Domain Name Wire

Domain Name Wire

Displaying posts under "Policy & Law"

  • Company wants to trademark the term “Domain Auction”

    1. BY - Jul 29, 2014
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 9 Comments

    New domain listings site wants a trademark on descriptive term.

    From the merely descriptive file…

    A Florida company has filed two trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for “Domain Auction” and “Domains Auction”.

    The applications, filed by Coracao LLC, claim a first use date of earlier this month.

    Coracao’s trademark applications seem to be spurred by its recent launch of a domain name and website sales site at The goods and services in the applications list “On-line auction services featuring domain names and web sites”.

    If the company wants a stylized trademark for its totally rad logo, that’s one thing. But the term itself?

    You can see the application for “Domain Auction” here (pdf).

  • 27 of top 50 websites protecting their brands on new Donuts domain names

    1. BY - Jul 28, 2014
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 4 Comments

    How are brands protecting themselves with new top level domain names?

    Many are, but there are some surprises.

    I just checked how the top 50 websites are protecting their brands on Donuts top level domain names.

    I took the top 50 (public) sites from Quantcast and ran them through whois for their matching .gripe domain to see if they were registered by the brandholder or blocked with Donuts’ Domains Protected Marks List.

    I chose .gripe for several reasons.

    First, it’s a domain for which a brandholder would likely want to protect itself.

    Second, most premium domain names in .gripe are rather inexpensive, so even if a brandholder can’t use DPML, it doesn’t cost much to protect its brand.

    Third, there are only 121 names on the name collision list.

    Here’s what I found:

    21 of the matching domains were blocked with Domains Protected Marks List.

    This is a “blanket” block brand owners can purchase for a few dollars per domain per year.

    • Google
    • Youtube
    • facebook
    • msn
    • ebay
    • pinterest
    • bing
    • wordpress
    • wikipedia
    • linkedin
    • about
    • blogger
    • paypal
    • adobe
    • norton
    • godaddy
    • foxnews
    • comcast
    • mlb
    • wellsfargo
    • babycenter

    6 of the domains were registered by the brand holders.

    • microsoft
    • twitter
    • yahoo
    • amazon
    • aol
    • walmart

    23 of the domain names are still available for registration.

    Of these, 9 have Trademark Clearinghouse records:

    • yelp
    • live
    • blogspot
    • ask
    • weather
    • whitepages
    • reddit
    • vimeo
    • yellowpages

    In theory, this means 9 of them could have gotten a DPML block. However, DPML blocks don’t apply to premium domain names, so some of the TM holders might not have had that option.

    Looking at the 9 with TMCH records but no block, most have generic names. If these companies were truly concerned about brand protection, and wanted to protect these so-called brands under .gripe, they could have done so for about $50 per year with a premium registration.

    One of surprising exceptions is Yelp, which has a TMCH record and is not a “premium” but apparently decided not to use DPML. This is a surprise given the number of verticals Yelp covers. For example, is currently available for registration.

    As for Blogspot, the domain gets a lot of traffic but it’s a legacy brand for Google.

    The 14 that don’t even have a TMCH record include a lot of new viral sites that don’t have much of a reason to block .gripe, such as However, there are some bigger names, including Craigslist:

    • bleacherreport
    • buzzfeed
    • wikia
    • craigslist
    • playbuzz
    • wattpad
    • nbcnews
    • urbandictionary
    • distractify
    • legacy
    • usmagazine
    • zergnet
    • imgur
    • upworthy

  • Google and Vint Cerf explain the NTIA transition (video)

    1. BY - Jul 24, 2014
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 1 Comment

    Simple video explains what’s going on with the U.S. government’s role in the internet.

    Vint Cerf, the “father of internet” and former Chairman of ICANN, now works for Google. Cerf has narrated a new Google video about the history of internet governance, ICANN and the role of the U.S. government. (See video embedded below.)

    It’s a pretty clever way to sum up the proposed change in role of the U.S. government in a simple, sub-three-minute video.

    In other words, more people are likely to watch this than are to read Larry Strickling’s detailed speech to the American Enterprise Institute this week. The video was published yesterday and already has 35,000 views.

    One interesting thing about the video is that it states that the government plans to “end its contractual oversight and hand that responsibility over to ICANN.” Although that is certainly where this is headed, many groups (OK, governments) would like another group to maintain this oversight.

    The video is part of Google’s “Take Action” site, which asks citizens to take action on a number of internet access and governmental issues.

  • Larry Strickling speech to American Enterprise Institute

    1. BY - Jul 23, 2014
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 0 Comments

    Speech lays out what’s ahead and why some people are overreacting.

    Lawrence Strickling, Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), gave a speech to American Enterprise Institute yesterday about the transition of internet functions away from NTIA.

    The transition of the IANA functions has been hotly (and poorly) debated in some circles. People react to a brief snippet on a blog or to a talking head on TV about how “Obama is giving away the internet” and react accordingly.

    I honestly believe the whole issue is quite simple, but I live and breathe this stuff. Yet no short blurb on some tech blog is enough to describe the nuance of the transition. Strickling’s prepared remarks from the speech are much better at laying out the reason for the transition, how it’s being handled, and how the process will avoid pitfalls.

    True, Strickling is giving his side of the argument (if you can call it an argument). I don’t agree with everything. For example, he explains how governments won’t be able to exert more control once the NTIA steps aside. I agree that it won’t allow authoritarian governments to exert more control. But I also think governments as a whole will work to have more control, much like what they did with the new top level domain name program. Hopefully the NTIA successfully resists this, as it Strickling says it will.

    It’s worth setting aside 10 minutes to read the 2,600 word speech. It’s a shame most people will rely on a snippet of debate rather than its entirety.

  • An interesting dates question in a UDRP

    1. BY - Jul 23, 2014
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 1 Comment

    What if you registered a domain long ago, let it expire, and then registered it again?

    The date you first registered a domain name is a critical factor in a UDRP.

    Generally speaking, if your registration predates the complainant’s rights in a term, then the complainant can’t win a UDRP. That’s because it’s impossible that you registered the domain name in bad faith…unless you’re psychic.

    Some complainants have argued that the renewal of a domain name can be in bad faith. Some outlying panelists have bought this argument.

    Dates in a just-decided case for bring up another interesting question: what if you registered a domain a long time ago, let it expire, and then registered it again?

    If the complainant’s rights in the matching trademark were gained after the original registration but before the new one, did the rights predate the registration?

    The question is begged but not answered in the dispute. The re-registration of the domain name still predates the complainant’s rights, but just barely.

    Common sense suggests that a panelist, in a case in which this question does need to be answered, would consider the earlier registration as evidence in the question of “registered and used in bad faith”. Of course, the circumstances of the expiration and reason for re-registration would require examination.