cybersquatting – Web hosting, Domain names, Dedicated servers Fri, 29 Jan 2016 11:05:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 cybersquatting – 32 32 Microsoft obtains patent for "Cybersquatter Patrol" Tue, 13 Jul 2010 19:20:58 +0000 police patrolThe U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded Microsoft a patent today for an investigative tool called “Cybersquatter Patrol.” The tool is designed to generate lists of typosquatting and cybersquatting domains, then figure out who owns them and how the domains generate revenue.

This isn’t the company’s first foray into the anti-cybersquatting world. It released an add-on for Internet Explorer in 2005 called Typo-Patrol that blocks domain typos.

According to Microsoft, some 40% to 70% of typo domains are parked with six top domain parking services. Going after thousands of domain owners to enforce a trademark is very difficult, but going after a handful of advertising companies isn’t. Some day, the domain parking services will likely feel Microsoft’s building wrath.

Desperate Russian housewives just one of the BBC's "strange" domains Thu, 03 Jun 2010 08:00:49 +0000 BBC screen shot

Ever heard of the website Or You won’t have done because they don’t exist, and are part of a BBC strategy to register unusual domain names which are associated with some of its television shows. The list has reached 154 bizarre domain names, among which are the above as well as and The domain name, for example, was registered as part of the BBC’s Psychoville series.

The registering of these domain names is part of both a brand protection measure and a way to gain Google rankings. In an article about the practice of registering domain names that never become actual websites, the BBC quotes Murray Dick, a professor in online journalism:

“If you look at a highly competitive keyword area like health and well-being, you’ll find no shortage of results from companies who have set up domains using words like ‘sixpack’, who rank competitively with more established sources of information on health and well-being. Organisations exploit this fact to earn lots of money on Google’s AdSense service.”

The BBC didn’t release all of its domain names because some aren’t covered by the UK’s freedom of information act, and because as an organisation, it wants to avoid cybersquatting in its naming strategy. The cybersquatting practice is defined as: Cybersquatters register domain names once a new brand becomes public and then demand inflated prices to hand over the address.

Source | BBC
Photo | Flickr

Academy Awards takes aim at Go Daddy Thu, 20 May 2010 21:28:45 +0000 oscars
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, better known as the Academy Awards, gave Go Daddy something far different from an Oscar this week: a 134-page lawsuit for cybersquatting.

Here’s the catch: the lawsuit doesn’t accuse Go Daddy of cybersquatting. Rather, it is seeking millions in damages because the company ran advertisements on parked domains such as,,, and

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has hired three lawyers to handle the case. It has a reputation for vigorously pursuing legal claims. And this isn’t the only lawsuit Go Daddy is facing regarding its domain monetization practices. A group of domain owners are currently suing the company for displaying advertisements on customer domains without authorization.

Source | THR, Esq.
Photo | Flickr

Serial cybersquatter refuses to give up Wed, 07 Apr 2010 15:41:51 +0000 typosquatting
Meet Alf Temme. His portfolio of more than one thousand trademark-violating typo domains has landed him numerous lawsuits over the years from a range of companies. These include Dell, Air France, and America Online. He admits to being a typosquatter, using names like to sell exercise machines on his website. Now Microsoft is going after Temme, and once again, he refuses to give up.

The Redmond company initially sued Temme last month for trademark violation. A number of his domains, including and, are allegedly confusing users of Microsoft services. The firm originally asked for $2.4 million, but has now offered to settle for $500,000. Despite admitting to violating the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, Temme sees nothing wrong with his actions. “OK, so I did a naughty, right?” he said. “But a punishment that’s the same as the death penalty? That’s ridiculous.”

The small business owner is angry that Microsoft took him to court. He says that he would have been willing to hand the names over to Redmond with a simple cease-and-desist letter. But according to Tim Cranton, associate general counsel for Microsoft:

For this particular defendant, there is a well-established history – including 12 lawsuits we’re aware of – of typosquatting to this degree.

In 2009, the unapologetic typosquatter lost an uncontested lawsuit filed by Dell Computer for willful trademark infringement. The judge awarded the American PC giant $130,000.

It seems as though Temmes will never give up on cybersquatting. He has done it before, is doing it now, and will likely do it again. Often times I find myself on the side of defendants in intellectual property disputes, but this guy deserves whatever is coming to him. Eat him alive, Microsoft.

Source |
Photo | simonok

Facebook forgets to register Wed, 17 Feb 2010 15:08:44 +0000 facebook logoSomeone at Facebook headquarters just said, “Uh oh.” The social media site announced a new feature this morning: Facebook Zero. Slated for launch in a few weeks, Zero is a text-only version of Facebook available for free on mobile phones. The problem? The company forgot to register

After Facebook Zero was announced, a domainer in China picked up the name. Facebook had intended to use the URL for the service all along, but not having the domain is a huge disadvantage.

Luckily for Facebook, it can probably get the name back simply by filing a complaint with an arbitration panel. But it could have saved itself a lot of pain and agony by simply registering the name in the first place.

NBA player receives 800 domains in court judgment Wed, 03 Feb 2010 16:23:48 +0000 basketball
When NBA star Chris Bosh sued cybersquatter Luis Zavala over the domain, the judge awarded him the name plus $120,000 in damages. Because of Zavala’s likely inability to pay the judgment, however, the judge has handed over his entire domain portfolio to Bosh. It consists of some 800 sports and celebrity-related names.

What does the basketball player intend to do with the names? He says he only wanted his domain back and is willing to transfer any of other 800 names– many of which infringe on the rights of other stars– to their rightful owners for free. Granted, there have been mutterings by some domainers that Bosh’s intentions are less than honest, but we’ll see what happens.

Photo | carlosan

WIPO rules against cybersquatter Mon, 25 Jan 2010 16:36:42 +0000 google sign
In yet another domain dispute victory for Google, the WIPO has ruled against a cybersquatter and in favour of theMountain View company in a case involving the domain

As is generally the norm, Google contended that the domain violated its trademark and that it was being used in bad faith. The registrant, an Indian national by the name of Racha Ravinder, might have been able to put up some form of defense. He put the nail in the coffin with his response to the complaint, however, stating, “I will sell my domain for USD 50,000 only, do you buy it.”

By submitting this statement, Ravinder unknowing committed cybersquatting. If the WIPO didn’t have a reason to hand the name over before his response, it did after.

Source | Express India
Photo | Flickr

Cybersquatting may be on the decline Wed, 20 Jan 2010 16:30:46 +0000 downward graph
Data collected from a number of arbitration panels, including the WIPO and National Arbitration Forum, show that cybersquatting may be on the decline. Last year saw a 9% decline in the number of cybersquatting cases filed overall, a three-year low.

Unfortunately, this decrease does not necessarily mean the number of cybersquatters has gone down. Instead, complainants are saving money by filing for multiple domains at once. The actual number of domains disputed before panels has actually increased.

According to the WIPO and NAF, 90% of cases last year were decided in favour of the complainant.

Alleged cybersquatter defends actions Tue, 12 Jan 2010 21:29:44 +0000 imac
Last week, Apple won a domain dispute in which it accused a Los Angeles entrepreneur, Daniel Bijan, of cybersquatting. Bijan lost 16 domains to the company famous for its iPhone and iPod products. Now he has issued a public statement regarding the incident.

The domainer says he was “naive at the time” he registered the first of the 16 domains, He states he never received any legal notices from Apple and because of this, assumed he was in the clear. Bijan claims he set up affiliate sites that redirected users to sites selling Apple products and never promoted competitors. Apple’s complaint to ICANN states otherwise.

What will Daniel Bijan do now? He says that since facing financial issues and a mid-life crisis, he will pursue his true passion: music. The 35-year-old has set out to “record and sell” 1 million records by the end of this year.

In addition, he also uploaded a sob story on YouTube blaming Apple for his problems and calling for a boycott on the company. He should spend less time feeling sorry for himself and more time researching trademark law.

Photo | Flickr

Transamerica drops lawsuit against domain registrars Thu, 07 Jan 2010 20:22:28 +0000 transamerica logoDomain registrants can be sued for cybersquatting, but are registrars liable as well? Until recently, life insurance company Transamerica thought so. The company was in the process of suing several prominent domain registrars for trademark infringement— all because several of their customers had registered domains containing Transamerica’s trademark. Thankfully, the insurance firm dropped the lawsuit today.

The idea of blaming a registrar for the actions of its customers is a bit ludicrous. How can you expect a company that handles thousands of transactions per day to screen each domain for possible trademarks? You can’t. It’s up to the trademark holder to enforce his or her mark, not a third party. Even if Transamerica had continued its suit, I doubt it would have won in court.