d3ell.com, de3LL.com, d4ell.com, among the domains allegedly cybersquatted.
Dell Inc (NASDAQ: DELL), the computer maker, has filed a lawsuit against three individuals for allegedly cybersquatting typos of Dell.com. The three people named in the suit, Alf Temme, Lars Crispin Temme, and Kim Temme, allegedly forwarded the domain names through a LinkShare affiliate link to land at Dell.com. By doing so, the three profited whenever someone purchased an item on Dell’s site.
Many of the domains mentioned in the suit, including de4ll.com, dedll.com, derll.com and dxell.com, no longer resolve. However, the thumbnail preview at DomainTools.com shows that these domains were indeed forwarded to Dell.com.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a case like this. Lands End brought a similar case against an affiliate last year.
Large companies typically are not proactive about acquiring typos of their domain names despite the low cost of doing so. However, it’s also surprising that typosquatters are using affiliate programs of the infringed parties to monetize these domains. It’s easy for the company to identify the source of the traffic and determine it’s from trademark-infringing domains. Perhaps the typosquatters hope that people will assume the typos are owned by the infringed company.
Daily Domainer says
Wait a minute… Dell made money off the traffic supplied by these domains. They even paid commissions to the domain registrants. Unless there was some sort of fraud involved, Dell made a profit.
But now they want their commissions back, plus “damages”. What damages? If the Temmes hadn’t registered these domains, Dell would have lost the traffic entirely (i.e. zero sales off that traffic). Even worse, someone else might have registered the domains and used them to sell something unrelated, and Dell wouldn’t stand a chance.
Guy with a brain says
To say that they wouldn’t have got the sales if the sites hadn’t been there is just utter rubbish.
Anyone that mis-typed dell.com would have got a “page not found” or some other site unrelated to dell and would then have retyped the http://www.dell.com or used a search engine. When was the last time you tried to get to a popular site like yahoo or google, mistyped it, got another site that was unrelated (or a page cannot be displayed) and then gave up and went and had a coffee instead, rather than just typing again until you found the site.
This was obviously a well thought out bit of journalism (that’s sarcasm). There are simply no interesting facts that let the reader make their own mind up.
Try setting up a multimillion dollar affiliate scheme that’s nearly 100 % automated. You would have no idea who is sending you sales (and being paid by you) on a case by case basis. It’s just stupid (again) to say that because dell paid these people they must have been fully aware of it and (tacitly) approved. Do you think they check what domains affiliate sales are coming from? Get in the real world. These guys were using dells name to make money. That’s against trademark law.
Please subscribe me to some spam
Daily Domainer says
They were using Dell’s name to make Dell money. How much does Dell pay in commissions – a measly 1%? What if someone else had registered the domains and redirected them to a competitor? Chances are that Dell wouldn’t even have noticed (considering that they hadn’t registered the domains themselves by January 2004).
It may be against trademark law but Dell is way overreacting with this. I don’t see any “damages” they could ask for other than the commissions they paid out. A company with an appreciation for creativity would have handled this in a different manner.
Sense Talker says
Typo squatting diverts direct request traffic through an affiliate link. The squatter adds no value in the process that would be worth paying a comission for besides saving the end user a few key-strokes, which is not even remotely worth $20 (1% of a $2k computer sale). Why would Dell pay for traffic that was headed their way in the first place? So they don’t divert to a competitor? That’d be like Disney World paying a guy not to hand out misguiding maps that end you up at Six Flags. Ludicrous!!
Damages? How about the tracking fees their Affiliate network charges them for this BS traffic? The misspent manhours to investigate the flacid referals? How about the legal fees for correcting what should be a non-existant problem?
If this were your business you’d do exactly as Dell has.
Daily Domainer says
No! I would have invited them over to Dell headquarters and resolved this in an amicable manner.
Add up the affiliate commissions, tracking fees, misspent manhours, legal fees, and now all the bad publicity Dell got from this… it wasn’t worth it, even if they win the case!
Do you think Dell really got negative press from this, other than with a few select domain name owners? Honestly I doubt it.