Generic Domain Names

It’s Better for an Investor to Own a Domain Name

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If you have been watching television during the last month or so, I am sure you have seen a Portal by Facebook television commercial like this one:

As a domain investor watching the advertisement, you probably noticed the clunky url for Portal by Facebook: Portal.Facebook.com. When you visit that url, you can see Facebook has branded its product “Portal,” and Portal has its own logo and brand identity. Unfortunately for Facebook, the company does not own the valuable brand match Portal.com domain name.

Portal.com does not resolve to an active website. A Whois search shows the Portal.com is owned by Oracle. Looking at Screenshots.com, I can see that there was once a landing page with an Oracle logo announcing that “Oracle has acquired Portal Software…

Ordinarily, when a domain name is

View Glass Gets More Funding and Gets View.com

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Early this morning, Bloomberg reported that View, Inc., a maker of smart glass had received $1.1 billion in funding from the SoftBank Vision Fund. Prior to this announcement, Bloomberg reports, the company had received “about $800 million” in funding from other investors.

The news about this recent round of funding was tweeted out by Techmeme this evening:

I visited View.com to see if that is the domain name the company is using, and I saw a 404 error:

No Auction or Sale of Toys.com

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Earlier this year, it looked like the Toys.com domain name was going to come up for sale again due to the Toys R’ Us bankruptcy. In fact, in May of this year, I wrote about the court documents that indicated Toys.com would be up on the auction block, after selling for $5.1 million in 2009.

It looks like the sale of Toys.com is not going to happen though. If you visit Toys.com, you can see a message on the landing page that says:

“Guess Who’s Back? Geoffrey’s back & ready to set play free for children of all ages.”

Clicking the “learn more” link takes visitors to a press release from early October announcing that the assets will be acquired by the creditors rather than sold to another entity:

Jump Bikes Acquires Jump.com Domain Name

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In June, I posted a poll question asking people if they thought Jump Bikes, which was acquired by Uber last April, would be able to acquire the exact match Jump.com domain name. At the time, Jump.com was owned by Microsoft, meaning the domain name would either be impossible to buy or very expensive. In that poll, 51+% of those who voted said “No,” the company wouldn’t buy Jump.com.

Yesterday morning, I saw that Alan Dunn tweeted about the Jump.com domain name because it was acquired by the bike startup:

If you visit Jump.com right now, you will be redirected to JumpBikes.com. The Whois record shows the domain name is now registered to Social Bicycles, Inc., which is the company doing business as Jump Bikes.

Interestingly, Jump.com was registered at MarkMonitor before and after the domain name changed hands. Because MarkMonitor

What Will the FTC Do With Army.com?

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According to reports on CNET and in AdAge that were published earlier this week it seems that the US government, via its Federal Trade Commission (FTC), could take possession of the valuable Army.com domain name as part of a legal settlement with the company that operated the domain name.

Here’s an excerpt from the CNET article:

“The Federal Trade Commission said Thursday that it had seized nine copycat websites that harvested and sold users’ personal information by posing as US military recruitment sites.

The operators of websites such as Army.com and NavyEnlist.com tricked people interested in joining the military out of their personal information by falsely claiming to be affiliated with specific branches of the military, the FTC said in a complaint filed in an Alabama federal court.”

Here’s an excerpt from a statement put out by the FTC last week regarding the Army.com domain name and other domain names:

“The operators of copycat websites army.com and navyenlist.com have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they targeted people seeking to join the armed forces and tricked them by falsely claiming to be affiliated with the military in order to generate sales leads for post-secondary schools.

The defendants, including the Alabama-based companies Sunkey Publishing, Inc. and Fanmail.com, LLC, have agreed to relinquish army.com, armyenlist.com and other domain names, and to stop the practices that they allegedly used to deceive consumers.”

Although many Americans would likely think of the US Army first when they hear the term “Army,” there are armies in almost every country throughout the world. The word “army” could also be used in its descriptive sense as well (ie “an army of people showed up”). As such, the Army.com is a valuable domain name.

In 2015,

Duck.com Has 6 Figure Offers

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The majority of participants in yesterday’s poll about the value of Duck.com believe the domain name is worth more than half a million USD. This is not a surprise to me because of the utility of the Duck.com domain name along with the companies that could use Duck.com as an upgrade. In addition, Google owns Duck.com, so it obviously would take a major offer to persuade the company to sell its domain name.

I had a conversation with someone on Twitter who pegged the value at $10,000 – $20,000. I responded that I would pay more than $50,000 for Duck.com as an investment. In my view, animal domain names are quite popular right now, and I am sure I wouldn’t lose money in the $50,000+ range.

In response to throwing out my offer, two other domain investors also made offers via Twitter. Finlead, which owns and has owned some awesome domain names, offered $100,000 to buy Duck.com. George Kirikos, whose company also owns some fantastic domain names like 511.com, Math.com, and School.com, offered $200,000 to buy Duck.com.

Clearly, these Twitter-made offers are

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