Company wants to trademark terms like blockchain and crypto for domain name registration.
Unstoppable Domains, a company that offers alt-root domain names based on blockchain technology, has filed 21 trademark applications in Canada covering its top level domains and the Unstoppable brand. The company also recently filed for a U.S. trademark for the term blockchain, claiming priority to its Canadian trademark application. The applications cover domain registration services.
The company has already tried to register terms like crypto, doge, nft, and blockchain, along with each version with a dot in front of it, with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. But the USPTO doesn’t grant trademarks for words functioning as top level domains.
Unstoppable’s Canadian trademark filings last month include 888, bitcoin, blockchain, coin, crypto, dao, nft, wallet, x, zil, along with each of these with a dot in front of them. It also applied for a trademark for Unstoppable.
I can think of two reasons Unstoppable Domains is filing these trademarks. One, it wants to prevent other companies from creating alt-root domains that match its own. Alt-root domains that operate outside of the main DNS are unregulated, so there’s nothing stopping another company from starting a domain that ends in one of these extensions that Unstoppable is developing.
Second, it may be part of a futile effort to prevent other companies from applying for these terms in “real” top level domains in the future. Companies tried to front run terms ahead of the 2012 new top level domain expansion round. The effort failed.
The reality is that many companies will likely to apply for some of these same terms in the next ICANN expansion round. They will sell for a lot of money. Once these enter into the real root, it will create name collisions with the alt-root domains Unstoppable has created.
John Berryhill says
“But the USPTO doesn’t grant trademarks for words functioning as top level domains.”
To be clear, the USPTO doesn’t register marks for top-level domain strings for the service of domain registration. That’s why, to double up on revenue to extract from these folks who don’t know any better, the Ladas firm apparently advised filing duplication applications for things like “.coin” and “coin” for “domain registration services”. They know the ones with the dot in front of them will be refused (but have no problem collecting fees from their client anyway), and they figure that the USPTO won’t know the other ones are merely for TLD strings, but without the dots in front of them. Under relevant US case law, the resulting registrations from the non-dotted terms will be worthless if they try to enforce them.
Likewise, if they attempt to use them as las a basis for legal rights objections against applications in a future ICANN TLD application process, they will also fail for the same reason that gaming the LRO process didn’t work the first time around. But, the company is probably unaware of the relevant history, and their lawyers are happy to cash checks, so it will be a while before they figure out they are simply wasting money on pointless efforts.
they have already tried to shutdown the owner of Handshake `.wallet` from selling SLDs with a C&D based on “our IP” (which is DEAD and/or DECLINED) – despite the fact the owner of the Handshake TLD bought it a year before they launched theirs
Further their USPTO application for `.WALLET` is DECLINE & DEAD and their application for “WALLET” (without the dot) was DECLINED 22nd May .. yet claim they own the IP !?!?!?
I can’t figure if their lawyers are just scamming them or not – two garbage TM applications & a garbage C&D is not a great track record, IMHO
Andrew Allemann says
Will you send me details about them trying to take down .wallet on handshake?
Sure – no probs Andrew – although I think did give pretty much all the details I have in other comments here – also I’m @NamesOfLondon on Twitter, so DM me there, if you like
We got a C&D ordering us to shutdown the registry for the HandShake `.wallet` TLD based on “infringing their IP” – and they cite their DECLINED application for a ™ on the word “WALLET” for use as a TLD (case 90886517)
They also have a DEAD & DECLINED application for “.WALLET” (case 88807913)
I run the backend registry operation for the owner of `.wallet` – we’d both be open for a chat, if you want
Andrew Allemann says
Thanks. Please DM me (DM‘s are open) or email me at [email protected] .com so we can continue this discussion
Its only a hail mary attempt to bully the competition, scare newcomers, and hinder growth within the handshake community. To date, Handshake has a significantly higher amount of names registered and is quite a bit more popular than Unstoppable. That being said, I dont have recent numbers to quantify this claim. If anyone does, I would love to hear them.
They are as i like to say. Pissing in the wind.
I like DNS, ENS and HNS. Unstoppable operates like a shameless cash grab.
Mostly these names existed in the Handshake Blockchain ROOT before Unstoppable and/or their TLDs existed – many think that’s where they got their list from – they just looked at the Handshake TLDs that fetched the best price in public auction & published at https://www.namebase.io/stats/
They’ve tried taking action against the US owner of Handshake `.wallet` despite the fact he won it in a public auction a year before Unstoppable’s `.wallet` existed
They are trying to turn web3 into web2
Some things to consider..
ICANN can’t use domaisn that are already use.
They are not God. And the law is also for them.
Second.. first in use first in rights.
But also… Is not the first only… The brand need to be use..
One of the most use doamins at this point is .wallet
It works for payments in major wallets.
.x .nft and .crypto are being use for millions of people already and compare to other domains..they are own by the people. No renewals fees.
Here you can get your own domain with no renwals ever.
Andrew Allemann says
Joke of the day: