I read an “Open Letter to .CO Registrants” posted on the .CO Registry website by Eduardo Santoyo, Vice President & ccTLD Manager for the Registry. I think any domain owner who bought .CO domain names should have a look at the letter to know where the Registry stands when it comes to trademark infringement.
Some of the key points discussed in this letter include:
- .CO domain names are subject to UDRP
- When you buy a .CO domain name, you must represent and warrant that you aren’t doing so to infringe on the rights of another company (whether you are bidding on a domain name or hand registering it)
- .CO Registry will not give any refunds if a name is taken via UDRP or other legal action
- Domain owners are responsible for doing their own due diligence
Most domain investors know the ramifications pertaining to registering trademark infringing domain names, but some people don’t. I received an email last week from someone who told me she registered several .CO domain names of Fortune 500 companies that didn’t think to register them on their own. She asked how she could sell them. I told her I had no idea but referred her to my Domain Lawyer article for references.
It’s good to see the Registry post an article like this, and it will certainly be interesting to see how many UDRP cases are filed and how soon until that begins. My bet is that there will be quite a lot, especially when a strong aftermarket develops.