Harvard sues frequent UDRP loser to have its domains disabled

Company that lost four UDRP complaints if filed against others might be at risk of losing its own domain name.

Harvard has sued a handful of companies it says have copied its trademarked exam questions.

Among these companies is one that lost four UDRP cases in a single week — Certplex, Ltd.

Certplex lost four UDRPs for domain names including the term “Braindumps”. One of Certplex’s sites offering test prep is Braindumps.com.

According to the complaint filed by Harvard, Certplex publishes actual questions from past exams, or near copies of the questions. Braindumps.com pretty much explains that this is its product’s selling point. Click to continue reading…

FTC to ICANN on .Sucks: Yeah, we told you this would happen

FTC wants ICANN to address overarching issues with new TLDs rather than one-off cases.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has responded to ICANN’s request that it investigate the practices of top level domain name registry Vox Populi over its rollout of the .sucks domain name.

I’d summarize its response as: “yeah, we told you this would happen with your rollout of new TLDs”.

FTC’s Chairwoman Edith Ramirez wrote (pdf) that the FTC cannot comment on the existence of any pending investigations, yet noted that the FTC will “monitor the actions of registries and other actors in this arena”.

She reminded ICANN that it brought up many of these consumer protection issues during the process of designing the new top level domain name program: Click here to continue reading…

NAF panel orders transfer of FatTuesday.com to owner of Fat-Tuesday.com

Panel really screwed this one up.

Fat TuesdayA three person National Arbitration Forum panel has ordered the transfer of the domain name FatTuesday.com to David Briggs Enterprises, Inc. The complainant operates bars under the name Fat Tuesday and uses the inferior domain name Fat-Tuesday.com.

Of course, Fat Tuesday is also the name for what many of us think of as Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”. Type “Fat Tuesday” into Google, and it duly pops up the date of this holiday.

Amazingly, the three person panel of Sheri L. Falco, Darryl C. Wilson and Terry F. Peppard seemed to ignore the fact that this domain name exactly matches the name of a holiday.

The panel was apparently miffed that the domain name was somehow transferred after notice of the UDRP was filed. I don’t think the domain name was technically transferred to a new owner, but it really doesn’t matter. There’s no way the panel should have found that the domain name was registered and used in bad faith.

The domain name — which exactly matches a holiday — has been inactive for many years. The complainant pointed out that the domain name sold for $16,500 in 2007. The owner of the domain name, unsurprisingly, asked for more to sell the domain name.

The panel wrote:

Indeed that Respondent’s registration of the domain name was in service of an attempt to extract from Complainant a price of $100,000.00 or more from the sale of an inactive domain name, which is a price demonstrably in excess of Respondent’s proven costs in acquiring and maintaining the domain name, falls squarely within the parameters of Policy 4(b)(i), which identifies circumstances in which it may be found that a domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith as that term is understood in the Policy.

No, no and no. It’s THE NAME OF A HOLIDAY! It doesn’t matter if a company has been able to also trademark the name for limited purposes.

You can read the case decision here.

Domain definitions: Registrar and Registry

The definition of registry is becoming fuzzy.

Two of the most commonly misused words in mainstream articles about domain names are registrar and registry. Many publications use one when it should be the other.

A registrar is the company where you register a domain name, such as GoDaddy or Name.com.

A registry is the company that manages the top level domain name.

So if you register a .com domain name at GoDaddy, GoDaddy is the registrar and Verisign is the registry for the domain name.

Now, most DNW readers are aware of this. But I’ve started to run into a conundrum with the release of new top level domain names. Click here to continue reading…

What Fadi Chehadé should do in his last year as ICANN’s CEO

Here’s what companies and people want to see ICANN’s outgoing CEO accomplish before he leaves the post.

ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé made the surprise announcement last week that he would step down from his role as CEO of the organization next March. I reached out to a number of companies and people in the ICANN community to ask what they would most like to see Chehadé accomplish in this last ten months at the head of the internet group.

Elliot Noss, CEO of Tucows:

If Fadi were to take practical steps to get registrars, registries, IP and law enforcement working together more effectively I think that could have the most lasting impact.

He should pick a single issue, it could be privacy and proxy, it could be registrant validation, and lead an effort to successful completion. This would show it could be done and that multi-stakeholder is not win-lose politics as usual. This could be the legacy of his tenure.

Everyone pays attention to the IANA process. It will go forward with or without Fadi’s involvement.

Jon Nevett, EVP Corporate Affairs, Donuts: Click here to continue reading…