Cybersquatting

Protected Parking Monetizes “Risky” Domain Names

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While at the domain investor meetup in Chicago, I met someone whose company has an interesting business model that monetizes trademark domain names. While I think it is highly risky for people to own domain names that contain famous trademarks or are typos of famous marks, I thought Protected Parking’s business model was interesting.

I understand that Protected Parking has deals with major branding owners that allow them to monetize domain names that likely would be considered cases of cybersquatting. It is also possible that keyword domain owners could use their services if their domain name is in a vertical that monetizes well with the company.

I asked Marlon Phillips, the company’s Vice President of Sales, if he could share more information about his company, and here’s what he told me:

“Tesla” Was a Top 10 Trending Keyword Last Month

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Verisign published its list of the “top 10 trending keywords” for .com and .net domain name registrations, and I was surprised to see that “tesla” was in the top ten for the month of May. “Tesla” was listed amongst descriptive keywords such as fantastic, holo, locksmith, and options to name a few.

When I saw the “tesla” keyword, my first thought was the car and battery company called Tesla Motors. I know the company was named after electrical engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla, and I was taken aback that it would be one of the trending keywords for the month. I presume there are ways in which companies and individuals could use the “tesla” keyword given its history, but I also presume many people were registering them because of Tesla Motors.

Using Verisign’s DomainView Tool, I was able to dig a

WIPO Panelist: “The business of buying and selling domain names can be a legitimate enterprise”

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In a UDRP decision that has not yet been uploaded on the WIPO website as of the time of publication, Donald Trump prevailed over the registrant of TrumpEstates.com. This morning, the New York Post published an article written by Julia Marsh that covered this UDRP (WIPO Case D2015-0478).

It’s not a surprise that Mr. Trump and his legal team scored a victory to secure the TrumpEstates.com domain name. What is a bit of a nice surprise is a sentence that WIPO panelist W. Scott Blackmer apparently included in his decision: “The business of buying and selling domain names can be a legitimate enterprise.” According to the NY Post article, Mr. Blackmer followed that up by stating,  “But it does not confer rights to use for that purpose a domain name identical or confusingly similar to another party’s trademark.”

Obviously the business of domain name investing is legitimate, and it

KraftHeinz.com Registered by Someone in South Korea

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The biggest story in the world of business today will likely be the merger of Kraft Foods Group and H.J. Heinz, two of the largest food companies in the world. According to a CNBC article that was published this morning, the new company will be known as The Kraft Heinz Co. This company will become the third largest food company in North America, assuming the merger is completed.

The most logical domain name for this new company, KraftHeinz.com, was registered today by someone in South Korea. It does not appear that the domain registrant is related to the company, although I suppose it is possible. At the moment, KraftHeinz.com seems to resolve to the domain registrar’s default landing page for newly registered domain names (I don’t read Korean, so I cannot confirm this). It appears the registrant also bought HeinzKraft.com, and the domain name resolves to a similar looking landing page.

Update: Interestingly, Kraft-Heinz.com was registered today by brand protection company DNStination Inc.

I presume The Kraft Heinz Co. is going to

WIPO Infographic on 2014 UDRP Filings

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I want to share a neat infographic that was published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The infographic illustrates a few facts about the year in UDRP filings for 2014, including the companies that filed the most UDRPs, the countries that had the most UDRP filings, and the top 5 areas of commerce that had UDRP filings.

The areas of commerce and countries from which the most UDRPs were filed were not all that surprising to me. Perhaps, I might have expected a greater percentage of filings from financial firms, but I can see why retail was so high (counterfeiters for example). I was a bit surprised about the companies that filed the most UDRP complaints. The top 5 companies were:

  • Philip Morris
  • Banco Bradesco
  • Swarovski
  • Lego
  • Electrolux

One aspect of the UDRP filing report I would be most interested in learning about is

UDRP With 1,000+ Domain Names is a Milestone for WIPO

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The World Intellectual Property Organization reported that it received its 30,000th UDRP filing yesterday, and it is a fairly interesting UDRP given the sheer number of domain names that are a part of it. Apparently, Ebay was the company that filed this milestone UDRP, and the case involves well over 1,000 domain names (there were 1,153 domain names in total included in this filing).

The first ten domain names included in this UDRP filing offer a good look at the types of domain names that were the subject of the filing:

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