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Dish DBS ruled a top level domain cybersquatter

Dish’s .direct application tossed out; Donuts is sole applicant remaining for .direct top level domain name.

It’s notable that the two applicants deemed to be attempting to cybersquat top level domain names thus far aren’t nefarious cybersquatters, as industry groups suggested would happen. Instead, it’s two members of those types of trade groups that have lost the two Legal Rights Objections for new top level domain names.

First, there was Del Monte International GmbH. Now satellite TV company Dish DBS has also had an application tossed for violating the legal rights of another.

The objection was filed by Dish’s chief satellite rival in the U.S., The DirecTV Group.

According to Dish, its goal in applying for .direct was to enhance its direct-to-consumer business model”

As Mr. Khemka notes in his affidavit, Respondent intends to continue to provide programming and content “direct” to consumers, using the .direct gTLD as a closed, secure network for its eco-system. As Mr. Khemka notes, the concept of providing “direct” services to its customers has been key to Respondent’s business and success…

But a three person WIPO panel determined that this was just a thinly veiled attempt to take advantage of DirecTV’s marks. This is despite DirecTV not having trademarks for the term “Direct” by itself.

Clearly, this case hinged on who the applicant was. If another company, such as Donuts, applied for .direct then the objection would have failed. As a matter of fact, Donuts did apply for .direct for its generic meaning and DirecTV did not file an objection against it. That means Donuts has won another contention set.

(As an aside, I wonder what would happen if DirecTV later tried to buy the .direct registry from Donuts?)

Dish DBS applied for 13 top level domain names, ranging from brands such as .dish and .blockbuster to generics such as .latino and .movie.

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  1. John Berryhill

    It’s surprising that Dish TV would have tried grabbing a competitor’s mark as a TLD, not thinking they’d be called on it.

    But this also puts to bed the notion that “any dictionary word will survive an LRO”. The LRO process looks at more than just the trademark and the TLD, and includes considerations of whom is applying and why.

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