Typosquatting and Cybersquatting Dispute Over ROK Trademark Owner and Maker of Boat Stands

July 30th, 2010

Two companies located in Massachusetts have been in competition with each other over designing, building, and selling boat stands. Recently however, that dispute spilled over into the intellectual property arena.

typosquatting and cybersquatting domain names disputeOriginally the Mattapoisett, MA, located Kavanaugh-Brownell Boat Stands, LLC (Kavanaugh) sued the Fairhaven, MA, located Brownell Trailers, LLC (BT) over use of the ‘BROWNELL’ trademark. In that first suit Judge Young presiding over the case determined that BT could continue to sell its boat stands under the ROK trademark so long as the mark made it clear to consumers that the products for sale were boat stands. BT then adopted the above ‘ROK’ trademark which was approved by Judge Young. In conjunction with adoption of the ROK mark, BT also registered and began use of www.rokboatstands.com.

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Heavenly Valley Trademark Owner Wins ChateauHeavenlyVillage.com by Default Judgment in Cybersquatting Lawsuit

July 27th, 2010

The case is Heavenly Valley, LP, et al., vs. Lake Tahoe Development Company, LLC, CIV. NO. S-09-1533 FCD GGH, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, (July 22, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74488) and was heard before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gregory G. Hollows.

cybersquatting lawsuitPlaintiffs Heavenly Valley filed the complaint on June 3, 2009 alleging that Defendant improperly and without authorization used the ‘HEAVENLY’ trademarks in the name ‘The Chateau at Heavenly Village.’

A quick search through the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) revealed that among the myriad ‘HEAVENLY’ federally registered trademarks the Plaintiffs Heavenly Valley, a Delaware corporation limited partnership, are the registered owners of the ‘HEAVENLY VALLEY’ mark, Serial No. 74151462.

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Good Faith and Bad Faith Analyzed in N.D.C.A. Cybersquatting Claim Brought Under the ACPA – Rearden LLC., v. Rearden Commerce

July 23rd, 2010

Judge Patel presiding over this case in front of the Northern District of California’s District Court provides Internet Lawyers and lay readers alike with a few great examples of conduct that does / does not constitute ‘good faith’ in a cybersquatting claim brought under the ACPA.

1) A presumption of bad faith flows directly from any indication that a domain name owner, after already being accused of cybersquatting on a mark, registered additional domain names infringing (potentially) on the complainant’s mark to exacerbate the conflict. Instead, any party registering domain names that may potentially be infringing should register those domain names ‘as part of its program to connect with customers’.

2) A presumption of conduct indicating good faith is supported when a domain name owner accused of cybersquatting immediately ceases use of the infringing (allegedly) domain name after the cybersquatting allegations are brought to the domain owner’s attention.

3) (carrying the most weight in this opinion) A domain name owner accused of cybersquatting or trademark infringement can demonstrate ‘good faith’ by offering to unconditionally transfer the (possibly) infringing domain names to the complaining party.

Overview;

Plaintiff in this suit is Rearden LLC (Rearden), founded by Steve Perlman. Rearden owns the federal registered trademark for ‘REARDEN’ – Serial No. 77194957.

The Defendant, Rearden Commerce Inc., (RC), adopted that name in January 2005. RC owns the federal registered trademark for ‘REARDEN COMMERCE’ – Serial No.76632927.

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RapidShare Wins Domain Names Infringing on its RAPID SHARE Trademark in WIPO Arbitration Disputes

July 23rd, 2010

In recent months the Switzerland based file-hoster site Rapidshare filed more than two dozen World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) disputes. Rapidshare filed these WIPO disputes against domain name Websites that were infringing on Rapidshare’s trademark either by cybersquatting on domain names containing the ‘RAPID SHARE’ mark or by using the ‘RAPID SHARE’ trademark to infringe copyrights.

RapidShare has expanded rapidly since its founding, now it ranks among the top 50 most-used Websites on the Internet. This newfound popularity has also brought RapidShare misfortune as it has caught the attention of persons looking to profit from RapidShare’s good name and high-levels of steady Web-traffic. In light of this, RapidShare has filed and plans to continue to file (as necessary) these WIPO arbitration proceedings against the myriad of Internet users infringing on its rights.

In a statement released by the former CEO and COO of RapidShare, Bobby Chang iterated that RapidShare’s was going to aggressively pursue individuals or entities perpetuating intellectual property rights infringement against RapidShare content and against the RapidShare mark;

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Expensive Political Stunt? The Daily Caller Acquires KeithOlbermann.com, May Result in Trademark or Cybersquatting Dispute

July 16th, 2010

Tucker Carlson is the editor-in-chief of the premier Keith Olbermann criticism and political commentary site, www.dailycaller.com. The Daily Caller is probably as well known for political commentary as it is known as a platform for jibes, both personal and political, about Keith Olbermann which instigate responses from the political anchor and eventually escalate into Tweet fights that have splashed all across the internet news community. In at least what is initially a very successful move to fan the flames, the Daily Caller purchased www.keitholbermann.com and Tucker Carlson has impudently setup a contact email where you can reach him at [email protected]

trademark cybersquatting disputeThe Daily Caller hasn’t stopped there, they are offering @keitholbermann.com email addresses to the most creative names @kietholbermann.com that get submitted, and all you’ve got to do is ask. To get a keitholberman.com email, go to Win a keitholbermann.com e-mail address.

Early email winners include;

[email protected], [email protected], and [email protected]

Although the Whois registration info has the registrant information hidden behind Domains by Proxy, Inc., the Daily Caller has publicly announced its acquisition of the keitholbermann.com domain name address.

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USPTO Grants Microsoft “Cybersquatter Patrol” Patent, Microsoft to Step Up Action Against Typo-Squatters and Cyber-Squatters

July 13th, 2010

domain name disputeToday the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted patent # 7,756,987 to Microsoft.

The patent is for “Cybersquatter Patrol” a system developed by Microsoft for generating lists of typo-squatted and cyber-squatted domain names, determining ownership and revenue source for these domains, and blocking both cybersquatted domains and ads run on these domains.

A PDF of this new patent can be found here courtesy of domainnamewire.com – Patent # 7,756,987

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Rediff.com Wins Dispute in WIPO Arbitration Against Pakistani Cyber-squatter

July 13th, 2010

Complainant, Rediff.com India Ltd. of Mumbai, India, filed its Complaint on March 6, 2010. Although WIPO found that this Complaint was deficient, they accepted an amended Complaint on March 16.

cybersquatting casesThe parties attempted to reach a settlement agreement but this did not materialize and proceedings against Respondent, Daniyal Waseem of Quetta, Pakistan, commenced on April 21.

Waseem failed to provide any Response (due on May 11), so the WIPO Center’s sole arbitrator in this case notified Waseem of his default on May 18 and continued with the arbitration proceeding.

The lone WIPO panelist found that Rediff.com India Ltd. provided sufficient proof of its rights to the REDIFF trade-mark, that the trademark has been registered in several jurisdictions, and that Complainant provided evidence of ‘substantial and reasonably long use’ of the trademark.

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Cybersquatting Already a Problem for Major Brands on the New Irish ccTLD (.ie)

July 12th, 2010

The head of Ireland’s IE Domain Registry (IEDR), David Curtin, gave copyright and trademark owners a heads up that they may have to defend their brands on Ireland’s .ie new country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD).

.ie domains for major brands including; police.ie, british.ie, look.ie, ipod.ie, adidas.ie, nike.ie and bebo.ie, were registered by individuals suspected of cyber-squatting.

This is somewhat surprising because the IEDR is supposedly a ‘managed registry’, that will not grant .ie domains to applicants unless that applicant is a registered company or can otherwise prove its ownership over the name. An applicant is able to prove this to the IEDR by supporting their application with a valid Irish registered business number (RBN) which can be obtained from the Companies Registration Office (CRO).

However, the CRO’s RBN system may need a re-looking at. Curtin noted of the .ie major brand name domains in question that, “their application to us was supported by a valid registered business number (RBN) that they attained from the CRO. If they have an RBN it means they have a valid registered business name and are in accordance with our rules.”

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Problems for the Average Internet User- Spoofed Web-sites, Phishing, Typo-squatting, Cyber-squatting

July 8th, 2010

There was an interesting article posted by Sure Systems, on microsoft.com concerning the long ongoing Web-scam of spoofed Web-sites that are often involved with phishing scams. Phishing is when cyber-criminals attempt to acquire users’ sensitive online information, usually bank and email-accounts and passwords.

typosquatting and cybersquattingThese cyber criminals utilize spoofed sites and other methods (including typo-squatting) to trick users into believing they are at their intended Web pages so they will enter online their personal information and the phishing program will forward that data to the cyber criminal and also forward the user to their actually intended Web-site.

What the Sure Systems article focuses primarily on educating users on how not to fall victim to these cyber-scams by using scam recognition and available programs/applications to decrease your chance of becoming victim to a cyber-criminal.

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Cyber-squatter Alf Temme Chronicles His Experiences as a Typo-squatting Defendant and Receives Tough Love from Readers

July 6th, 2010

cybersquatting lawAlf Temme has had to face a number of trademark-infringement and cybersquatting actions brought against him mostly in relation to work on his start-up company Domain Name Consolidation Service (DNCS).  In his July 3rd guest-post on the SeattlePI, Temme wrote to inform audiences about DNCS, typo-squatting, and his version of the cyber-squatting suits that he’s faced while attempting to turn DNCS into a viable company.

DNCS was a Web-address consulting firm started by Temme with the aim of advising large corporations about what kinds of URLs they should register to both protect their brand and to avoid consumer confusion and dissatisfaction. By pre-registering domains, DNCS aimed to save these companies large amounts of money they’d likely have to spend down the road in costly litigation to retrieve domains which they should already have owned.

What Temme did was to compile a list of domain addresses he thought these large corporations should register and then he would show a smaller list (about 50% of the domains he thought the company needed to procure) to whomever he could pitch his business idea to within the corporation in the hopes they would hire DNCS for consultation on which domains to register.

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