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French Company Wants to Cancel Adwords Trademark, Hit with UDRP

July 6, 2011adwords, Domaining, Domainnamewire, mobi, Policy & Law, udrpComments Off on French Company Wants to Cancel Adwords Trademark, Hit with UDRP

French company files to cancel one of Google’s trademarks, gets hit with UDRP over .mobi domain name.

Ad-words.mobiGoogle has filed a UDRP against the owner of a French trademark for “adwords” over his domain name

The domain owner, Francotel, LLC, has a French trademark for “adwords”, but Google has some as well. Francotel has also filed for cancellation of Google’s European Union trademark for “Adwords”, although it appears the company has filed a newer application for the mark.

The domain name resolves to a page that states “Place your Ad with some Words here”.

The bottom of the page says “don’t be the devil”, which may be a jab at Google’s slogan “Do no evil”.

It will be interesting to see if the UDRP panel decides this case, or if they decide to punt to the courts.

© 2011.

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How the iPad Will Further Fragment the Web — and Learning from .Mobi

March 16, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, ipad, mobi, UncategorizedComments Off on How the iPad Will Further Fragment the Web — and Learning from .Mobi

iPad-friendly sites are a reminder of mobile-friendly web sites.

In January I wrote about how the iPad could be bad for domainers because it will change the way some people navigate the web. Today news of a different sort regarding the iPad and web sites has surfaced: NPR and The Wall Street Journal will show different versions of their web sites to iPad users.

At issue here is the iPad’s lack of support for flash, which both NPR and WSJ apparently use heavily on their sites.

When mobile web browsing picked up, the web split in two as sites were made for mobile or desktop browsing. Hence the idea of .mobi, a top level domain name that would only contain web content optimized for small screens. Web enthusiasts screamed that the idea fragments the web, and instead the focus should be on creating web sites that work well on both small and large screens.

Many years later its apparent that .mobi wasn’t needed because of device and browser recognition. If I visit an optimized site with my phone, it will serve up a mobile version of the site. I don’t need .mobi.

That’s the approach NPR and WSJ are taking. Do we need a .ipad domain? Of course not. Web sites can just serve a different page to someone visiting from an iPad.

It’s still not ideal — web designers shouldn’t need to optimize for several devices. And ‘app’ on the iPad will be like creating new web site for a different platform. Yet the hindsight of what happened with .mobi and the mobile web helps us see the path forward.

© 2009.

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Pinky Brand Discusses the Past, Present, and Future of .Mobi

December 2, 2009Domaining, Domainnamewire, dotmobi, mobi, new tlds, pinky brand, UncategorizedComments Off on Pinky Brand Discusses the Past, Present, and Future of .Mobi

Pinky Brand explains what’s going on with the .mobi domain name.

dotMobiFrom the moment it launched, the .mobi top level domain name has been divisive in the domainer community. As people paid tens of thousands — even hundreds of thousands — for .mobi domain names at auctions, onlookers thought these people were crazy while the buyers thought they were getting a bargain piece of property on the mobile web.

Even though the rush has slowed down and people have had time to sort things out, people still stand on one side of the issue. A few months ago, .mobi domainers began to get frustrated and raised a number of issues.

This came as somewhat of a shock to me. After all, I can think of no other new top level domain names that has put in more effort or money into a launch than dotMobi. Whether or not it’s enough is another question.

Earlier today I connected with dotMobi Director of Global Sales Pinky Brand for an update.

Brand told me that, with close to 1 million domain names currently registered, the company is profitable. It is currently investing in add-on products, such as Device Atlas. (More information on current initiatives is available in dotMobi’s resource center.)

As for resale values of .mobi domain names, that’s a secondary concern to the company.

“I think by definition, domainers are a varied lot of individuals,” said Brand. “There are some who are very experienced and some that are new to this business. Depending on where you came in, you may have different expectations.”

Making millions quickly flipping .mobi domain names is probably not the right expectation.

“If a domainer buys a .mobi and they expect to flip it for 100x in a year, more power to them,” said Brand. “But we’re not guaranteeing that. That’s a secondary business.”

Brand doesn’t believe that the high auction prices .mobi domains commanded at early auctions set unrealistic expectations for domain owners. They reflected how the market valued the domains at the time.

One complaint you’ll hear about .mobi is that it isn’t being marketed to end users. Don’t expect a mass market push to mobile phone owners any time soon. As Brand explained, the company isn’t going to put an ad in the SuperBowl. This sort of marketing isn’t as efficient as getting companies — small and large — to use the domain and thereby spread the .mobi name to their customers.

If .mobi domainers are giving dotMobi grief over its marketing efforts, it will be interesting to see what happens when new top level domains roll out. Few TLD backers will have the financial resources dotMobi had at its launch. Brand noted that none of the newer top level domains — even all of them combined — have amounted to anything close to a fraction of .com.

“Someone who’s starting a new top level domain needs to think about that,” said Brand. He advises people to look at history. “They’re not going to sell ten million domains.”

As for .mobi, its registration numbers are much higher than any new TLD introduced since .info/.biz. But there is still legitimate debate about whether a TLD for the mobile web is needed given automatic device recognition, and if it makes sense to have two separate webs (one for desktop, one for mobile).

“We’ve accomplished the task of building a foundation,” explained Brand. dotMobi hopes to build on that foundation in the coming year.

© 2009.

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.Mobi Domain Registration Base Down 10% Over Year

November 6, 2009Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, mobi, mtldComments Off on .Mobi Domain Registration Base Down 10% Over Year

Registered base of .mobi domains is sinking.

The total number of .mobi domain names registered fell to 850,712 in July 2009, the latest number available through ICANN. That represents a 10% drop from the same month in 2008 when the total base was 946,357.


The number of .mobi domains registered has held stagnate this year, hanging around 850,000 domains.

.Mobi has been one of the best marketed new top level domain names to ever be released. A couple months ago I was surprised to see people calling out mTLD for not promoting the domain more. I suspect these people are more frustrated about resale values of the domain than mTLD’s marketing. mTLD has marketed the heck out of the domain, released software to support domain registrants, hooked up with GoDaddy (which has registered about half of all .mobi domains) and forged alliances with mobile device makers.

That said, it looks like 850,000 may be the ongoing magic number for .mobi domain registrations. A lot of people bought .mobi domain names for speculation, and with the resale market faltering, it’s unlikely to see a surge in new registrations for the domain.

Later today I’ll post numbers from .asia and .tel to show how those domains are performing.

[Update: as one reader pointed out, .mobi got a boost of about 100,000 domains recently with the launch of certain IDN domains. See comments.]

© 2009.

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U.S. Postal Service Delivers Domain Name

September 15, 2009Domaining, Domainnamewire, mobi, Policy & Law, uspsComments Off on U.S. Postal Service Delivers Domain Name

USPS wins domain dispute for mobile domain name.

USPSI wonder if the final decision was sent to the United States Postal Service via Fedex.

USPS has prevailed in a dispute over the domain name, in a case heard by National Arbitration Forum. The decision is written in Chinese, but a crude Google translation tells the story.

According the the case files, the registrant of the domain name managed to get it in the sunrise period. USPS alleged that he provided false information about a non-existent Chinese USPS trademark in order to obtain the domain during the .mobi sunrise, a period in which intellectual property holders can stake claim to a domain. The complainant seems to deny that he knew he was doing this, and had only responded to a phone solicitation. (If anyone can read Chinese and confirm this, let me know.)

Now for the forty-four cent question: will USPS use the domain it just won?

© 2009.

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Related posts:

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  3. Auction Results: Headlines Lackluster .Mobi Auction