Last week we wrote about a new product called the Serial Cybersquatter Detector (SCD) Network powered by DomainTools® and being run and marketed by Maccabim.com.
As we expressed in the original post we had some issues a company using an automated system to to identify “Serial Cybersquatters” so we reached out to Jonathan Matkowsky, the Founder & CEO of Maccabim.com Ltd. who was nice enough to answer our questions and give some details about the new service.
Your service says you identify serial cybersquatters
1. So what is your definition of a serial cybersquatters?
Is it based on number of UDRP cases filed or lost, lawsuits, domain registrations and so how many lost cases UDRP’s filed IDRP’s or registered domains?
“”The Network identifies domain registrants with a number of different known trademarks in their portfolio, indicating a pattern or practice of registering trademark words and/or typosquats for illegitimate profit.
Such registrants are unlikely to have a legitimate explanation for having a large number of domains that are substantially indistinguishable or confusingly similar to a large number of trademarks.
Therefore, from our point of view, these are more likely to be bad faith actors.
This patent-pending investigative and networking tool gives brand owners the opportunity to collaborate in bringing a class UDRP complaint.
One such case is linked here (though in the interest of full disclosure, I’m of counsel at Rodenbaugh Law): http://udrp.adr.eu/adr/decisions/decision.php?dispute_id=100614“”
For the readers the UDRP case referred to above where over these domain names:
Of course the panel held for the Complainants and ordered the domain names transferred
2. Are you identifying typo registrations or domain names like microsoftsoftware.com which recently dropped (was not owned by Microsoft) and was re-registered by someone other than Microsoft.
“”Our algorithms are constantly improving.
What I can say is that re-registering a dropped domain containing the famous Microsoft trademark in and of itself would not necessarily cause someone to be on the Network’s radar.
However, the example you gave is a good one to consider.
If you look at the portfolio of this registrant, it appears that there are domains substantially indistinguishable or confusingly similar to many famous trademarks, including American Airlines, Google, Amazon, Android, iPad, Apple (combined with descriptive terms that are highly related to Apple’s line of business), Beats headsets, Disney, Capital One, Cialis, Costco, Craigslist, Facebook, Gucci, Hyatt, Kohls, Sears, Twitter, Visa, WordPress, Yahoo, and the list goes on and on.
If further review validated these results, it is difficult by any stretch of the imagination not to conclude that this is a serial cybersquatter.
You can’t just look at MicrosoftSoftware.com in a vacuum.
By looking at the spectrum of trademarked domains this registrant has, it is obvious we are looking at a serial cybersquatter.
People like this give domainers a bad name, and provide no value to society.
Serial Cybersquatter Detector is doing a service not only for brand holders, but to deter those relatively few bad actors that give domainers a bad rep that is undeserved.
Staying away from monetizing famous trademarks is just common sense.
And yes, there are exceptions.
While the serial cybersquatters instantly appear, we do manually review to keep the quality of the network high. We will not just file based on automated results. The idea is to empower our users through technology, not to automate decisions altogether.””
3. Your services charged on a company basis or for each brand or TM they want to track.
We are a start-up and will continue to develop our business model. But for starters, there is no charge per brand.
A company subscribes to the Network and can sign up as many of their trademarks that they want.
If you click sign up on the Network now at scdnetwork.net, you can see the subscription model we are using to join the Network.
We then have a $1k flat fee per complainant for each UDRP initiated or joined, plus the complainants share pro-rata in the UDRP costs. This will provide significant savings to participating brand owners.
4. You Talk In Your PR about getting behind proxy or privacy services to determine the true owner, how do you do that?
We are breaking new ground by leveraging the Class UDRP opportunity on a large scale, but we already won one class decision, and between Mike Rodenbaugh and myself in-house at Yahoo! and as outside counsel, well over a hundred other UDRP decisions, many of them involving abusive privacy or proxy registration services.
Typically the UDRP is brought against the domain privacy or proxy in the first instance, then the curtain will sometimes be lifted to reveal the true owner(s) of the domains.
If the privacy or proxy registration service does not unmask the true owners, then the case generally proceeds to decision against the service itself.
In other cases the privacy or proxy service provider cooperates because the registrant is violating the terms of service of the provider. So the provider lifts the curtain, and then there may be several registrants of the domains. Unless there is some evidence that they are under common control, a typical approach is to allow the case to go to decision against one of the respondents and then the complainants have a chance to bring new proceedings against the other respondents. An example of how this works is http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/search/text.jsp?case=D2010-0894.
With SCD Network, it should be much easier for brand holders to combat abusive privacy or proxy registrations.
We envision proceedings split into multiple class proceedings against multiple underlying serial cybersquatters.
Furthermore, if you look at the report that ICANN recently issued on abusive privacy or proxy registrations, it demonstrates that such registrations are likely to be abused by advance fee fraudsters, rogue Internet pharmacies, and phishing criminals–not only typo-traffic domains displaying counterfeit marks with pay-per-click ads or the like. Therefore, the data we will provide will give insights beyond just cybersquatting, and will help deal with these even more severe social problems.””
We Thank Mr. Matkowsky for taking the time to explain to our readers more about the offering and product.
We of course at TheDomains.com are not fans of domain holders that register a ton of typos and agree that they give legitimate domain investors a black eye, as outside of the domainer community, blend in the typo-squatters in with the legitimate investors.
Knowing that Mike Rodenbaugh is involved makes me feel a lot better about the offering as well as he has not only prosecuted UDRP cases against the Typo guys but he has defended domain holders again UDRP on very generic domains as well.