Method helps brand managers prioritize cybersquatting disputes.
Yahoo has filed a patent application (pdf) for a method for prioritizing which cybersquatted domain names to pursue.
The application describes a system that generates a list of domain names related to a trademark (“seed” term), then runs calculations based on probable traffic to those domain names to determine which ones a trademark owner should pursue.
For example, if one of the domains generated is YahooMail.com, the system can use a variety of traffic data sources (search volume, ISP date, etc.) to determine how many type-ins the domain probably gets.
This can be helpful for companies that have thousands of domain names that infringe their mark, and need to prioritize their UDRP and lawsuits to focus on the bigger traffic domains. Even though UDRP is efficient and fairly affordable, it still usually costs a complainant thousands of dollars to file. Many of the domain names recovered may not be worth the cost.
This method seems similar to tools used by CitizenHawk, a typosquatting recovery firm. CitizenHawk takes all of the risk in UDRPs it files, receiving payment by basically monetizing domains it wins on behalf of clients for a set period of time. It therefore needs methods to determine how much revenue a domain can generate over that period of time.
The patent application was filed August 14, 2008, and published today. The inventor is Jonathan Matkowsky, who is Yahoo’s Legal Director, Global Brand Protection.