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L.A. company denied chance to use dot.com bust Kozmo.com’s domain name

October 4, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, kozmo.com, Policy & Law, udrp, world intellectual property organizationComments Off on L.A. company denied chance to use dot.com bust Kozmo.com’s domain name

Kozmo.com may be defunct but it’s domain registration lives on.

KozmoIn July I wrote about how Los Angeles company Yummy Foods, LLC wanted to relaunch the Kozmo.com delivery brand.

Kozmo.com was one of the biggest dot.com busts. It raised around $250 million in order to deliver a pack of gum to your house with no delivery fee.

Yummy Foods has two trademarks for “kozmo” for delivery of food and other goods. But despite Kozmo.com going out of business over a decade ago, the domain name remains registered in the defunct company’s name.

Yummy Foods’ lawyers got creative to try to convince a World Intellectual Property Organization panel that the domain should be transferred. For example, it argued that since Kozmo.com is defunct it is in violation of United States law and the Network Solutions’ Terms of Service by owning the Disputed Domain Name.

Here’s what the panel had to say about that:

…Complainant’s contention that Respondent does not exist raises difficult questions as to the validity of the present proceedings, since both parties must have a legal existence…While this Panel acknowledges the inherent difficulty of securing a domain name from a non-existent entity, and the possible validity of the contention that a non-existent entity cannot in good faith maintain a domain name, the Policy was not designed as a tool for obtaining domain names from defunct corporations.

The bigger problem with Yummy Foods’ case was that it couldn’t prove that the domain name was registered and used in bad faith. After all, in the words of the panel:

Respondent could not have known of Complainant’s mark when it registered the Disputed Domain Name. In fact, as Complainant has repeatedly emphasized, Respondent ceased to exist almost ten years before Complainant began operations under the KOZMO mark.


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GEICO wins GEIC.com domain name dispute

September 10, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, world intellectual property organizationComments Off on GEICO wins GEIC.com domain name dispute

Insurance company wins control of domain name that leaves off the ‘o’.

A World Intellectual Property Organization panel has awarded the four letter domain name GEIC.com to insurance giant GEICO.

The owner of the domain name did not respond to the complaint.

Although GEIC.com could certainly be used for a number of legitimate purposes, the recent history of the domain name shows that it generally has been used to take advantage of its similarity to the insurance company’s name.

Currently when you type in GEIC.com it forwards to CarInsuranceArt.com.

Earlier this year it forwarded to lead generation pages for car insurance.

It’s not clear when the current owner obtained the domain name as the whois record has been protected by whois privacy for much of the past couple years.


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UDRP cybersquatting complaints increase in first half of 2012

August 30, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, National Arbitration Forum, Policy & Law, udrp, world intellectual property organizationComments Off on UDRP cybersquatting complaints increase in first half of 2012

Two largest UDRP services saw increased activity in first half of the year.

The number of cybersquatting complaints filed in the first half of 2012 was up 9% compared to the first half of 2011.

That’s according to data provided by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and National Arbitration Forum (NAF), the two largest arbitration services for the uniform domain name dispute resolution policy (UDRP).

WIPO received 1,764 cases in the first half of this year, compared to 1,584 last year. That’s an 11% jump. NAF received 1,150 cases, up from 1,087 last year. That’s 6%, and a 9% increase when you put both together.

Despite some news reports to the contrary, combined UDRP cases at the top two providers actually fell slightly in 2011 to 2010. WIPO saw an increase but it was more than cancelled out by a decrease in cases at NAF last year.

Although the number of cases filed in the first half of this year is up, the only thing this shows for sure is that UDRP filings are up. You can’t draw conclusions about changes in cybersquatting activity from these numbers alone for many reasons:

1. Many complaints are ruled invalid.

2. Filings don’t necessarily correlate to overall cybersquatting activity and can merely reflect changes in enforcement activities (especially by a few firms that file massive numbers of cases).

3. A single case can cover multiple domain names.

4. UDRP is often a last resort for brand holders. Many more cybersquatting issues are resolved through informal means than formal ones.

5. The base of registered second level domain names continues to climb. Compared to the total number of domain names registered, the number of cases filed is at or near all time lows.


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UDRP panelists don’t do their job deciding reverse domain name hijacking

August 20, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, National Arbitration Forum, Policy & Law, udrp, world intellectual property organizationComments Off on UDRP panelists don’t do their job deciding reverse domain name hijacking

Panelists don’t always consider RDNH when asked, and both WIPO and NAF don’t seem to care.

On Friday I wrote about the UDRP decision for AboutDotMed.com et al. This morning I read the decision for J-brand.com.

In both cases the respondents won. In both cases the respondents asked for reverse domain name hijacking. But in neither case did the panelist make a decision (either way) about reverse domain name hijacking.

Yet the World Intellectual Property Organization and National Arbitration Forum allowed the decisions to be published in their incomplete form.

When a respondent asks for reverse domain name hijacking, it is the panelists responsibility to consider it and make a ruling. In fact, a UDRP panelist can make a ruling of RDNH without the respondent even tasking.

If you turn in unfinished work at school, you either get a failing grade or the homework is returned to you to complete. If you turn in an unfinished project at work it will be counted against you. You might even be fired. Yet for some reason, both major UDRP groups let panelists turn in unfinished decisions.

Why are panelists allowed to shirk their duties? Why do the arbitration managers let them turn in unfinished decisions?


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Yahoo Upset About X-Rated Flickr Sites

September 6, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, flickr.com, Policy & Law, world intellectual property organization, yahooComments Off on Yahoo Upset About X-Rated Flickr Sites

Company files complaint over sites that use its Flickr brand.

Yahoo has turned to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to help it shut down two X-rated sites that use Flickr in their domain names.

The company filed the complaint with WIPO over the domain names nastyflickr.com and nudeflickr.com, each of which lead to a web site containing adult photos. They each contain a logo that looks similar to the Flickr blue and red logo as well. They are owned by a Tacoma, Washington man.

This isn’t the first time Yahoo has gotten into a fight over the Flickr brand. In 2009 Yahoo sued AshantiPLC, which is owned in part by domain investor Sahar Sarid, over the domain name Flicker.com (without the missing ‘e’). Yahoo said that Ashanti had purchased Flicker.com for $55,000 in 2006 and had been flaunting the domain and the traffic it received. The company allegedly turned down a $700,000 offer for the domain.

Yahoo eventually settled the case and got the Flicker.com domain name.


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French Company Files UDRP Against Google’s AdWords.com

August 26, 2011adwords.com, Domaining, Domainnamewire, francotel, google, Policy & Law, udrp, world intellectual property organizationComments Off on French Company Files UDRP Against Google’s AdWords.com

Company that was subject to Google UDRP fights back.

French company Francotel, LLC has filed a UDRP complaint with World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) over the domain name Adwords.com, Domain Name Wire has learned. The case is not yet posted on WIPO’s web site.

Francotel has a French trademark for “Adwords”. It filed to cancel Google’s European Union trademark for “Adwords” earlier this year but lost the case.

Google filed a UDRP against Francotel in May over the domain name ad-words.mobi in a case that’s still pending.

Now Francotel is fighting back by going after Adwords.com itself. In the complaint, Francotel argues that there’s no reason for Google to use the Adwords.com domain name “other than to mislead consumers into inferring an association with Francotel’s adwords Mark and services.”

The company also claims that Google registered the Adwords.com domain name to infringe “thousands of trademark holder” around the world and to use the domain name for “abusive and anticompetitive practices”.


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Google Gets XXX Domain Name*

August 19, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, google, Policy & Law, world intellectual property organizationComments Off on Google Gets XXX Domain Name*

Company gets a triple xxx domain name — but I’m not talking about the top level domain.

Google has gotten its hands on GoogleXXX — but not Google.xxx (yet).

The company was awarded GoogleXXX.com in a World Intellectual Property Forum ruling just handed down.

This got me thinking: with the .xxx top level domain name coming out, will it lead to more xxx typos?

One type of domain companies should consider registering is just like what Google just got — trademarkxxx.com. A lot of people are trained to type .com after any web address, so I suspect we’ll see more traffic to domains like these. Googlexxx.com already gets some traffic according to Compete.

Then of course there’s xxx.com, which should see a huge spike in traffic. It should consider wildcarding name.xxx.com.

That said, I’m not sure these typos are a huge risk for brands. People know that coke followed by xxx probably isn’t an official company site, anyway.


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National Football League Fights Over Super Bowl Web Site

July 20, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, national football league, Policy & Law, super bowl, world intellectual property organizationComments Off on National Football League Fights Over Super Bowl Web Site

NFL wants to take over Super Bowl web site.

The National Football League’s lawyers may be busy trying to settle the lockout, but its lawyers have time to play games with domain names, too.

The NFL just filed a domain name dispute with World Intellectual Property Organization over the domain name SuperBowlConcierge.com.

The domain name is owned by Houston, Texas based EE Nation, which offers a number of travel services.

SuperBowlConcierge.com is focused primarily on selling transportation to Super Bowl attendees, although it also has an affiliate link to a ticket broker. The company owns some other domain names that may be troublesome, including BCSBowlConcierge.com and NBAFinalsConcierge.com.

The NFL hasn’t filed a similar domain name dispute since 2009, when it won a collection of 26 domain names registered by one person.


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Companies Have Filed 51 .Co Disputes and Haven’t Lost Yet

December 20, 2010.co, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, udrp, world intellectual property organizationComments Off on Companies Have Filed 51 .Co Disputes and Haven’t Lost Yet

Benefit of the doubt given to complainants in .co cases.

Companies have filed 51 UDRPs against .co domain names since the relaunch of .co into an international domain name extension over the summer. They haven’t lost yet.

Complainants are 25-0 in cases that have been decided, and further settled seven cases prior to having them heard by World Intellectual Property Organization panelists.

In most cases the domain at issue is an exact match to a famous brand such as aolmail.co and cointreau.co. But the benefit of the doubt is afforded to complainants, such as in the case of TGV.co. The complainant merely pointed to a parked page offering the three letter domain name for sale as evidence. And the respondent in HGTV.co didn’t even bother to respond.

If you registered a generic or acronym .co domain name for good intentions, be sure you aren’t parking it. It’s an easy way to lose the domain name.


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Pamela Anderson Gets Another Domain from Alberta Hot Rods

October 1, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, world intellectual property organizationComments Off on Pamela Anderson Gets Another Domain from Alberta Hot Rods

Pamela Anderson beats an old foe to get domain name.

Pamela Anderson has won a case for the domain name PamAnderson.com in an arbitration case at World Intellectual Property Forum.

The case was brought against Alberta Hot Rods, a group that had a run in with Anderson back in 2002. In the 2002 WIPO case Anderson won the domain names PamelaAnderson.com, PamelaAnderson.net, and PamelaLee.com.

What’s somewhat strange is how Anderson didn’t go after the PamAnderson.com domain name earlier, and that was a troubling question to one panelist who questioned the merits of the case. Panelist Neil Brown also called it “very dubious” that PamAnderson.com is confusingly similar to PamelaAnderson.com

Sure, that could be cleared up by looking at the content of the web site at the domain, but the idea that a domain is confusingly similar to a mark must rest on its own — not based on the content a person sees when they actually visit the site. In fact, this is a common argument made against gripe sites, where a complainant says that people won’t understand that a domain in unaffiliated with the complainant until they actually visit the site.


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