201905.21

Monetizing dormant domain names by a license agreement

Of the 348.7 million domain names registered (Verisign.com, The Domain Name Industry Brief, Vol 16, Issue 1, March 2019), many of them are dormant: either they are not activated or, if they are, they only designate a parking page. There is another way to monetize a domain name: the license agreement. Admittedly, this solution can…

201905.19

ICANN Approves the CIIDRC as a UDRP Institution

By resolution of May 3, 2019, the Board of Directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Domain Names (ICANN) approved the Canadian International Internet Dispute Resolution Center (CIIDRC) as a dispute resolution service provider for domain names under the Uniform Domain Name Disputes Resolution Policy (UDRP) (icann.org, 2019-03-19). CIIDRC submitted its proposal in November 2018…

201905.12

Thesun.com: “the sun shines for everyone”

Can trademark owners such as “The Sun” prohibit third parties from registering domain names that are identical to those trademarks? The issue raised is that of weakly distinctive trademarks because of the genericity of the word or words of which they are composed. Owners of such trademarks are inexorably exposed to stiff competition in the…

201904.14

Trademarks and domain names: it’s hard to be an acronym trademark!

At the conclusion of the WIPO D2019-0263 case, the panelist rejected the request from Groupement des cartes bancaires to obtain the transfer of the domain name cb.markets (WIPO, D2019-0263, Grouping Bank Cards v. Domain Administrator, Coinbase, Inc., April 2, 2019, denied). It is essentially on the ground of the criterion relating to the right or…

201903.28

New gTLDs: Do not forget the preventive registrations!

Since the new gTLDs offer new opportunities for brand owners, they also offer cybersquatters the same opportunities. It suffices to observe the (more or less recent) decisions made under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization to note an upsurge in cybersquatting by the registration and use of non-similar domain names (typosquatting) but identical…

201903.15

WIPO Statistics: Cybersquatting Complaints Hits a New Record

Unsurprisingly, there has never been so much cybersquatting. Figures from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center indicate that “the number of cybersquatting cases at WIPO increases by 12% to reach a new record in 2018” (wipo.int, March 15, 2019). WIPO is one of the institutions accredited by the Internet Corporation for…

201902.05

EUIPO to finally tackle cyberquatting issues

Back in 2016, IP Twins released a communication on the increase of cybersquatting of trademark applications before the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Indeed, EUIPO currently publishes trademark applications as soon as they are filed. Cybersquatters only have to scan the EUIPO website for new application and automatically register the corresponding .COM domains in seconds,…

201812.19

Did Deadpool Register Avengers’ Domain Names in Bad Faith?

If by chance it came to the idea of Marvel fans to visit the website that is designated by the domain AvengersEndgame.com, they would not see Stan Lee’s work showing Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Dr. Stephen Strange, Black Panther or other superheroes, but the unexpected anti-hero Deadpool! The AvengersEndgame.com domain name…

201811.23

bmẉ.com (BMW), e-lẹclerc.com (E. Leclerc), порше.com (Porsche), קוקהקולה.com (Coca-Cola) et al.: Brief Overview of Internationalized Domain Names in WIPO UDRPs

BMW had to initiate a UDRP proceeding to get the domain name bmẉ.com [xn--bm-e3s.com], therefore containing the letter “w” with a diacritic dot. The respondent in the UDRP proceedings did not participate, and the decision appears relatively ordinary. However, it contains a reminder on an obvious but yet necessary legal point: “Previous UDRP panels have…

201811.20

UDRP: a new dispute resolution institution?

The British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Center (BCICAC) is considering integrating the list of institutions accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the resolution of domain name disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). The BCICAC would create a new branch called “Canada International Internet Dispute Resolution…

201810.23

Skyscanner loses UDRP complaint in surprising decision

On 5th October 2018, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre published a decision related to the domain name fly-scanner.com and ordered that the domain name remains with the respondent (D2018-1782). This decision may appear as surprising at first sight given Skyscanner’s huge market share and 60 million active users. Let’s try and understand the decision. The Complainant…

201809.27

Cambridge.org v. Carnbridge.org: a UDRP Case on Typosquatting and Identity Theft

The University of Cambridge started a UDRP proceeding under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Arbitration and Mediation Center to obtain the transfer of the unsettling domain name carnbridge.org. The transfer of the domain name was ordered (WIPO, D2018-1542, The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge v. Sunny Legend, September…

201809.13

What to Do With Domain Names Such as starbucksnestle.com and starbucks-nestle.com?

The announcement of a commercial partnership between Nestlé (nestle.com, May 7, 2018) and Starbucks (starbucks.com, August 28, 2018) led to cybersquatting cases. Many domain names combining the “nestle” and “starbucks” trademarks were registered. DRP proceedings were initiated, including the D2018-1183 procedure undertaken by the Nestlé Products Corporation against a US citizen who had registered two…

201808.03

Frivolous UDRP Complaints: Time to Claim Damages

Innovation HQ, Inc. has owned the domain weeds.com for several years. At the end of 2017, the domain name led to a single page with links made up of generic terms related to horticulture and gardening. This page also announced that the domain name was for sale. Weeds, Inc. owns trademarks that include the word…

201806.25

The Financial Evaluation of a Domain Name in a UDRP Proceeding

A Taiwanese company registered the disputed domain name senec.com in 2002. A German company, the owner of European trademarks “SENEC”, initiated a UDRP procedure. On the day of receipt of the UDRP complaint by the Arbitration and Mediation Center of the World Intellectual Property Organization (AMC-WIPO), the domain name gave access to a parking page…

201806.15

Viking.com or the saga of a raid lost in advance

A UDRP decision rendered by WIPO arbitration center the 23rd of February 2018 saw the complaint of Aurelius RHO GTM Development Limited regarding viking.com, whose registrant was Office Depot Inc, being rejected and qualified as “Reverse Domain Name Hijacking” (RDNH). What is RDNH ? A company filing a UDRP complaint with deficient legal grounds with regards…

201806.06

UDRP: the Boomerang Effect of the Response

The Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) procedure to obtain the transfer of a domain name is a straightforward proceeding, within which the evidentiary requirement is rather low. To obtain a favorable decision, the Complainant must satisfy three conditions: the domain name must be identical or similar to a trademark to which the Complainant has rights;…

201805.15

DreamWorks Animation Wins a Cybersquatting Case Against a Trademark Troll

In the field of intellectual property, a troll is an individual or a company that produces nothing but shows enough audacity to initiate proceedings to have an infringement of its alleged rights recognized. In 2014, the Troll producer won a UDRP case concerning two domain names: orientaldreamworks.com and shanghaidreamworks.com (D2014-0171, Dreamworks Animation LLC v. Hongyun…

201804.13

.GE (Georgia) regulations eventually made easy

As from 15 April 2018 new regulations for registration, transfer and handling of disputes of .GE domain names will apply. Change regarding local presence: Until now in order to register a .GE domain it was required to have a local physical presence in Georgia. Since this requirement will now be removed, any registrant outside Georgia…