The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority, operator of the Finnish ccTLD domain .FI, is examining close to one thousand deliberately misspelled Finnish domain names of popular Finland based companies and internet services. A total of 886 .FI ccTLD domains are currently being closely examined. All of the domains in question were registered at a single Maltese based domain registrar but listed under a Finnish holder, according to a press release by FICORA.
FICORA has contacted both the Finnish domain name registrant and the Maltese registrar for more information. The investigation is on-going. Meanwhile, the Maltese registrar’s capabilities to process registrations of new .FI domain names has been denied until further notice.
This case is extremely unique, because you don’t often see the actual registry operator get involved in these types of situations. There must of been a tremendous amount of pressure and/or legal threats being made towards the operators of the small ccTLD, for them to take such an aggressive approach.
As of this writing, there are 295,308 .FI domain names registered, according to the official .FI registry website. There are 323 active domain registrars that are currently accredited by FICORA, in other words licensed to be able to resell direct to consumers. These domain registrars allow users from around the world to register .FI domains.
- 3M Sues Registrars, Webhosts and DNS Hosts for Cybersquatting over Gambling Domains
- .TEL IDN Domains to Launch June 15th
- Afternic Adds API for Large Portfolio Owners
- Demand Media Investigating IPO with the help of Goldman Sachs
- Recent Opinion on Google Case May Help Domain Owners
California based CitizenHawk, a global provider of online brand protection and enforcement services, has announced the launch of a powerful online brand protection tool called “HawkDiscovery” that enables users to search the entire web and detect use of trademarked terms and phrases, helping uncover instances of brand abuse ranging from counterfeiting to domain name abuse and cybersquatting.
HawkDiscovery is a cloud-based technology platform that lets users monitor content on specific websites and produces alerts notifying them of new activity. HawkDiscovery features a fully integrated workflow and case management system that acts as a kind of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for brand protection. The system lets users analyze and assess particular instances of online infringement, determine appropriate responses, and manage remediation activities from initial detection through final resolution – with every action tracked, recorded and shared with appropriate personnel.
David Duckwitz, CitizenHawk’s president and chief executive said:
”Companies realize their brands are most precious corporate assets, and they invest considerable time and money promoting them to consumers, investors and others. Unfortunately, well known and popular brands are particularly attractive to typosquatters and others seeking to exploit them on the Internet. Marketing, legal, compliance and IT professionals can now fight back with cost effective tools that not only can uncover such abuse, but effectively respond to it.”
CitizenHawk offers various brand protection, corporate domain management and global domain recovery services according to their website:
HawkTypos — a service that can generate literally thousands of domain-name permutations, confirm whether such domains are registered, and identify common ownership, notwithstanding efforts to obfuscate such ownership via asset shielding or inexpensive privacy services.
HawkUDRP — a powerful tool for pursuing – and winning – UDRPs (Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy). CitizenHawk is the world leader in filing UDRPs, winning 99 percent of our cases and recovering more than 20,000 domains on behalf of our clients. We have taken advantage of our knowledge and experience to create an automated system that enables clients to effectively collect evidence, generate the necessary documentation and complete the entire domain recovery process quickly and cost effectively.
CitizenHawk is a closely held, venture capital-backed company. Primary investors of the company include Maveron LLC, a prominent VC firm co-founded by Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz. Other noteworthy investors include Gary Kremen, founder of Match.com, and Mark Vadon, founder and chairman of BlueNile.com.
The company is a global provider of online brand protection and enforcement services. CitizenHawk helps clients address the challenges associated with protecting brand assets and other intellectual property in today’s digital economy. CitizenHawk’s robust technology, knowledgeable and experienced professional staff, incomparable case management tools and flexible approach to client relationships have attracted some of the world’s most prominent brands.
According to the company, approximately 1 in 4 companies on Internet Retailer’s Top 500 list are CitizenHawk clients. Some of the clients they list on their website include Apple, Priceline, Finishline, Cricket Communications, Macy’s, Staples, Morningstar, Travelocity, The Gap, ProFlowers, Lands End, Omaha Steaks, Pacsun, Overstock and LegalZoom.
- RIM Goes On Brand Protection Domain Buying Spree, Forgets A Few
- Former Yahoo Exec Bill Demas Joins CitizenHawk Board
- Entrepreneur – Domains and “Personal Brand” Protection
- name.com increases security with VeriSign Identity Protection Network
- Maveron Plays Both Sides, Backs Citizen Hawk with $3 Million
Apparently Facebook has not only continued their practice of filing disputes for domains names it saw infringing on its trademarks but now also has changed gears and filed a suit on July 22nd against more than 100 parties claiming Cybersquatting, Trademark infringement, False Designation of Origin, Trademark Dilution, Breach of Contract and Tortious Interference . The filing with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (PDF) lists 104 different domains with the majority of names containing the term “facebook” in some variation (i.e. facebooki.com) but also lists the domains (14) that the typo-domains are/were redirected to (i.e. 1939.com which according to a notice posted on the site was a redirect service at one point and SocialRewardCenter.com).
The listed defendants are:
- Cyber2Media, Inc.
- Daniel Negari
- Cleanser Products
- Counter Balance Enterprises Ltd.
- FB Promotions/Freebie Promos
- Mackrooner Ltd. Inc.
- Newgate Services Ltd.
- Pioneer Enterprises Ltd.
- Rabbit Gogo Media LLC
- SMTM Enterprises Ltd.
- Jacob Daniels
- Jerry Hui
- Ryan Johnson
- Eric Jordan
- Karrie-Lee Karreman
- June Kimchi
- Tim Meyers
- Ankit Pandey
- S. Pace
- Elise Petri
- Mark Risi
- John Souza
- Michael Suggs
- and John/Jane Does 1-119
3M has filed a broad lawsuit naming a larger number of registrars, webhosts and dns hosts for cybersquatting and infringing on the company’s brands. The lawsuit is also filed against some individual domain names that include the letters “3M” and “mmm”. A large number of the sites named in the lawsuit appear to be gambling sites, some of them using a logo that looks quite similar to the 3M logo. Some example domains names in the suit are mmmbet.net, 3mbet.net, 3m-sportbetting.com and 3MBet-Thai.com.
[via George Kirikos]
See the full list of the entities and companies the suit was filed against after the jump.
Directi Internet Solutions PVT. LTD., Doe Number 1, Doe Number 10, Doe Number 11, Doe Number 2, Doe Number 3, Doe Number 4, Doe Number 5, Doe Number 6, Doe Number 7, Doe Number 8, Doe Number 9, Domains By Proxy, Inc., Godaddy.com, Inc., Name.com, Pang International Limited, Prolexic Technologies, Inc., Softlayer Technologies, Inc., Tiggee LLC, Web Commerce Communications Limited, 3mbet-th.com, 3mbet-th.net, 3mbet-thai.com, 3mbet-thai.net, 3mbet.net, 3mbetth.com, 3mbetth.net, 3mbetthai.net, 3mbetthal.com, 3mbkk.com, 3minter.com, 3minter.net, 3msoccer.com, 3msoccer.net, 3mthai.com, 3mthai888.com, 3mthailand-official.com, Asia Netcom Asia Pacific Ltd., Bluehost Inc., CAT Telecom Public Company Ltd., 168mmm.net, 3M Company, 3m-asia.com, 3m-casino.com, 3m-th.com, 3m-thai.com, 3m-thai.net, 3m-thailand.com, 3mbet-online.com, mmm998.net, mmmbet.net, mmmth.com, mmmth.net, mmmthai.net, mmmwin.net, thai3m.com, thai3m.net, thailand3m.net, thaimmm.net, mmm-th.com, mmm-th.net, mmm-thai.com, mmm-thai.net, mmm123.net, mmm2u.net, mmm333.net, mmm456.net, mmm789.net, mmm888.net
(c) 2011 DomainNameNews.com (7)
Tap into the most comprehensive Whois database
on the planet: Discover the details of a domain’s current ownership,
learn a domain’s pedigree and find all the domains ever owned by a
specific company or individual by accessing historical information from DomainTools.com.
While WIPO recently reported somewhat misleading that “Cybersquatting hit(s) record level“, the National Arbitration Forum reported their numbers today. They also report a higher amount of filed cases for 2010, up to 2,177 from 1,759 in 2009. Only 1,819 of the cases were actually heard by panellists, the remainder were settled beforehand.
When looking at Cybersquatting you need to put the numbers in relation to numbers of registered domain names and only look at those cases where a transfer or cancellation was ordered as a result of the dispute.
[via Press Release]
(c) 2011 DomainNameNews.com (2)
DomainConvergence 2011, May 12-13, Montreal, Canada
Groupon has addressed a question in their blog titled Why Groupon Isn’t in Australia. The short answer is a cybersquatter / competitor has registered Groupon.com.au and the Groupon Pty Ltd business name as well as filed for a trademark for Groupon.
The cybersquatter is Scoopon, a Groupon clone, which is owned by two brothers, Gabby and Hezi Leibovitch. This doesn’t appear to be an isolated incident either. The brothers also own Woot.com.au and redirect it to a site similar to Woot.com (a deal of the day site owned by Amazon). Their list continues with owning DealExtreme.com.au, DealExtreme.com is a popular deals site in the US, which redirects to their own deal website. Andrew Mason doesn’t express as much concern about the cloning issue, but the trademark infringement seems to cross a line.
Andrew Mason writes:
“The way we see things, this is a classic case of domain squatting – an unfortunate reality of the Internet business. As Groupon became internationally known, opportunistic domain squatters around the world started to buy local Groupon domain names, thinking that we’d eventually be forced to buy them at an insane price. In fact, we tried to do just that, reluctantly offering Gabby and Hezi Leibovich about $286,000 for the Groupon.com.au domain and trademark—an offer they accepted. But now they’ve changed their minds, and we believe that they’ll only sell us the domain and trademark if we’re willing to buy the entire Scoopon business from them. Left with no other options, we’ve filed a lawsuit against Scoopon, claiming that their Groupon trademark was filed in bad faith (amongst other things).”
Despite believing they could win the lawsuit, they still offered $286,000 for the domain name and trademark. The cost of litigation and the amount of time it would take to resolve the dispute before they could start building a business using their own name must have been factored into that price. Mason states it could take ‘over a year to resolve.’
Ultimately, Mason announces Groupon is filing a lawsuit against Scoopon and launching in Australia under the name a temporary name: Stardeals. His final message is directed towards Scoopon stating the $286,000 offer is still on the table and asks users to help persuade Scoopon to accept their original deal.
What do you think? Is trying to pay off the alleged cybersquatter for $286,000 is a savvy business move or sending the wrong message and encouraging others to follow suit?
(c) 2010 DomainNameNews.com (1)
We buy Domains!
We are interested in Acquiring your premium domains!
Click here to submit your domains now.
John Zuccarini is back in the news fighting against the collection of a judgment by DS Holdings . DSH has been assigned a judgment by Office Depot from 2000 and is seeking to collect by seizing domain names. Zuccarini was found guilty of cybersquatting on Office Depot’s trademark with the domain officdepot.com. In the discovery process DSH has found that Zucarrini owns 248 domains and is seeking to levy these domains and sell them at auction to collect on the judgment.
In 2007, the US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that Zuccarini’s domain names constituted personal property located in California—the site of the domain name registry—and were subject to seizure to satisfy the judgment against Zuccarini. DSH moved to have a receivership assist in executing the judgment in the Northern District of California.
The Court’s most recent decision clarifies that domains, as intangible property, are located in the Northern District based on the location of Verisign, the registry for the .com domain names. They stated in the decision “we conclude under California law that domain names are located where the registry is located for the purpose of asserting quasi in rem jurisdiction. Although the question is not directly before us, we add that we see no reason why for that purpose domain names are not also located where the relevant registrar is located.”
In case you are new to this whole “domain name thing”, John Zuccarini was arrested and jailed in 2003 for violating the Truth in Domain Names Act. Zuccarini had thousands of domain names which were typos of major brands, many of these led the user to adult websites and “mousetrapped” the user into viewing hundreds of sites. The law makes it a federal crime for “whoever knowingly uses a misleading domain name on the Internet with the intent to deceive a person into viewing material constituting obscenity” and “whoever knowingly uses a misleading domain name on the Internet with the intent to deceive a minor into viewing material that is harmful to minors on the Internet”. Zuccarini was released in 2005.
(c) 2009 DomainNameNews.com
Upcoming Domain Industry Events, Conferences & Auctions
IDG’s PCWorld just published an article by Jared Newman about 15 Internet Annoyances and how to fix them. Of course the author thinks that parked domains are one of them, even if they may actually get the user to where they want to go. So Newman recommends all domains that involve framed parking on the Oversee.net owned Information.com domain:
13. This Web Site is Bogus
Sometimes when you mistype a URL or click an old, abandoned link, you’ll come upon these junky Web sites filled with useless links, a search bar that returns who-knows-what and a deliciously ironic slogan, “What you need, when you need it.” This is the work of cybersquatters, who occupy Web sites in hopes that you’ll click on those links and make them some money.
The Fix: Firefox users can once again use BlockSite to turn one major cybersquatter’s Web sites into blank pages–just add “*.information.com” to your restricted list. This will foil one major cybersquatter whos sites always refer back to that domain, but unfortunately the same trick doesn’t work in Internet Explorer’s list of restricted sites. No matter what browser you’re in, never give squatters the satisfaction of clicking on anything.
Of course the article also calls anyone who would re-register and park a previously registered and expired domain a cybersquatter, forgetting that the term implies an actual infringement on someones trademark. Maybe we should add journalists who do not do proper research to the list? I guess I could post that as a comment on his article, but then again, that would require registration on the site, which also is one of the annoyances he lists.
(c) 2009 DomainNameNews.com
Upcoming Domain Industry Events, Conferences & Auctions