Archive for June, 2010

Police Department Loses its Domain Name to a Disgruntled Speeder After it Failed to Renew the Domain Name

Monday, June 21st, 2010

The Bluff City Police Department in Tennessee learned a valuable lesson after a speeder snatched up the domain name rights to www.bluffcitypd.com. It wasn’t that the Bluff City PD had failed to register the domain name; they’d been operating the domain name for years, rather the Bluff City PD let the ball drop when it failed to renew its registration of www.bluffcitypd.com.

This is a common problem faced by domain name owners and a common loophole exploited by cyber-squatters. Typically, a domain name will need to be renewed every year. If the domain name owner fails to renew its registration of the domain name, the registrar will usually treat the domain name as if the owner no longer wants it and will re-insert the domain name into the pool of available domain names.

This is exactly what happened to the Bluff City PD in this case. They hosted the domain name www.bluffcitypd.com on the registrar giant GoDaddy. Furthermore, it is not as if GoDaddy didn’t give ample notice to the Bluff City PD that its domain name was about to expire and required renewal if they wished to continue to hold onto the domain name. It is GoDaddy’s practice to send 5 warning emails to customers before a domain name expires; at 90, 60, 30, 15, and 5 days prior to expiration of the domain name. Also, GoDaddy sends 2 reminders after the domain name has expired; at 5 and 12 days after the domain name has expired. On top of all of this, there is an automatic renewal option, which the PD of course failed to employ; the Bluff City PD could have used this option to make sure their domain name would be automatically renewed before it ever expired.

Continue reading Police Department Loses its Domain Name to a Disgruntled Speeder After it Failed to Renew the Domain Name »

Healthcare Giant Novo Nordisk Loses its UDRP Challenge to FlexTouch.com

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Novo Nordisk is a giant in the Healthcare industry that has registered the FlexTouch trademark but before it could begin to use FlexTouch in conjunction with commercial purposes, Andrew Melcher of La Jolla, California, registered FlexTouch.com and began using it as a parking page supporting links to electronics and computers.

Novo Nordisk had registered the FlexTouch trademark with the commercial goal of advertising the FlexTouch product as an aid in pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment of diabetes.trademark law

On March 19, 2010 the lone panelist Brigitte Joppich writing for the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center  in the WIPO case of Novo Nordisk A/S v. Andrew Melcher, Case No. D2010-0095, rendered an Administrative Panel Decision. That full decision can be found here.

Continue reading Healthcare Giant Novo Nordisk Loses its UDRP Challenge to FlexTouch.com »

Bad News for Google, Facing Typo-squatting Lawsuit After its Motion for Summary Judgment was Denied

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Last Wednesday the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois’ Judge Blanche M. Manning handed down a decision to deny Google’s motion for summary judgment for a case that has been ongoing since 2007.

Judge Manning ruled that there were issues of material fact remaining pertaining to Google’s use of its AdSense program, in conjunction with the company Dotster, to display ads on domain names which are allegedly confusingly similar to registered trademarks. Google may still be found liable for damages because the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA)  imposes liability on anyone who licenses and uses sites with domain names similar to registered trademarks.

typosquatting lawsuit

Google’s AdSense program involved licensing domains from the domain registrar Dotster that were similar to registered trademarks and using those domains to display pay-per-click ads.

Continue reading Bad News for Google, Facing Typo-squatting Lawsuit After its Motion for Summary Judgment was Denied »

Famous Piano Maker ‘Steinway’ Loses Cybersquatting Case Against Alleged Cybersquatter

Monday, June 7th, 2010

cybersquatting caseIn news posted on June 2nd, the famous maker of pianos, Steinway, lost a cybersquatting case over control of the website www.american-steinway.com.

The case of Steinway, Inc. v. Carey Simon, is very shortly and aptly summarized at Cybersquatting.com;

“Steinway, Inc. the acclaimed manufacturer of pianos, recently lost a cybersquatting action to recover the domain name www.american-steinway.com, While the cybersquatting panel found that Steinway had a federal trademark registration for the STEINWAY way, the panel also found that the registrant of the domain name had been in the business of buying, restoring, and selling Steinway pianos for several years, and had used the domain name in its nominative sense. Therefore the panel found that the registrant had rights in the STEINWAY mark and did not use the domain name in bad faith. Thus, the panel denied Steinway’s claim.” Continue reading Famous Piano Maker ‘Steinway’ Loses Cybersquatting Case Against Alleged Cybersquatter »

Domains Attached to a Legal Judgment Accidently Auctioned Off on NameJet, Catching $65,000

Monday, June 7th, 2010

On June 4th over at Domainnamewire, an article was posted about a surprise auction of domain names, all largely based on misspellings of ‘government grants’ and variations thereof, totaling $65,000. These domain names were sold on May 25th at NameJet, and were all previously domains registered at Network Solutions.

The unusual story behind the sale of these domain names began with a judgment (later reaffirmed) against the notorious cybersquatter John Zuccarini. Back in October of 2000, the US DC for the ED of Pennsylvania rendered a $500,000 verdict against Zuccarini for violating the Truth in Domain Names Act. That decision can be found here. The US CoA for the 3rd Circuit affirmed the trial court’s decision on June 15, 2001 and ordered Zuccarini to pay additional statutory damages totaling $50,000.

That decision can be found here.

The courts found those judgments against Zuccarini were proper because in addition to ‘typo squatting’ on popular trademarks such as Hot Wheels, Cartoon Network, and Homestar Runner, he was also embroiled in the unsavory practice of redirecting traffic from young audience websites to websites containing child pornography. This practice is in direct violation of the Truth in Domain Names Act and was a substantial stimulus in passing the act. Continue reading Domains Attached to a Legal Judgment Accidently Auctioned Off on NameJet, Catching $65,000 »

Film Academy Targets GoDaddy in Cybersquatting Lawsuit, Over 100 Domain Names at Issue and up to $10 million in Potential Damages

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, (Film Academy) has recently filed a 134 page complaint against GoDaddy.com, for trafficking in unauthorized trademarks.

GoDaddy.com is a supergiant in the domain registration business and is also the same brain behind the memorable 2009 Super Bowl ad, which featured the star female race car driver Danica Patrick.cybersquatting lawyers

The Hollywood Reporter noted that the over 100 domain names targeted in the suit mostly involve the Film Academy’s prestigious and trademarked “Oscars”. Targeted domain name examples include 2011oscars.com, academyawardz.com, jaylenososcars.com, betacademyawards.com, oscarsunplugged.com, oscarshotels.com, oscarstravel.com, oscarsliveblogging.com. Continue reading Film Academy Targets GoDaddy in Cybersquatting Lawsuit, Over 100 Domain Names at Issue and up to $10 million in Potential Damages »

Domain Disputes Alert, UFC Dismisses Cybersquatting Lawsuit Over TheUltimateFighter.com

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

domain name dispute cybersquatting lawsuitIt appears that TheUltimateFighter website is undergoing a transition in ownership. Today if you’ve typed http://www.theultimatefighter.com/ in your address bar it takes you, literally, to blank page that looks like a normal webpage that just won’t quite load. This is an aberration from the usual practice of domain parking, which registrars and domain owners usually employ when hosting a domain name that isn’t yet attached to content.

***Update*** transition complete, www.Ultimatefighter.com now correctly links to the Ultimate Fighter website.

The Ultimate Fighter trademark boasts a reality show, a movie ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ (2005), and a robust following. The reality show is now spanning 12 seasons. In it, viewers track the day-to-day activities of fighters who compete in a championship to become The Ultimate Fighter. Winning ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ competition grants the winner a six-figure / multi-fight contract with the UFC.

However, recently The Ultimate Fighter’s parent company, Zuffa, LLC, has been embroiled in a domain dispute battle with the owner of TheUltimateFighter.com domain name, Anton Resnick. This could explain the lack of content on TheUltimateFighter.com. Continue reading Domain Disputes Alert, UFC Dismisses Cybersquatting Lawsuit Over TheUltimateFighter.com »