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.Com growth rate slowing (but only slightly)

October 16, 2012.com, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Uncategorized, verizon, zone fileComments Off on .Com growth rate slowing (but only slightly)

Data show a slight reduction in .com growth rate, but it’s still over 8% per year.

A couple weeks ago Michael Berkens wrote a story about how the base of .com and .net domain registrations was slowing “to a crawl”.

A few days later Treffis issued a report stating “Verisign’s Dropping .com And .net Is A Troubling Trend”.

The numbers in Berken’s post didn’t quite make sense to me. The Treffis report refers to .com and .net having a falling market share, which doesn’t seem particularly relevant with the overall namespace continuing to grow.

Curious what the real story is, I decided to dig into the numbers.

The most important thing I discovered is that the numbers some people compare aren’t always apples to apples. What VeriSign reports on its zone file page differ from what’s in its domain industry briefs and investor calls, which also differ from the numbers it reports to ICANN each month. For example, the numbers in the quarterly reports and domain briefs exclude domains in the 5 day add-grace period.

If you compare numbers in the zone file to VeriSign’s other reports, you’ll get the wrong growth rates.

Perhaps the best monthly source of information on .com registrations are the monthly reports VeriSign sends to ICANN. They’re easy to access and the archive goes back as far as you want to go.

So to compare apples to apples, I pulled the end-of-quarter monthly ICANN reports going back to Q1 2009. I looked only at .com.

Here’s what I found: the growth rate of the .com registration base is slowing marginally over the past few years.

The chart above shows the annual growth rate in the .com base. As you case see, it’s been on a slight downward projectory since Q3 of 2010. It’s never good to go down, but the drop (in growth rate, not total domains registered) has been as little as three basis points from one quarter to the next and no more than 25 basis points. It’s also coming off a nice peak following a hard period due to falling domain parking revenue.

Also keep in mind that the bigger the base gets, the more domains must be added just to maintain the same growth rate. The number of net gains in 2011 exceeded 2010 despite a slower overall growth rate.

It may be helpful to look at the .com base, as reported to ICANN, since Q1 2009 on a chart that begins at zero:

Trying to compare the growth rate in the .com base from quarter to quarter (instead of annually) is a bit challenging. Domain registrations are seasonal. Q1 is consistently a strong quarter for growth.

It’s best to represent this data in a table:

You can still see the slight downward trend in these numbers.

Bottom line: growth in the .com base is slowing, but ever so slightly. And it’s still growing significantly.

The downside to VeriSign’s data submitted to ICANN is that it is posted three months in arrears. Some sites that track .com counts on zone information show that the reduced growth trend is continuing.

Many new TLD supporters think that a proliferation of alternatives to .com will take a bite out of .com’s growth rate. They could be right in the long term. But for now, the registration base of .com continues to grow nicely.


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Above.com settles lawsuit with Verizon

August 23, 2012above.com, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, verizonComments Off on Above.com settles lawsuit with Verizon

Company settles cybersquatting lawsuit ahead of trial.

Above.com and related parties have settled a cybersquatting lawsuit filed by Verizon.

The case was filed in February 2011 and Above.com was served during the DOMAINfest Global conference in Santa Monica.

The suit alleged that the defendants used a number of false identities to traffic in trademark-infringing domain names. It alleged the company has registered, used and/or provided Above.com privacy service to at least 183 domains including Verizon’s trademarks, including VerizWireless.com, ActivateVerizon.net, and loginvzw.com.

The defendants initially said that they would take responsibility for the domains they had registered but not for their clients actions. The judge later ruled that Above.com could be liable for actions of its customers if it should have been aware of their activities. The defendants later backtracked and argued that they had not registered any of the allegedly infringing domain names themselves.

Terms of the settlement are not available. However, it “requires performance until June 30, 2014″. Typically a plaintiff in this sort of case wants a financial penalty as well as an agreement to refrain in the future from certain activities regarding the trademark.

The parties are also working a tolling agreement, which means that the statute of limitations will be extended in case the defendants do not follow through with requirements of the settlement agreement.

A trial was scheduled for October 2.


© DomainNameWire.com 2012. This is copyrighted content. Do not republish.

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Court: Above.com May Be Responsible for Customers’ Domain Names

July 18, 2011above.com, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, verizonComments Off on Court: Above.com May Be Responsible for Customers’ Domain Names

Judge sides with Verizon, settlement in doubt.

A federal district judge has dealt a blow to Above.com in a lawsuit brought against it by Verizon.

Chief United States District Judge Audrey Collins has denied Above.com’s motion to dismiss charges of contributory cybersquatting.

Above.com and the other defendants have accepted responsibility for registering and monetizing typos of Verizon’s brand names, but argued they shouldn’t be responsible for domain names owned by clients of Above.com who use its privacy services and monetization program.

The judge said that Above.com could be liable for actions of its customers if it should have been aware of their activities. Verizon argued that the company was aware of customer use of its services for cybersquatting based on receiving over 100 UDRP notices (pdf).

At one point it looked like the parties were close to settling, but it appears the fight over Above.com’s responsibility for customer domains remains and issue. The case will move forward.


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Above.com In Settlement Talks with Verizon

May 10, 2011above.com, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, verizonComments Off on Above.com In Settlement Talks with Verizon

Domain company working toward settlement over trademark lawsuit.

Above.com is currently in settlement talks with Verizon over a lawsuit brought by Verizon in February, according to court records.

Verizon filed the suit against Above.com, parent company Trellian, and some of its key employees back in February. It also served the company during DOMAINfest.

The complaint alleges that the defendants use a number of false identities to traffic in trademark-infringing domain names. It alleges the company has registered, used and/or provided Above.com privacy service to at least 183 domains including Verizon’s trademarks, including VerizWireless.com, ActivateVerizon.net, and loginvzw.com.

The defendants were granted an extension until May 8 to respond to the suit. But all parties asked the court to extend the deadline to May 23 in order to work toward settlement:

good cause exists for granting the requested extension of time, specifically, that Verizon and Trellian are engaging in settlement discussions, and the requested continuance will allow Verizon and Trellian to continue moving towards settlement

Stay tuned to Domain Name Wire for updates.


© DomainNameWire.com 2011.

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Verizon Gets Back Into UDRP Game

May 28, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, udrp, verizonComments Off on Verizon Gets Back Into UDRP Game

Verizon files four separate UDRP cases in past couple days.

For a while it seemed like Verizon had basically given up on filing UDRP cases. Instead, it opted to just file lawsuits against anyone with trademark typos, even small fry.

That may be changing. The company has filed four separate UDRP cases at World Intellectual Property Organization within the past two days.

One of those cases is for wwwverizon.com – a typo that should have been at the top of Verizon’s hit list from the beginning. It almost seems that the company has been using a shotgun approach going after typosquatters, leaving the highest trafficked domains out there. Compete.com says this typo gets over 6,000 uniques a month.

Why switch to UDRP instead of lawsuits? It may be that these specific typosquatters have been hard to track down. In the case of verizonewireless.com, the whois record is constantly changing. wwwverizon.com and verzonwireless.com are owned by people in Russia and Poland, respectively.

Or perhaps, after years of filing lawsuits, the company feels its determent efforts (lawsuits) have worked on everyone else they’ll work on. Now it’s time to use a cheaper method to get control of trademark typos.


© DomainNameWire.com 2010.

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Two Defendants Respond to Verizon Cybersquatting Lawsuit

May 25, 2010directNIC, Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, lawsuits, verizonComments Off on Two Defendants Respond to Verizon Cybersquatting Lawsuit

Response filed in Verizon domain name lawsuit.

Two defendants in a lawsuit filed by Verizon alleging cybersquatting have responded to the suit.

Both The Producers, Inc., and Michael Gardner have responded to Verizon’s allegations that they registered domains related to Verizon trademarks. The somewhat bizarre case revolves around what DirectNIC does with domain names when they expire but are not yet deleted. Like most registrars, DirectNIC removes the registrant’s details from whois and places a parked page on the domain.

In their defenses, The Producers and Gardner didn’t say much, other than denying most of the allegations made by Verizon. They also have terse affirmative defenses, including that Verizon has “unclean hands”:

Some or all of Plaintiffs’ claims and/or remedies are barred in whole or in part by the doctrine of “unclean hands”.

This basically alleges that Verizon is engaging in some of the same behavior that it alleges the defendants have engaged in. Although the response doesn’t elaborate, this could be about Verizon’s practice of displaying a parked page to its ISP customers when they type in a domain name that doesn’t exist.

The defendants also claim estoppel, statute of limitations/laches, ACPA Immunity, Communications Decency Act immunity, actions permitted by contract (that defendants are permitted to operate a proxy registration service), failure to mitigate damages, and third-party liability (that third parties are liable to The Producers and Gardner for all or part of the Plaintiffs’ claims).


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Verizon Settles Trademark Domain Name Case

February 8, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, Typosquatting, verizonComments Off on Verizon Settles Trademark Domain Name Case

Communications company settles lawsuit over typosquatting.

Verizon has reached a tentative settlement with 2Cool Guys, LLC, Warren Weitzman, and Arnold Trebach over alleged trademark infringement from domain name typos.

The communications company filed the complaint in October, alleging that the defendants parked typos of its popular Verizon trademark in order to earn pay-per-click revenue. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, but two of the three domain names in question have been transferred to Verizon as of this morning. Verizon was asking for $100,000 per domain name plus fees and recovery of pay-per-click revenue earned.

Typo domain names involved in the case included varizon.com, vierzon.com, and virazon.com.

Verizon has frequently sued entities that allegedly register and monetize typos of its trademarks. In 2008 it won a default judgment of $33 million in one such case. However, Verizon happens to be one of the biggest typosquatters in the world itself.


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

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Verizon Settles Trademark Domain Name Case

February 8, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, Typosquatting, verizonComments Off on Verizon Settles Trademark Domain Name Case

Communications company settles lawsuit over typosquatting.

Verizon has reached a tentative settlement with 2Cool Guys, LLC, Warren Weitzman, and Arnold Trebach over alleged trademark infringement from domain name typos.

The communications company filed the complaint in October, alleging that the defendants parked typos of its popular Verizon trademark in order to earn pay-per-click revenue. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, but two of the three domain names in question have been transferred to Verizon as of this morning. Verizon was asking for $100,000 per domain name plus fees and recovery of pay-per-click revenue earned.

Typo domain names involved in the case included varizon.com, vierzon.com, and virazon.com.

Verizon has frequently sued entities that allegedly register and monetize typos of its trademarks. In 2008 it won a default judgment of $33 million in one such case. However, Verizon happens to be one of the biggest typosquatters in the world itself.


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

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Related posts:

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Verizon Files Another Cybersquatting Lawsuit

October 19, 2009Cybersquatting, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, verizonComments Off on Verizon Files Another Cybersquatting Lawsuit

Verizon files cybersquatting lawsuit for Verizon.com typos.

Verizon is suing 2Cool Guys.LLC (sic), Warren Weitzman, Arnold Trebach, and several John Does for trademark infringement.

In the lawsuit, Verizon alleges that the defendants registered domain names that infringe on Verizon’s trademarks and set up various companies to hide their activities. It alleges that the parties use Lead Networks Private Domains Limited as their registrar, which allegedly works with cybersquatters to hide their identities. (ICANN is currently trying to de-accredit Lead Networks.)

Among the potentially infringing domain names listed in the case are varizon.com, vierzon.com, and virazon.com.

Verizon is seeking damages of $100,000 per domain under the anti-cybersquatting statute, along with:

-Any profits earned by the defendants from using the domains as pay-per-click web sites
-Attorney’s fees
-Defendants to take corrective advertising to the extent necessary to correct any consumer confusion or misperceptions resulting from Defendants’ alleged unlawful acts

A copy of the lawsuit is available here (pdf).


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

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