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Is Apple Entitled to Appl.com?

Company files complaint over four letter domain name. It’s not the first time.

AppleApple Inc. filed complaints with World Intellectual Property Forum this week over two domain names it feels are typos of Apple.com.

One case is against Appl.com and the other is against apple.com aplle.com.

On the surface it would appear that Appl.com is a generic four character domain name. Yet the pay-per-click ads on the site mention the electronics maker.

Earlier this year Apple filed a similar complaint that included aple.com as well as appl-e.com and apples-stores.com. The company dropped the complaint after the registrant transferred the domain names to Kilpatrick Stockton, which is presumably Apple’s law firm. Yet someone dropped the ball, as the domains aren’t yet forwarding to Apple.com. In fact, aple.com still forwards to a parked page.

But someone at Apple or the law firm knows what he or she is doing. After winning a case for wwwApple.com earlier this year it forwarded it to www.Apple.com — and even inserted code to track the typo visits.

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  1. Barry Lebovitz says

    Or what about that fruit that is so popular? I forgot the genius Steve Jobs invented the word apple, and hasn’t had any legal troubles over using apple to sell music, like that other thing that was popular in the 60’s… OH YEA THE BEATLES :\

    #1 Reason why no one should be able to own a word they did NOT invent.

  2. Em says

    That’s so ridiculous. I guess someone needs to justify their job somehow. I agree with M. The first thing I thought of was “application” not Apple. You can’t own a word like “apple”. What a ridiculous thing, really.

    The real problem is the adsense and sedo scripts which automatically look for ads that are near “appl” and low and behold there are lots of apple.com ads. If anything Apple should be knocking on Google adsense’s door or any other parking place, not the owner of “appl.com”

  3. Landon White says

    Here’s a Twist ???

    Does removing a letter from a brand
    cause deliberate infringement?

    Imagine this…

    > .Com is the subject

    NOW

    > .Co
    (1) letter short …

    So is .Co a bad faith extension,
    so to speak,

    A .Co and .Com = Creates Confusion
    B. Deliberate shortening exploitation.
    C. Reference goal is to replace .Com

    Its not a Domain but, should same
    trade model rules apply to a registry ???

    Could monetary loss be shown by .com owners
    by this infringement if so ..

  4. Em says

    Funny stuff landon.

    I will immediately stop buying and eating apples (infringing on Apple.com’s rights by calling the red thing I want to buy an apple). And when the word apple is used in all elementary textbooks, the beloved red fruit will be replaced by a picture of a Mac Notebook. Thus we should come up with a new word for the red thing.

    Reminds me of when Donald Trump tried to TM “You’re fired”. So everytime I use that expression in common everyday dialogue, I can expect a Cease and Desist letter.

  5. mansour says

    This shows what’s wrong with ICANN and the Universal Domain Resolution Policy (UDRP). The Internet is not built only for this generation, but for many generations to come, for the Internet to succeed. We only need 171,476 companies like Apple worldwide to exhaust the English dictionary of every word in existence. After that we have to go back to the numerical system again to provide enough addresses to the newcomers. Wake up ICANN if you can.

  6. Steve says

    Folks, it’s not just that Appl.com is a typo of Apple.com…that alone wouldn’t warrant any action from them. It’s the BAD FAITH usage of it thanks to the parking page showing electronics links.

    Apple doesn’t have exclusive use of the word Apple and all typos of it…except when it comes to electronics. Unfortunately, parking a domain like that which on most parking providers is naturally going to be fed links to buy Apple products or similar things, is just asking to lose the domain. The owner of it dun goofed and Apple will benefit from it. Blame the owner and/or parking company, not Apple.

  7. Steve says

    Well presumably, if it was being used as a short for applications, even that would likely be fair usage. At the moment however, go to the page and you’ll see at the top of Related Searches: “Ipod touch”. Oops.

  8. Jason says

    I think there wouldn’t be a problem with appl.com if the owner used it to promote another brand. Domain owners have to be careful, as many parking systems will recognize the names as a popular brands.

    Take the time to type in the keywords. For any site that is not an Internet brand, the owner can use them for their generic purpose.

    Just like the New York New York and the Chilli Beans domain, companies are going after names they don’t want to purchase.

    In my opinion, I think it’s unethical.

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