatter

Former welterweight champion boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr., a.k.a. “Money Mayweather”, has won a domain name dispute for MoneyMayweather.com. Mayweather was 39-0 in the ring during his career, and carried his winning ways to arbitration.

The panel found that Mayweather had common law rights to the “Money Mayweather” name, even though he doesn’t have a filed trademark. This is common in cases of celebrities. It also found that it was irrelevant that the paid links on MoneyMayweather.com were unrelated to the celebrity and his sport.

A quick look at the domain shows that the owner wasn’t profiting from domain parking; it was merely a domain he registered at GoDaddy and was being parked by the registrar. The page shows ads for money-related terms such as mutual funds and money market accounts.

Original article : http://domainnamewire.com/2008/07/22/floyd-mayweather-extends-winning-streak-to-40-0/