Domain registrar Dotster has settled a lawsuit brought by Neiman Marcus.
David Steele, an attorney with Christie, Parker & Hale LLP that represented Neiman Marcus, said Neiman Marcus has settled with domain registrar Dotster over typosquatting charges. The lawsuit, made public in June 2006, alleged that Dotster was “tasting” typo domains during the registrar grace period for five days. Dotster would then keep the domains that generated enough traffic to warrant their registration price. Dotster protected the whois information for these domains through its domain privacy service.
Steele said details won’t be announced until at least this week, according to an Associate Press article about domain tasting. His law firm is preparing litigation against other tasters.
Typosquatting is a big business and many of the biggest domain name holding companies are participating. It surprises me that large companies — one of them even a public company — would take on the legal risk of owning these domains. These large companies are most susceptible to lawsuits. Trademark holders don’t benefit by going after the small guy with a couple typos but they can make a statement by going after large companies with well-known investors and $100M+ in capitalization. Typosquatting and cybersquatting gives the domain name industry a bad name. Domain names are a legitimate business for registrars, investors, web site developers, etc. Unfortunately, most of the news articles about domain names focus on the negatives, such as activities that infringe on other companies’ trademarks.