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Archive for the ‘Cybersquatting’ Category

Company sues to get Reinvention.com domain name

October 4, 2012Cybersquatting, Domaining, Domainnamewire, lawsuits, Policy & LawComments Off on Company sues to get Reinvention.com domain name

Marketing company claims domain infringes its re:invention mark.

An Illinois marketing company called Reinvention, Inc. has sued data sampling company Reinvention, LLC, which owns the Reinvention.com domain name.

The brief, five page complaint (pdf) claims that Reinvention, LLC is infringing on Reinvention, Inc’s trademark for “re:invention”.

Reinvention, Inc. filed for its trademark last year and it was granted this year. It claims first use in commerce in 2003.

The company is demanding damages for trademark infringement and that the data sampling company hand over the reinvention.com domain name.

Reinvention.com was sold last year through Sedo for $4,700. It has a somewhat colorful history, once being owned by Ultimate Search. In 2008 the whois record showed “MCEH confiscated names”.

The plaintiff owns the inferior ReinventionInc.com domain name.


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Ashley Furniture files cybersquatting lawsuit against owner of 123 domain names

September 20, 2012anti-cybersquatting protection act, Cybersquatting, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & LawComments Off on Ashley Furniture files cybersquatting lawsuit against owner of 123 domain names

Company says defendant used to work at ad agency that catered to home furnishings companies.

Ashley Furniture is a pretty aggressive UDRP filer. It usually goes after clear cut cases of cybersquatting, save for one egregious case for Ashley.com filed in 2008.

Now the company is turning to the courts in a dispute against a Maryland man.

The company just filed suit (pdf) against Jon Parks, who the company alleges violated the Anti-Cybersquatting Protection Act by registering 123 domain names that include its marks.

Some of the domain names at issue include ashleybed.com, ashleychair.com, ashleyfurni.com, ashleyarizona.com, and ashleyfurnitureashleyfurniture.com. You can see all 123 here.

Parks’ LinkedIn profile shows that he previously worked for Horich Parks Lebow Advertising. Ashley Furniture claims this is an advertising agency that is used by Ashley retailers and other home furnishing companies.

Ashley Furniture claims that Parks tried to cancel the registration of the domain names that include “ashley” and a furniture term after receiving a demand letter. Indeed, when I look up many of the domain names there is no longer a registrant listed in whois.

The company alleges that Parks continues to hold onto domains that include “ashley” and a geographic location, such as AshleyGeorgia.com:

Mr. Parks refuses to transfer the Infringing Domain Names that he continues to own to Ashley and disingenuously claims he intended to register domains corresponding with the female name, “Ashley” or a geographic location. Mr. Parks’ previous work in the advertising industry for furniture companies, including Ashley’s customers, combined with his registration of domains like ashleybed.com, ashleychair.com and ashleyfurnitureashleyfurniture.com clearly refute any innocent explanation for registering 123 domain names incorporating the ASHLEY trademark.

The furniture company is asking for up to $100,000 per domain name in damages.


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Libya loses anticybersquatting lawsuit

September 7, 2012anticybersquatting, Cybersquatting, Domaining, Domainnamewire, lawsuits, libya embassy, Policy & LawComments Off on Libya loses anticybersquatting lawsuit

Libya and its embassy lose a domain name lawsuit that started well before Gaddafi’s overthrow.

A federal district court yesterday handed down a ruling in a very interesting cybersquatting case, and much of the interest lies in who the plaintiff was: Libya.

Back in 2006 The Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the Embassy of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya filed suit against Ahmad Miski for cybersquatting. (After the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi’s government, the plaintiffs names were changed to Libya and Embassy of Libya.)

The Libyan embassy was using the domain name LibyanBureau.com at the time, but now uses LibyaUSAEmbassy.com.

Defendant Ahmad Miski is an expeditor, similar to the people who help you get your passports quickly. Some of his work was expediting documents with the Embassy of Libya.

Miski registered the domains embassyoflibya.org, libyaembassy.com, libyaembassy.org, and libyanembassy.com and forwarded these to his web site, where he solicited clients for his expeditor services.

Libya alleged Miski was cybersquatting and that it had common law rights to the terms “Embassy of Libya” and “Libyan Embassy”.

The judge ruled that these marks were merely descriptive and that Miski was not guilty of cybersquatting.

Additionally, the judge noted that it was difficult for the embassy to prove continuous use of its supposed marks in the United States. In 1986 president Ronald Reagan issued executive orders prohibiting commercial trade and other transactions with Libya and its government and “blocked” Libyan government property located in the United States.

This case is interesting from the perspective of the “descriptive” ruling, but I also find it fascinating given the geopolitical circumstances.

Miski was represented by Eric Menhart of Lexero Law. You can read the court’s full decision here (pdf).


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Where do most cybersquatters live?

August 30, 2012Cybersquatting, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, udrp, wipoComments Off on Where do most cybersquatters live?

A lot in the U.S. and China, but there are some important caveats.

World Intellectual Property Organization, unlike its big peer, publishes robust statistics about the UDRP cases it hears.

One of the more interesting stats is the location of respondents, i.e. the alleged cybersquatters.

The stats WIPO provides need a few caveats if we’re going to draw conclusions about where cybersquatters live.

1. These are the locations of the respondents in all cases, not just those when the complainant wins. (But complainants win most of the cases.)

2. This is where the respondent says he/she lives. They could be fake addresses. Privacy services might skew it a bit too.

3. It’s unclear if these numbers include ccTLD cases heard under variations of UDRP.

OK, so here are the top 10:

I think it’s also interesting to compare this data to where most complainants reside.



Update 8/31/12:

At the prompting of John Berryhill’s comment below, I’ve calculated the number of WIPO UDRP filings compared to the number of internet users in a country. It radically shakes up the order, sending China near the bottom of the list.

This is a very crude analysis for a couple reasons.

First, I only looked at the ten countries that were at the top of the respondent list. I suspect that countries such as China wouldn’t even fall into the top 10 on this list had I looked at more.

Second, this only considers WIPO cases. Although National Arbitration Forum is smaller, it does hear a substantial number of cases. You might double the number of US cases to get the true number. But WIPO probably has a higher share of international cases. So while in the U.S. you might say there’s one UDRP per 150,000 internet users (double the # of WIPO cases), in other countries this crude methodology may not work. There’s also an Asian UDRP provider that might bump up China’s numbers.

Also, one person can be responsible for a large number of cases.

The most recent World Bank numbers for internet users are from 2010. I compared the number of 2010 users according to the world bank to the number of WIPO cases filed in 2010 alone.


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Guy files cybersquatting complaint against a page on Blogger

June 15, 2012anticybersquatting act, blogger, Cybersquatting, Domaining, Domainnamewire, google, Policy & LawComments Off on Guy files cybersquatting complaint against a page on Blogger

Apparently blogger.com followed by a bunch of numbers infringes this guy’s trademarks.

From the WTF category…

Nevada resident Steven Barket has filed a federal lawsuit against Google and a John Doe, claiming violations of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act and Lanham Act.

The offending domain name that violates Barket’s trademarks?

blogger.com/profile/10034500688963114971

Yes, that’s a single page on the Blogger.com domain.

Barket demands a judgement ordering the transfer of the “domain”.

You’ll notice that the URL he’s claiming as cybersquatting doesn’t even include his name. I think what he’s really upset about is stevebarket.blogspot.com, which seems to be a blog saying bad things about Barket. It includes a few links to an inactive WordPress.com blog. But even that is a subdirectory of a domain, not a domain itself.

I can understand Barket wanting Google to remove the page, but I think his legal approach is misinformed.


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Jeweler sues Oversee.net for cybersquatting

May 24, 2012Cybersquatting, Domaining, Domainnamewire, lawsuits, Oversee.net, Policy & Law, UncategorizedComments Off on Jeweler sues Oversee.net for cybersquatting

Jeweler files claim over six domain registrations.

Jewelry company Tacori Enterprises has sued Oversee.net in U.S. District Court for cybersquatting.

Tacori alleges (pdf) that Oversee.net is cybersquatting with at least six domain names:

Taccori.com
Tacorri.com
Tacoriiv.com
TacoriRings.com
Tacoti.com
Tracori.com

Tacori alleges that Oversee.net “is a serial cybersquatter who registers, uses, and traffics in domain names that are confusingly similar to famous or distinctive trademarks owned by others, including Tacori trademarks.” It also alleges that Oversee.net intentionally failed to maintain accurate whois records for the domains.

Tacori is represented by Howard Kroll and David Steele of Christie, Parker, and Hale, LLP. The two are no strangers to cybersquatting lawsuits; they’ve represented Verizon in multiple cases.

When asked for comment, Oversee.net responded “We are reviewing the lawsuit and plan to defend our position vigorously.”


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Facebook Files Massive Cybersquatting Lawsuit

July 28, 2011Cybersquatting, Domaining, Domainnamewire, facebook, Policy & LawComments Off on Facebook Files Massive Cybersquatting Lawsuit

Lawsuit goes after typosquatters who redirect to survey offers.

As reported on Elliot’s Blog today, Facebook has filed a lawsuit against dozens of people for allegedly typosquatting on its domain names.

One of the interesting aspects of this case is what the defendants are allegedly doing with the domain names. Instead of parking them with traditional pay-per-click providers, they are forwarding them to survey sites that mimic Facebook in some way.

This type of typo monetization is becoming more popular as the opportunity to monetize some typos is limited on traditional parking platforms. In fact, there’s an entire parking company based around these CPA survey offers that started business just a couple months ago.

If seeing a parked page with pay-per-click links bothers trademark holders, they’ll be even more upset about seeing their would-be visitors tricked into supplying their email address to an affiliate site.


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Owner of .Com Domain Sues for .Co Domain Name

June 22, 2011.co domain name, anticberquatting lawsuit, Cybersquatting, Domaining, Domainnamewire, lawsuits, Policy & LawComments Off on Owner of .Com Domain Sues for .Co Domain Name

Real estate firm sues owner of .co.

The owner of a .com domain name has filed a lawsuit (pdf) to get the .co version of their domain name. This is the first such .co federal anticybersquatting lawsuit I’m aware of (although there have been plenty of UDRPs and I don’t think a complainant has lost yet).

Real estate company Sibcy Cline filed the in rem lawsuit against SibcyCline.co.

The firm registered both SibcyCline.com and Sibcy.com way back in 1995. But someone else registered the .co domain name in July last year.

Sibcy Cline sent a couple cease and desist letters to the registrant, who finally responded by saying he’d sell the domain name for $1,500. Sibcy Cline rejected the offer, only to find that the domain name was transferred to another registrant shortly thereafter.

The lawsuit seeks transfer of the domain name.


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BMW Files Cybersquatting Lawsuit

June 16, 2011bmw, Cybersquatting, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & LawComments Off on BMW Files Cybersquatting Lawsuit

Company files federal court case over BMWrewards.com

BMWBMW has filed a lawsuit against Illinois company Prime Market Targeting, Inc. and Scott Duff for trademark infringement, false designation of origin, cybersquatting, and unfair competition over the domain name BMWREwards.com.

The automaker is asking for the domain name, attorneys fees, $100,000 per anti-cybersquatting rules, and for the defendants to refrain from infringing on the company’s mark in the future.

This is a change of course for BMW, which usually turns to the Uniform Domain-name dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) for domain names. The company has filed 8 UDRP cases already this year for domain names ranging from BMWauctions.com to bmwxdrive.com.

The company says the defendant refused to transfer the domain name after it sent a cease and desist letter.

Prime Market Targeting has owned the domain name since 2007.


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Hospitality Company Claims Leisure.com Infringes Its Trademarks

May 31, 2011Cybersquatting, Domaining, Domainnamewire, lawsuits, leisure.com, Policy & LawComments Off on Hospitality Company Claims Leisure.com Infringes Its Trademarks

Company wants to trade up to better domain name through lawsuit.

Leisure Hotel Corporation has filed a lawsuit against the owner of Leisure.com claiming trademark infringement, counterfeiting, false designations of origin, and cybersquatting (pdf).

Let me ask you a simple question: If you were the person who plunked down $150,000 to buy Leisure.com a couple years ago, what would you plan to do with it? The most obvious thing would be a site about travel. It’s a great use of a good generic domain name.

Generic.

But not according to Leisure Hotel Corporation, which bills itself as providing “a wide array of services in the hospitality, restaurant, and resort businesses”.

The company claims that Leisure.com’s use as a travel booking comparison engine infringes its marks:

The Website prominently uses LEISURE nominative phrases, including without limitation, LEISURE, LEISURE.COM, LEISURE SEARCH, and LEISURE TRAVEL (collectively the “Infringing Marks”), in its domain name and throughout the content of the webpages accessible at the Website.

Well, duh. It’s a web site about leisure.

Among Leisure Hotel Corporation’s demands is a lot of money and to get its hands on the domain name.


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