Once again, Apple fails to secure domain name prior to product announcement.
The world is buzzing about Apple’s (NASDAQ: APPL) latest product, the iPodTouch. But you won’t find information about the new gadget at iPodTouch.com. That domain was registered by a man in Canada in 2005.
This isn’t the first time Apple has failed to secure important domain names prior to product launches. For example, they didn’t own any version of iPodVideo.com when that product was released two years ago. (I wouldn’t visit iPodVideo.com if you have kids in the room, by the way.) They also failed to register iTunes.co.uk, which resulted in a lengthly domain dispute. And the company is rumored to have paid seven figures to pick up iPhone.com after its launch.
The name of Apple’s new product started to leak over the past month, as a number of iPod Touch domains were registered, including:
iPodTouch.net – August 4, 2007 (listed for sale on Sedo)
iPodTouch.org – August 23, 2007
iPodTouch.biz – September 5, 2007
iPodTouch.info – August 23, 2007
iPodTouch.us – September 5, 2007
If someone at Apple typed one of these domains into their browsers to see if the domains were available, they may have tipped of domainers about their new product launch. ISPs collect this “non-existent” domain query data and sell it.
Although iPodTouch.com is parked, it isn’t showing links related to iPods, which could save the owner in a UDRP. It’s possible that the domain did show related links in the past, but the domain has been blocked at Archive.org. Apple would likely prevail in a UDRP given the clear use of the iPod trademark, but the UDRP process is too lengthy to do Apple much good right now.