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GoDaddy’s latest patent applications

February 27, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Company adds to its stack of pending patents.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has just published a handful of patent applications filed by GoDaddy.

Methods and Systems for Recommending Packages of Domain Names for Registration (application 14/500711) is a continuation of patents I wrote about earlier this month. It essentially describes a way to determining which domain names a user will want and presenting them as a package.

Two others are related to submitting an offer for a domain name when it is already registered: System for Communicating an Offer for a Domain Names (application 13/973823) and Method for Communicating an Offer for a Domain Name (application 13/973819). If the domain name you want is already registered, the registrar will ask if you want to submit an offer on the domain name.

The general crux of these two patent applications doesn’t seem novel (at least looking at what registrars have been doing for the past five years or so), but perhaps there are some claims within them that are unique.



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40 End User Domain Name Sales

February 27, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

40 recent end user domain name sales at Sedo.

During the past week, Sedo’s network sold $900,000 in domain names. The 3 highest sales were Heika.com ($300k), which is a title associated with Japanese emperors; Anker.com ($150k), the German for “anchor”; and HOOQ.com ($50k).

As usual, I’ve compiled a list of 40 domains where an end user can be identified. Most of these come from last week, while others were technically sold during previous weeks but have just emerged from escrow.

ArticlesOfIncorporation.org ($1000) – was purchased by the folks at WikiDownload.com, which stocks documents, eBooks, games, and software.

AquaGym.com (€6000) – belongs to MBG Global, which boasts of selling its branded product line in 58 countries. What product line, you ask? Beverages. Apart from the redirect, their closest connection to this domain appears to be a branded mineral water called “Acqua Morelli”.

Badewanne.at (€1700) – Already developed as a site for bath tubs, showers, etc. The term is German for bath tub.

BusinessWorld.net ($2500) – is an improvement over BusinessWorld-USA.com.

Checks.net ($24,500) – is an upgrade for BusinessChecksOnline.com.

CleanCook.com ($2500) – The buyer, Robert Sagulin, has written at CleanCookStoves.org.

Crap.tv ($6000) – was purchased by Crap TV Sdn. Bhd. Those abbreviations are the Malay equivalent of “Inc.” Right now the website says, “Coming Soon!” I never would have guessed this brand would be based in Kuala Lumpur.

Dock9.com (€4500) – now belongs to Dock9.co.uk, a “digital design and development agency”.

EmilGroup.com ($2595) – EmilCeramicaGroup.it, an Italian manufacturer of ceramic tiles, has dropped the middle word and gone global with this .COM.

Expertise.info ($880) – The buyer is business consultant David Baker, whose main site is Recourses.com.

Filimo.com (€4500) – is up an running as a Farsi movie site.

GarageFloor.com ($1500) – improves upon GarageFlooringLLC.com.

HIG.co ($1188) – The buyer is Higginbotham.net, which offers business insurance.

Hotel-Oberhof.de (€1250) – has been added to BergHotel-Oberhof.de.

Ikariam.tv ($2600) – Ikariam is a “massively multiplayer online game” made by GameForge.com.

Infor.nl (€10,000) – was acquired by software company Infor.com.

ISC-Group.com (€3980) – was acquired by ISC-Events.com. They’re putting on a 3-day “ISC Cloud & Big Data conference” in Frankfurt in the Fall.

KidsDayOut.co.uk (£750) – For those “looking for something to do with the family”, they can now find a website at both the plural and singular. This company already owned both in .COM.

Messebau-Koeln.de (€999) – The buyer, DEEG, specializes in creating elaborate exhibits at trade shows. “Messebau” means stand construction – in this case for the city of Köln.

MyFavoriteStuff.com ($1995) – was snagged by the people at BetterHomeProducts.com.

Natos.com (€1500) – Nope, not the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Not the mucusy fermented Japanese soybean dish, Nato, either. This domain was purchased by Watchbands.co.uk, an “official dealer for Dievas NATO and ZULU Extreme straps”.

NextWealth.com ($4000) – is now owned by SPWealth.com. The “SP” is meant to stand for “Strategic Partners”. Hopefully these financial planners are changing their brand name.

Nuvolo.com (€5500) – trims the fat from NuvoloTechnologies.com. The company offers a cloud solution for “biomedical asset management & compliance”. In other words, they make software for labs and hospitals.

OmniCell.de (€2500) – went to OmniCell.com, which devises automated workflow solutions for healthcare and other industries.

ParentPlan.com (€900) – Julian Ribet, who purchased this domain, is a “specialist family lawyer“.

Phuket.co.uk (£1250) – Fresh Ginger Ltd. is based in Phuket, Thailand, and overseen by a British expat. He has already published a travel guide on this domain.

RackSpaceCloud.eu ($2500) – Well known IT company Rackspace.com chose to pay for this 2-year-old domain when conceivably they might have pursued legal action.

Repro.de (€950) – shortens the brand name ReproTechnik.de. As near as I can tell, their field is printing and graphics.

SkyZone.co.uk (£2950) – was picked up by an international chain of indoor trampoline parks. They already own SkyZone.com, as well as the matching .MX, .COM.MX, and .COM.AU.

SparklePop.com ($2119) – is already developed as a jewelry website.

Stock.io (€2999) – now forwards to CapShare.com, an equity-management software company based in Utah.

STSGlobal.com ($1300) – was purchased by a company of the same name, STS Global Inc. I couldn’t find a corporate website; so this domain will most likely become that site.

TemplatesWeb.com ($799) – was picked up by Easy-MediaA.com, a German web design company.

TheraSoft.de (€1350) – German maker of physical therapy devices, Thera Trainer, bought this domain.

Tibo.eu (€2000) – The buyer is a Belgian firm, Tibo Invest BVBA. I’m not sure what they do, but they already own Tibo-Invest.be. (Earlier I mentioned the Malay acronym for corporations. Well, “BVBA” is belongs to Belgium.)

TopWedding.it (€3000) – may be a new name for the Italian website WeddingMart.it, since the latter now showcases this newly purchased domain.

TudoEmeletro.com ($799) – I’m just guessing that the buyer will turn out to be the Brazilian site at the matching .BR domain.

TV-Licence.co.uk ($2000) – CSC procured this domain for a corporate client. Brits spell the noun with a “C” and the verb with an “S”.

uShareIt.com ($8888) – leads to a developed site. Yet it appears unrelated to ShareIt.com; and YouShareIt.com forwards to HighTail.com, which may be a competitor. If that’s the case, then this purchase was unwise.

WorldWideJourneys.co.uk (€975) – The buyer is holiday-booking website, BestAtTravel.co.uk.

If you’d like to learn more about listing domains for sale through Sedo, Andrew Allemann has prepared a handy guide.



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Frank Schilling defends DBAT.com in UDRP

February 26, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Owner of .net domain name filed cybersquatting complaint.

dbat

Nothin’ but .net!

Baseball equipment company DBAT has lost a UDRP it filed against Frank Schilling for the domain name DBAT.com. The baseball company uses the DBAT.NET domain name.

According to the decision (embedded below), DBAT originally threatened Shilling with a UDRP in 2009. It then tried to acquire the domain name through an attorney in 2012. While the details of the 2012 discussions are in dispute, it’s clear that the company tried to buy the domain name that year.

Three years after trying to buy the domain and 6 years after threatening a UDRP originally, DBAT brought a UDRP for the domain.

The panel determined that the domain name was not registered and used in bad faith. It was registered shortly after DBAT started business and before it received any registered trademarks, and the panel found it unlikely that Schilling had ever heard of the complainant at the time his company registered the domain name.

Schilling was represented by John Berryhill. DBAT was represented by Steven L. Rinehart, the same attorney that filed the recent lawsuit against MySchool.com.

dbat.com domain



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Google: Make your website mobile friendly by April 21…or suffer

February 26, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Google says major mobile search changes are coming.

Unless you want to lose search traffic, you need to make your site mobile friendly before April 21.

Google announced today that it will place more weight on how mobile-friendly a website is when users search from a mobile device starting April 21. The company says this will affect mobile searches in all countries, and will have a “significant impact” on search results.

It’s rare that Google uses the term “significant” to describe algorithm changes.

Google has been warning for a while that sites that aren’t mobile friendly will not rank as well on mobile searches.

Google offers a mobile friendly test for websites, and Webmaster Tools users can get a complete analysis of site issues.



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Google pays $25 million for .App domain

February 26, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Google pays dearly for rights to control .App domain name.

Google has won the rights to operate the .App top level domain name after paying what may be a record-breaking price for a top level domain name.

13 companies applied to run the .app domain name, and 12 of them were still in the running when the ICANN auction started yesterday. The auction was so heated that it continued today, with the final price ending at $25,001,000.

Google beat out other big brands, such as Amazon.com, for the domain name. It also faced off with portfolio new top level domain name applicants such as Minds + Machines, Radix and Famous Four Media.

The company will now be able to offer domain names ending in .app. It’s a natural fit with the company’s Google Play service.

With the domain in hand, it’s possible Google can limit registrations to companies that have an app in Google Play, or use the domains to point directly to app listings in the store. However, its application suggests that it will allow the domain name to be more universally used:

The mission of the proposed gTLD, .app, is to provide a dedicated domain space for application developers. The term “app” is associated with a wide variety of applications, including mobile applications, web- and browser-based applications, cloud-hosted applications and even desktop applications. Charleston Road Registry expects uses of the gTLD will include a wide variety of uses across all of these types of applications, not limited to any specific platform or provider. The proposed gTLD will enhance consumer choice by providing new availability in the second-level domain space in which application developers can deliver new content and offerings. It also creates new layers of organization on the Internet and signals the kind of content available in the domain.

Still, I imagine it will incorporate .app into its products and service.

3 bidders were willing to pay at least $19.4 million for the domain, and two bidders were in the running in the last round that started at $24.3 million.

Google has shown a lot of restraint in top level domain name auctions to date, only winning a handful. It doesn’t surprise me that the company went all out for .app, given that it’s other auction wins are related to its core products (e.g. .drive, .docs).

The highest price paid in a public new TLD auction before today was $6.8 million, but several domain names have reportedly sold for between $10-$20 million in private auctions.



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Interesting: Minds + Machines patent app for using domain names as currency

February 26, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Patent application describes a novel way to use domain names as a currency.

Minds + Machines domains as currencySo far, we’ve seen some innovation in how new top level domain names are distributed and sold, but not much innovation in how they’re actually used.

Minds + Machines has an idea that certainly seems innovative: using domain names as a currency.

The company filed a patent application on the idea last year, and it was just published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office this morning. (Read the full application embedded below.)

The idea is that you can buy a domain name from your registrar that has a certain stored value facilitated by the registry. For example, I could go to GoDaddy and request a $500 stored value domain name. The registrar would then issue a domain name, such as USD500-781211.work, which corresponds to that $500.

If someone typed the domain name into their browser, they could verify its value (see image).

You could transfer the value to another person by transferring the domain name much like you transfer one today. You could also redeem it from the central registry, perhaps through your domain name registrar. There could also be a way to “make change” on a transaction by issuing another domain name for the difference.

The patent application notes that the system will work best if there’s some sort of trusted guarantor (such as a government).

The application points out several advantages of DNS over other eCurrencies, including the ability to verify ownership, see the value directly in the domain name, and the ability to lock domain names from transfer.

Just be sure your registrar offers two-factor authentication…

Domains as Currency Patent App



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Wow, how was this case not reverse domain name hijacking?

February 26, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

WIPO panelist drops the ball in RDNH decision.

A single member World Intellectual Property Organization panel has denied a UDRP complaint against the domain name alessandro.com, but failed to find the complainant guilty of reverse domain name hijacking.

Frankly, I’m stunned that panelist Pablo A. Palazzi did not find beauty products company Alessandro International GmbH to have brought the case in bad faith, and his rationale contradicts the facts of the case.

Alessandro International GmbH filed the complaint against Alessandro Gualandi of New York. Yes, the respondent’s name is Alessandro, and he registered his first name as a domain name.

The arguments made by the complainant are stunning:

…the Respondent is neither not commonly known by the disputed domain name nor is Respondent making a legitimate non commercial or fair use of the disputed domain name, without intent for commercial gain.

This is demonstrably false. Historical whois records show that, at the time of the UDRP filing and well before, the whois record clearly showed that the owner of the domain name was named Alessandro. Even worse, the complainant stated that it had a meeting with the respondent at a bar to discuss the domain name. Clearly, the complainant knew that the respondent’s name was Alessandro.

…Complainant states that Respondent has not used the disputed domain name since it was registered in 1998…

Again, demonstrably false as proven by the panelist himself when using Archive.org.

Complainant states that the fact that Respondent given name is Alessandro does not constitute a right or legitimate interest in respect of the disputed domain name. Complainant states that the name Alessandro is a very popular and widespread Italian name. In that sense Complainant mention statistics of the use of the name Alessandro in Italy. Due to the high number of people named Alessandro it has to be concluded that Respondent is not commonly known by the name Alessandro because hundred of thousands of individuals have the same name as well. Therefore Respondent cannot claim any right or legitimate interest in respect of the disputed domain name because the name is not associated with Respondent in particular.

Can someone explain the logic in “Respondent is not commonly known by the name Alessandro because hundreds of thousands of individuals have the same name as well.” So because lots of people are named Andrew, that means I’m not commonly known as Andrew?

To prove rights or legitimate interests in a domain name, the domain name owner doesn’t have to prove that he’s the only person with a legitimate interest in a domain name. Just that he has a legitimate interest

Complainant also argues that the trademark right of a company should prevail over the fact that a non famous individual happens to have the same name as the company and its trademarks.

Oh, really?

Complainant states that consumers are used to see a strong international brand as being displayed in a URL as the second level domain name, whereas natural persons usually do not only use their given name as a second level domain name but their given name plus their surname, or only their surname.

I think I just threw up a bit in my mouth.

Panelist Pablo A. Palazzi made a procedural request for the respondent to send in proof of his name. He sent in a copy of his passport and drivers license showing his name.

Amazingly, when Palazzi ruled on reverse domain name hijacking, he said that “there was not on the record evidence of the name of Respondent until the Panel Order No. 1 was fulfilled.”

I’m not sure if Palazzi meant there was no evidence on the UDRP record until the copy of the identification was sent in, but clearly the complainant knew. The whois record clearly states the domain name is owned by a guy name Alessandro. The complainant met Alessandro in a bar to try to buy the domain name. What, did Alessandro call himself deep throat when they met at the bar?

Alessandro registered the domain name in 1998. Many years later, a company by the name of Alessandro approached him about acquiring the domain name. When that failed, it filed a UDRP. This looks to me like a classic “Plan B” RDNH.

Palazzi got the main decision right, but I’m baffled by his failure to admonish Alessandro International GmbH and its attorneys Betten & Resch for filing the case in the first place. The complaint clearly tries to twist much of the language and purpose of UDRP.



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Marchex CEO steps down

February 25, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

A new boss at Marchex and Q4 earnings released.

Marchex reported earnings today, and also announced that long time CEO Russell Horowitz has stepped down. Company co-founder Pete Christothoulou has taken over the top post.

The company, which derives the bulk of its revenue from performance advertising in which customers pay for phone calls, had a rocky 2014 after losing the bulk of its business from its biggest client. The stock trades for about $4.00 now, well below its 52-week high of $12.84.

Marchex also owns a large portfolio of domain names that it monetizes and sells through the Archeo Domains brand. The Archeo business reported revenue of $3.0 million for Q4 2014, and $14.5 million for the year. Both of these numbers are down from their prior respective periods.



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Here’s what sold at NameJet this past week

February 25, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Joseph Peterson reviews the previous week’s expired domain name sales on NameJet.

China is perched at the top of our chart – same as last week. The high expired domain sale from NameJet was YuChu.com ($11.9k), which – if experience is any guide – probably has multiple meanings apart from being a proper name. In spite of its resemblance to the English word “symmetry”, SYMM.com ($1.8k) is bound for a Chinese audience also, as are WABB.com ($1.9k), SeHai.com ($713), and possibly 2 or 3 others among the shorter domains whose buyers haven’t yet been revealed.

Mainly, however, the high-end auctions were dominated by English. (A notable exception is Trazo.com ($1.9k), Spanish for a drawn line.) The next time you see a tiny placard on a desk or outside an office door, use that prop as a conversation starter to introduce bystanders to the notion of the domain market. Point to any name plate and casually mention that the .COM sold for $9.7k. And before eating that next sandwich, consider that the $4.2k sale of Bread.net shows that .NET isn’t yet dead.

Domain Name End $ Domain Name End $
YuChu.com 11904 NamePlates.com 9669
Bread.net 4200 SwapStuff.com 3388
VideoMax.com 3200 HeliFlight.com 2947
NeverFail.com 2900 GolfWholesale.com 2621
D8D.com 2610 KirklandHomes.com 2524
GaySexVideos.com 2400 InnoVape.com 2000
WABB.com 1911 Trazo.com 1870
SYMM.com 1806 VisiTech.com 1523
OrthoMedical.com 1510 GMS.net 1500
NaturalDog.com 1400 OXYO.com 1103
Octopi.com 1100 Netrex.com 1000
Armont.com 968 UHC.net 910
AmericaSpeaks.org 810 SeHai.com 713
Lamani.com 649 ILSU.com 610
IndianaStandards
Resources.org
610 RealTime.org 569
Slagg.com 560 OptionCentral.com 555
Bouse.com 525 CoinTimes.com 510
TownHouse
Rentals.com
508 Ilinet.org 500
NetBall.net 487 NineBar.com 462
WeddingApproved.com 460 BDCavite.net 450
Cargoo.com 410 PizzaInfo.com 398
WWYW.com 395 CREHST.org 355
Dietician.org 339 HostChart.com 312
C2O.org 310 ThisIsTheStart.com 294
ACIA.org 263 BestRE.com 261
30785.com 256 FGTH.com 254
WebsiteLoans.com 197 KBNB.com 189
GamerApp.com 171 ASIS2012.org 165
SoFull.com 161 MWIB.com 160
ChicagoHistory
Journal.com
155 AuctionNinja.com 109
Hiccoughs.com 84 SalsaDev.com 81
Coopoly.com 80 LiveMemorials.com 79
MensRunning
Shirts.com
79 GlobalInnovation
Network.org
79
ICIN.biz 71 DISCI.net 69

Many domainers like topics on the verge of going mainstream. Vaping is one such niche, and pun-loving investors obviously liked the name InnoVape.com ($2k). Someone had already laid claim to InnoVapeShop.com, but the site hasn’t launched. CoinTimes.com ($510) may be related to bitcoin, another favorite domainer topic.

Both GamerApp.com ($171) and especially WebsiteLoans.com ($197) were undervalued. Purely as a name, Coopoly.com ($80) is the best item in the list – a succinct blend of “monopoly” and its opposite, “cooperation”, with extra emphasis on “poly” = many instead of “mono” =one.

No matter how wholesomely you feed your NaturalDog.com ($1.4k), there’s a good chance Octopi.com ($1.1k) are smarter. What we normally pronounce “hiccups” would originally have been Hiccoughs.com ($84); and the latter spelling, though counterintuitive, is still accepted. Do dogs hiccough?

SwapStuff.com ($3.4k) is suitably informal for branding a site about bartering, since barters do away with the formality of money. Tourists will often pay for helicopter tours in NYC or at places like the Grand Canyon; so HeliFlight.com can recover its $2.9k in short order.

Any museum closure is a sad event. That seems to be the back story of CREHST.org, the Columbia River Exhibition of History, Science, and Technology in southeast Washington. Elsewhere in the same state, houses will be sold through KirklandHomes.com ($2.5k).

Go visit a museum near you before it too closes!



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New candidate for worst domain name: Sqeeqee.com

February 25, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Why would you put your company at such a marketing disadvantage?

sqeeqeeI’ve written about plenty of poor domain name choices, and I have a new candidate to throw into the mix:

Sqeeqee.com

Sqeeqee.com is some sort of social networking platform, and it proudly just launched a cloud file hosting service called SqeeBox.

How do you think you pronounce these brands?

Skee-key? Skwey-key? Squeak-Key?

It’s tough to say. On the one hand, the logo has keyholes, so I think something with “key” in it. But then their marketing information suggests the latter:

“Almost as fast as you can say “Squeaky”, you can use “Sqeeqee’s innovation social commerce platform to handle all of your social networking…”

(Update: it turns out it is supposed to be pronounced “squeaky”.

Look, I’m a big fan of using a .com domain name for your business. But if your choice is Sqeeqee.com or Squeaky.social, I’d go with the .social. (Actually, I think they’re both horrible, difficult to spell names and I’d just pick another brand name.)



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