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TRAFFIC sets dates for Las Vegas show

May 25, 2012Domain Services, Domaining, Domainnamewire, howard neu, rick schwartz, targeted trafficComments Off on TRAFFIC sets dates for Las Vegas show

It’s a year away, but dates are finalized.

For a while there were too many domainer-targeted domain conferences. Then the pendulum swung the other way.

TRAFFIC is adding an additional show in 2013, and today it announced the final dates. The show will begin Wednesday, May 29th in the evening. It will conclude with breakfast on Saturday, June 1 2013.

The event was originally planned to start earlier in the week, but organizers received concerns about its proximity to Memorial Day.

TRAFFIC Las Vegas will take place at the Bellagio.

Show organizers Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu also announced that they “expect to be there for both 2013 and 2014″ as well.

© 2011.

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New Service Hopes to Make Seller-Financed Domain Transactions Easier

June 23, 2011Domain Services, Domaining, Domainnamewire, escrow services,, howard neuComments Off on New Service Hopes to Make Seller-Financed Domain Transactions Easier

Service manages seller financed domain sales.

Zenscrow.comA new service called Zenscrow hopes to bring more liquidity to the domain name market by making seller financed domain sales easier.

Companies such as and Moniker already offer payment plan escrow services, but Zenscrow takes it a step further. There are two benefits I see to Zenscrow compared to typical payment plan services.

First, Zenscrow provides a domain sale or lease agreement.

Second, the company monitors the use of the domain name during the financing period.

This second feature is important. You might sell a domain to someone on a payment plan, only to find out they are using the domain name in a way that hurts its value. If they later stop making payments you get the domain name back but it’s damaged goods.

For example, the buyer might try search engine tricks that get the domain banned from Google, post infringing materials that result in a domain seizure or lawsuit, or use a generic domain that happens to be also be a trademark in a way that risks a UDRP case.

I’m not sure how much of a burden self-monitoring would be if you only have a few seller financed deals, but I can see the value if you handle many of these types of sales. And some monitoring, such as search engine tricks, might be difficult to monitor as an individual.

Zenscrow charges 0.25% of the domain purchase price per month with a $99/month minimum. The company doesn’t actually handle the escrow itself; this is handled by the customer’s choice of either or the Law Office of Howard Neu. There’s a 0.89% escrow fee at the beginning of the transaction.

© 2011.

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Michael Berkens and Howard Neu Team Up to Save Domain Name

December 7, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, howard neu, michael berkens, Policy & Law, worldwide mediaComments Off on Michael Berkens and Howard Neu Team Up to Save Domain Name

Michael Berkens’ Worldwide Media, Inc., has successfully defended its domain name in a UDRP with the help of attorney Howard Neu.

Complainant CareFree Homes II, L.P. doesn’t have a registered trademark for “CareFree Homes”, but it argued common law rights. The argument by the El Paso, Texas home builder was fairly weak. Summarizing the home builder’s failure to show any sort of common law mark, the panel wrote:

The evidence offered by the Complainant falls far short of the fairly high standard for establishing a common law mark. The fact that it had a presence on the Internet over the past 10 years under various domain names which include the name CAREFREE HOMES is not enough. The submitted print publications and flyers of advertisements used to promote its business, the fact that it is the recipient of building awards and that it has advertised through cable TV do not provide sufficient evidence of a common law mark.

…The fact that the words of the disputed domain name are generic operates against a finding of their having acquired a secondary meaning. The fact that there are similar operations in at least three other states, as identified by the Respondent, all operating under the name “Carefree Homes” further diminishes the Complainant’s case.

Because the complainant didn’t meet the first requirement of a UDRP, the panel declined to consider the second and third elements of a UDRP. However, the panel did give a nod to a recent case involving Frank Schilling that I previously said could set an important precedent over laches.

This panel stopped short of considering if it agreed with the panel in the Schilling case that found laches (basically waiting too long to file a complaint) could be a defense, but still noted that waiting over a decade to file a complaint hurt the complainant’s case:

This is another case where a complainant has slept on its rights. It would be extremely difficult to infer, after 10 years of inaction by the Complainant, that a respondent registering a domain name 10 years previously consisting of two generic words would know of their use by a company then operating in a small way in another state some distance away…

….The equitable doctrine of laches need play no part in this Panel’s assessment. Nevertheless, the longer a complainant defers the seeking of relief under the Policy, the more difficult it is to prove bad faith registration.

© 2010.

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Rick and Howard Pulling Out All the Stops for TRAFFIC Miami

October 15, 2010Domain Services, Domaining, Domainnamewire, howard neu, rick schwartz, targeted trafficComments Off on Rick and Howard Pulling Out All the Stops for TRAFFIC Miami

Everything’s lined up for TRAFFIC Miami. It seems that it will deliver.

I’ve been a vocal critic of some of the TRAFFIC shows in recent years. They seemed to have gone a bit stale and attendance had dwindled.

That will not be the case with TRAFFIC Miami, which starts Sunday evening at the South Beach Loews. Perhaps Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu had something to prove. It doesn’t hurt that this is the only event they’re planning for this year (Rick Latona did the rest), so they have the time to focus on this event.

But it doesn’t really matter why this is shaping up to be a good event. The truth is Rick and Howard have booked some great speakers. How will Don King be as a speaker? I have no idea, but I still want to see it. Myself and the 300+ expected attendees.

Here are other things that should make this show interesting:

-Congressman Cliff Stearns, who is a member of the Telecommunications and Internet Sub-committee. Nice to have someone to hear the domain investor’s side of the story.

-New technology for networking

-Rob Monster’s successful swap event returns for an encore

If you’re going to TRAFFIC and want to start networking in advance, feel free to leave a comment.

© 2010.

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5 Domain Industry Questions to Be Answered in Next 72 Hours

January 21, 2010Domain Services, Domaining, Domainnamewire, howard neu, rick latona, rick schwartz, targeted trafficComments Off on 5 Domain Industry Questions to Be Answered in Next 72 Hours

This week’s TRAFFIC event will answer some questions.

Well, I’m off to Vegas.

I’m excited to attend the updated T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference. But unlike Ron, I’m not stoked about having two conferences back-to-back. Perhaps it’s because I live in the middle of the country (not coming from the East coast) and have a small child.

Nonetheless, business is business. OK, and a bit of fun.

For the next 72 hours, it’s all about TRAFFIC. Here are five questions that will be answered before the weekend is up:

1. Is ready for prime time? Rick Latona is going with his new, custom-built platform for the online component of his domain auction. He had a test run with the WhyPark charity auction, but now it’s time to see if the online component integrates seamlessly with a live, offline auction. Here’s hoping it goes off without a hitch. is already open for pre-bidding.

2. What were the ten worst UDRPs of 2010? I will face off with a few other UDRP enthusiasts (that’s an oxymoron) on stage Friday to convince you of my choice.

3. Will a focus on networking pay off? Rick Latona’s team called 100 of their biggest customers to ask them why they come to domain conferences. The number one response was networking. So his team front loaded the event with networking sessions on the first day.

4. Will Rick Latona’s team rise to the challenge? This isn’t Latona’s first domain conference. He held a TRAFFIC conference on ccTLDs last year. But it is his first show since announcing a major licensing deal with TRAFFIC. Latona will tell you it’s not the Rick Latona show — it’s his team that’s working hard to put it together. He’s right. But he’s the front man, so all eyes will be on him.

5. How will Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu handle sitting on the sidelines? They might have too much time to relax. But I guess they got practice at TRAFFIC Down Under and TRAFFIC ccTLDs.

© 2009.

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iPhone App Developer Loses .Me Domain Dispute

November 13,, Domaining, Domainnamewire, howard neu, Policy & Law, project.meComments Off on iPhone App Developer Loses .Me Domain Dispute (the company) fails to capture domain name.

Here’s a follow up to a story back in September — iPhone App developer has lost its attempt to get the domain name through domain arbitration.

After failing to acquire the domain name from its owner, the company filed a complaint with World Intellectual Property Organization, arguing that the domain name infringed on its applied-for trademark.

The three person arbitration panel determined (.doc) that the domain’s registrant, Alan Lin, had not registered the domain in bad faith for two separate reasons. First, Lin registered a number of other generic .me domain names during the .me landrush, and it was clear he wasn’t targeting the iPhone app developer. Second, Lin actually applied for the domain prior to’s existence, even though the domain wasn’t technically registered until afterward:

The Respondent applied for registration of the disputed domain name during the Land Rush application period for the .me domain, on June 26, 2008 – three months before the Complainant’s trademark registration was entered in the German trademark Register, three weeks before the Complainant even applied for its trademark registration, and two weeks before the Complainant even came into legal existence. The Respondent could not, therefore, have been aware of the Complainant’s existence, let alone aware of the Complainant’s trademark rights, at the time the Respondent applied for registration of the disputed domain name.

Another interesting aspect to the case is that the panel found that the domain name was confusingly similar to the company’s trademark. The panel cited prior cases where panels ignored the top level domain, which would have required it to consider the domain string as “project” instead of “”. But this panel disagreed with prior panels, noting that .me has been marketed as being about “me”, rather than just as a country code identifier, and should be considered. (This could create problems for future panels that wish to ignore the top level domain.)

Lin was represented by domain name lawyer Howard Neu.

© 2009.

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