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101 Domain


Does Microsoft Need to Watch Out for AOL?


I missed the article in TechCrunch on Tuesday until just now, but AOL's Sphere, the self-dubbed "next phase in the evolution of AOL News," is undergoing a rebranding effort. The new name of the brand will be Surphace, and the company will use as its domain name.

Of course, when people tell their buddies to check out "," many of their friends will inevitably head to instead, which happens to be a domain name owned by Microsoft, which redirects to the Microsoft website.

With AOL currently embroiled in a lawsuit against for trademark infringement, one can amusingly ask if AOL will believe that they deserve the domain name to go along with their renamed brand. It surely would be a head scratcher, but I wouldn't exactly be shocked. I wonder what Microsoft thinks of this.

On another note, I still don't understand why some companies - especially large companies - still create brand names that are difficult to spell. This can only lead to brand confusion, lost traffic, → Read More

AOL Just Protecting Its Brand


Last month at an engagement party, I met a friend of a friend who works for After brief introductions and small talk, he mentioned that he works for Knowing that had just sold at Moniker's auction for 7 figures, I inquired further, and he mentioned that his company is actually, but everyone calls it Therein lies the problem.

In most cases, when a company or famous person has become known by a nickname, and that nickname or moniker becomes just as famous as the person (and clearly associated with the company or person), that company or person may be able to legally claim common law rights to that nickname or term.

Michael Jordan was known as "Air Jordan" because of his leaping and dunking ability. During his playing days, Nike introduced the Air Jordan brand, and I believe it is still one of their most famous brands. Had Michael Jordan not been known as "Air Jordan," the term "air jordan" would probably be worthless unless someone else used that term famously. Like → Read More