Trademark counsel should pay attention to the latest TLD to enter sunrise.
A lot of people have focused on .sucks as an example of a top level domain “shakedown” in which companies will feel compelled to register domains for protective purposes.
There’s a similar domain name entering sunrise today that hasn’t received much attention: .exposed.
It can be used in much the same way that .sucks and .gripe can be used, so it’s worth paying attention to if you’re trying to protect your company’s brand.
Trademark counsel might be comforted that the domain name is controlled by Donuts. They aren’t charging $25,000 for sunrise registrations, and the domain is part of Donuts’ Domain Protected Marks List program. Companies that have paid for the service will have their brands blocked in .exposed, just like all of the other Donuts domain names.
Important software still not recognizing new domain names.
Registrants of second level domain names under new TLDs such as .photography and .tattoo are learning firsthand about the issue of Universal Acceptance.
The term refers to systems not recognizing new top level domain names for what they are, and thus not being compatible with domain names ending in new monikers such as .holdings.
And while the issue is toughest on non-Latin top level domains, it still affects all new domains.
Twitter recently started recognizing some new domain names and automatically converting such web addresses to links.
Yet hurdles remain. Apple’s Safari browser still doesn’t recognize sites like nic.sexy as web addresses when typed in the address bar, at least on many devices. It appears they are only recognized if you type in http:// first.
If you click a link to a new domain it will work (since links have http://) but otherwise it takes you to a search results page.
The same goes for my Android device. The browser doesn’t recognize these domains unless I type http:// before the domain name.
These issues will slowly be resolved, but it places users of these new domains at a disadvantage for now.
Company loses dispute for Unstoppable.com domain name.
Fiskars, a company you most likely know for its scissors, has a trademark on “Unstoppable”. But a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) panel has ruled that its rights to the term are stoppable.
The company filed a cybersquatting complaint under UDRP against the owner of Unstoppable.com. Fiskars lost its case (pdf) despite the domain name owner not responding.
The panel ruled that Fiskars did not prove that the registrant of the domain name had registered and used it in bad faith. The company provided documentation of two trademarks, but those weren’t registered until 2012 and 2013. The panel pointed out that the domain was registered in 1999. It appears the current owner acquired it in 2010. Regardless, the company didn’t show use before the domain was registered.
Even if Fiskars did show rights predating the registration, the panel determined that the term “unstoppable” is generic. Therefore, just using the term “unstoppable” in the domain would not prove that the respondent was aware of the complainant’s rights.
The panel also pointed out that the respondent is in Malaysia and Fiskars did not provide any evidence of the mark’s fame in that country.
The Trademark Clearinghouse has sent over 20,000 notices to trademark holders based on domain registrations matching trademarks.
The Trademark Clearinghouse has now issued 20,076 trademark notifications based on second level registrations in new TLDs.
The notifications are sent to entities that have registered their marks with the Trademark Clearinghouse whenever someone registers an SLD that matches that mark.
There are only 27,252 marks submitted to the Clearinghouse, not including so-called “TM+50″ submissions that are variants on submitted marks.
While that number may seem high, it does not necessarily correlate to attempts to cybersquat. There are many common terms in the Trademark Clearinghouse such as pizza, money and bank. These generic terms are quite popular and certainly make up a good number of these notifications. I also assume the number includes notices triggered by the brandholders themselves registering domains matching their marks.
17,570 notifications had been sent as of February 28, so it seems that notifications are currently being sent at a clip of over 200 a day. I suspect the reality is that the number spikes on days when a new TLD enters general availability.
Covering the domain name industry since 2005.
Domain Name Wire celebrated its ninth anniversary over the weekend.
I’d like to take this occasion to thank all of Domain Name Wire’s loyal readers. Publishing a blog is only fun when there’s an engaged audience. Many of you take the time to comment and interact with posts. Many others tell me personal stories about how DNW has helped them grow their business, sell a domain name or clarify their strategy. Whether you comment regularly or just read the content, I appreciate your continued readership.
None of this would be possible without the support of sponsors. I’d like to thank every company that has advertised on Domain Name Wire throughout the past nine years. I was just looking through the Screenshots.com archive and saw that many of today’s advertisers have been with the site for many, many years. Sedo has been a continuous advertiser for 8 years, for example. Thanks to all of you.
If I can ask just one favor on this ninth birthday of Domain Name Wire, it would be that you take 5 minutes to complete the 9th annual Domain Name Wire survey. Your opinions about what’s going on in the domain name industry matter, and it will help shape what I write about in the year to come.