202004.01

.CYOU: sunrise period from May 14, 2020 to June 15, 2020

Initially, it was Changyou, a Chinese online games company, which had requested and obtained the new gTLD .CYOU (its NASDAQ ticker symbol). But in the meantime, Sohu bought Changyou, and it was under these circumstances that Shortdot acquired the gTLD .CYOU. A few years ago, Shortdot had tremendous success with the .ICU. Shortdot’s marketing strength…

202004.01

New gTLDs : .COMPARE, .DEALER, .SELECT

The new gTLDs .COMPARE, .DEALER, .SELECT will be available soon. .COMPARE: from April 6, 2020 to May 6, 2020 .DEALER: from April 29, 2020 to June 1, 2020 .SELECT: from April 6, 2020 to May 6, 2020 Don’t miss the sunrise periods! Do not hesitate to contact us. There are many cases of cybersquatting (registration…

202003.31

UDRP on medailledebapteme.com: two mistakes not to make

In the D2019-3175 UDRP decision, the parties (Orfeva SARL and M. V. A.) dispute the domain name <medailledebapteme.com>, which, in French, means “baptism medal” or “baptism medallion” (WIPO, D2019-3175, Orfeva SARL v. V. A., 11, March 2020, in French). What is striking when reading this decision is that this dispute should never have been brought before…

202003.30

Covid-19: vigilance against cyber-attacks

On March 22, 2020, a US court issued a prohibition order against the site <coronavirusmedicalkit.com>, which offered a fake vaccine against the coronavirus, presented as emanating from the World Health Organization. At the ministry’s request, Justice Robert Pitman issued a prohibition order requiring immediate action to block public access to this fraudulent site. Remember that…

202003.26

Covid-19: when counterfeiting speculates on the pandemic, panic, and scarcity

The Covid-19 pandemic, which has been raging since the end of December, has aroused among the most unworthy of us inclinations of immorality and inhumanity. Pandemic, panic, and shortage form a bitter cocktail capable of overwhelming the lucidity of the most cautious. Ruthless greed swindlers speculate on the vulnerabilities of a weakened global society to…

202003.18

Whois and GDPR: the US response is underway

The entry into force of the general data protection regulation (GDPR) (eur-lex.europa.eu) on May 25, 2018, caused an earthquake by imposing the silence of most of domain name databases. Since then, Whois records speak only “under duress”. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) resisted as long and as much as it could, but had…

202003.17

Online counterfeiting and consumer safety: commentary on the March 4, 2020 hearings before the U.S. House of Representatives

On March 4, 2020, several members of the Consumer Protection and Trade subcommittee (energycommere.house.gov/subcommittees) — a branch of the Energy and Trade Commission of the House of Representatives of the United States (energycommerce.house.gov) —, held a hearing devoted to the safety of products made available to the public on online market platforms. The debates were mainly chaired by…

202003.12

Cybersquatting: Facebook sues Namecheap and Whoisguard

Facebook is suing the Namecheap domain name registrar and the Whoisguard proxy service in an Arizona court. Facebook accuses the two companies of having registered no less than 45 domain names that infringe the Facebook group brands. Facebook provides some examples of the presumed abusive domain names: instagrambusinesshelp.com, facebo0k-login.com and whatsappdownload.site. . Facebook states that…

202003.10

French Court of Audit on counterfeiting: towards an enhanced obligation of vigilance for e-commerce platforms

On October 31, 2018, the President of the French Parliament had entrusted the French Court of Audit (Cour des comptes) with carrying out an investigation relating to “the fight against counterfeiting”  (Lettre du Président de l’Assemblée Nationale au Premier président de la Cour des comptes, du 31 octobre 2018, Cour des comptes, La lutte contre les contrefaçons….

202003.04

UDRP on ihatedell.com: a transfer decision unrelated to freedom of expression

Following a procedure administered by the National Arbitration Forum, the domain name ihatedell.com was transferred to the complainant, Dell Inc. Contrary to what one might imagine, the decision is unrelated to freedom of expression. First, the ihatedell.com site had nothing to do with any criticism of Dell, Inc., or its products since it was related…

202003.03

United States: Shop Safe Act, a bill to end online counterfeiting

Congress must create accountability to prevent these hazardous items from infiltrating the homes of millions of Americans. The SHOP SAFE Act would make families safer by requiring online sellers to help prevent the sale of counterfeit products to consumers. The 2020s will be marked by a strengthening of the fight against the abuse of intellectual…

202002.25

Brexit and GDPR

The United Kingdom officially left the European Union on January 31, 2020. What about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)? Nominet published a clarifying note (theukdomain.uk, 2020-02-20). The .UK Registry immediately points out, wisely, that the United Kingdom and the European Union have entered a transitional period which poses the status quo while new negotiations…

202002.25

dumbledore.com: weak trademarks don’t work miracles

Among the types of trademarks that suffer from their coexistence with domain names, weak trademarks stand out, and especially acronym trademarks (see, for example, “Trademarks and domain names: it’s hard to be an acronym trademark!“) and generic trademarks (for a typical example, see Thesun.com: “the sun shines for everyone”). Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. failed to recover…

202002.20

Political cybersquatting: cases under French law

Cybersquatting is the act, in bad faith, of registering a domain name without being able to justify a right or a legitimate interest on this domain name. It regularly strikes political figures, as recently attested by a case involving the current Australian Prime Minister, Mr. Scott Morrison (“Scottmorrison.com.au and Scotty Doesn’t Know or the woes…

202002.18

General availability of .ar domains postponed

The Argentinian registry recently announced it will postpone — again — the launch of the general availability period for all .ar domain names. The GA was last expected to happen on 23 February but was postponed to 10 March at midnight local time. Numerous domain names will not be available for registration, such as 1-3 letters domains…

202002.12

Taiwan: .台灣 (.xn--kpry57d) allows the registration of ASCII domain names

.台灣 is a Top Level Domain (TLD or extension) using traditional Chinese characters that are translated in « Taiwan ».  Previously, only IDN domains, using Chinese characters on the second level (eg. 例子.台灣), could be registered under this extension. From the 18th of February 2020, domain names in ASCII characters (a-z, 0-9 and -) will be available…

202002.10

Blocking websites selling fake watches in France : the harassing fight against counterfeiting

Groupe Richemont, hand in hand with some of the brands that compose it (Cartier, Mont-Blanc, Officine Panerai, Vacheron Constantin, Piaget, and IWC Schaffhausen), had identified websites selling watches on which their brands were affixed without their consent, namely contrefaconmontre.com, repliquefrance.com, and repliquemontre.cn. Groupe Richemont sued Orange, Bouygues Telecom, SFR and Free for interim measures before…

202002.03

Generic domain names: a challenge for competition law

Domain names are originally a technical shortcut, hiding the IP address of a website server to make it easily and quickly accessible. Easily memorable names have replaced inconvenient series of numbers. Nowadays however, domain names have become genuine identifiers, and distinctive signs in the same way as trademarks. Yet, bringing closer the legal principles applicable…