News and Updates

Domain aftermarket update – DNW Podcast #151

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2017-09-05 15:00

Sedo’s CSO provides data to back up recent sales trends.

This week we talk with Matthias Meyer-Schönherr, the Chief Sales Officer of Sedo. Matthias comes armed with data to discuss sales trends including .ai and .io domain names. He also talks about options for selling domains and the best way to sell domains in today’s market. Also: how to help Harvey’s victims, Beijing finally gets on board and two domain industry veterans move to new company.

Subscribe via iTunes to listen to the Domain Name Wire podcast on your iPhone or iPad, view on Google Play Music, or click play below or download to begin listening. (Listen to previous podcasts here.)


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Categories: News and Updates

Donuts files opening brief in .Web appeal

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2017-09-05 13:33

Company believes covenant not to sue is invalid.

New top level domain name company Donuts, through its company Ruby Glen, LLC, filed its opening brief (pdf) last week in an appeal over the .web domain name.

Donuts was one of the applicants for the .web domain name. Nu Dot Co won the auction for $135 million after Verisign struck a deal with it to transfer the ICANN agreement for .web to it after the auction.

The runner up in the auction was Afilias, not Donuts, but Donuts was upset that Nu Dot Co wouldn’t participate in a private auction for the domain name. Instead, Nu Dot Co pushed it to an ICANN “auction of last resort”. Had the auction been private, Donuts would have received about a $22.5 million payoff for losing.

Donuts went through ICANN’s normal appeals channels. When that failed, it sued ICANN in District court. The judge tossed out the suit because the application for new TLDs included a clause that the applicants would not sue ICANN. Donuts argues that this agreement not to sue (called an exculpatory clause) is invalid, as it writes in its opening brief:

The district court’s ruling was in error because: (1) the Exculpatory Clauses, when strictly construed, do not apply to the claims asserted in the FAC; (2) the parties’ agreement involves a matter of public interest, which renders the Exculpatory Clauses void under California common law; (3) the Exculpatory Clauses are void on their face pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 1668 (“Section 1668”) because they release ICANN from intentional misconduct, gross negligence, and intentional or willful violations of the law; (4) Ruby Glen’s second (tortious breach) and fourth (unfair business practices) causes of action specifically allege intentional misconduct, rendering the Exculpatory Clauses void as applied to each claim; (5) the enforcement of the Exculpatory Clauses to the first cause of action (breach of contract) would render the parties’ agreement illusory; and (6) Ruby Glen should have been afforded at least one opportunity by the district court to amend its pleading.

Donuts’ appeal seems to be largely about trying to get a pay off for losing the auction. It didn’t challenge a previous deal similar to what Verisign did with Nu Dot Co when an Automattic-affiliated company struck a deal for .blog. That auction was private and Donuts received a share of the proceeds. Additionally, Donuts had a somewhat similar deal with Rightside (a competitor that it later acquired) to transfer domains after the auctions.

While money is a big reason for challenging the auction, it has the side benefit of delaying the rollout of .web, a competitor to Donuts’ 240 top level domain names.


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  1. Court denies Donuts’ request to delay .web auction
  2. ICANN files motion to dismiss Donuts’ .Web lawsuit
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Categories: News and Updates

Post-UDRP, ACPA Actions Challenging Awards

Domain industry news - Sat, 2017-09-02 16:20

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is not an exclusive remedy for cybersquatting, but it is by far the preferred forum. Direct actions in courts of competent jurisdiction, the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) in the U.S. are minimal in comparison, and it is rare for respondents to remove disputes to a court of competent jurisdiction before a UDRP decision (paragraph 4(k) of the Policy). Less rare (but not copious) are post-UDRP challenges under the ACPA. I mentioned in a recent essay there are several post-UDRP actions currently pending on U.S. district court dockets for relief under the ACPA. See also discussion of earlier cases in Statutory Remedies for UDRP Grievants. When cases go the distance in federal court, it's a rare opportunity to get some feedback from the Bench on issues of bad faith and lawful registrations of domain names — Bench, because these disputes are typically resolved on summary judgment, or bench trial.

Direct complaints to federal court are generally filed for speed in obtaining preliminary injunctions (for fraudulent transfers, for example, or shutting down multiple websites offering counterfeit goods). A case currently in the news is Lemond v. Stinchfield, Civil No. 17‑2071 (D. Minn., August 14, 2017) in which the court granted a preliminary injunction ordering removal of all content from websites, directing defendant to cease using the (33) domain names, selling or assigning the domain names, and enjoining further registrations incorporating plaintiff's mark). Where these direct-ACPA disputes involve legal issues outside the scope of the UDRP, they are not suitable for summary adjudication.

However, for post-UDRP challenges, there have been a number of decisions that have reinforced principles developed under UDRP jurisprudence and some particular to trademark law. The challenges have come from top and bottom of the caption. These challenges and those pending are not appeals but de novo reviews of the facts. Parties should be prepared for a totally different experience in ACPA actions (a warning particularly to respondents who are less likely to be represented by counsel but also to mark owners as a caution against overreaching rights that the losing party is exposed to statutory damages "not more than $100,000," 15 U.S.C. §1117(d) and (e)) and attorney's fees, §1114(2)(D)(iv). Investor, losing party in an important decision affirmed by the 9th Circuit paid a heavy price for challenging the UDRP decision, Lahoti v. VeriCheck, Inc., 586 F.3d 1190 (9th Cir. 2009) and 636 F.3d 501 (9th Cir. 2011).

Two recent cases are worth noting (both decided in favor of mark owners, one as plaintiff and the other as defendant), Bulbs 4 E. Side, Inc. v. Ricks, (S.D. Tex., Houston Div. July 18, 2017 (Complainant as grievant from Bulbs 4 East Side Inc., d/b/a Just Bulbs v. Fundacion Private Whois/ Gregory Ricks, D2013‑1779 (WIPO January 13, 2014)); Direct Niche, LLC v. Via Varejo S/A, 15‑cv‑62344 (S.D. Fla., August 10, 2017) (Respondent as grievant from VIA VAREJO S/A, v. Domain Admin, D2015‑1304 (WIPO October 17, 2015) (<casasbahia.com>)).

A third dispute recently ended with a Consent Judgment (ostensibly in favor of domain name investor); but the Judgment doesn't tell us very much so I'll simply identify it: VIRTUALPOINT, INC., dba Captive Media, v. POARCH BAND OF CREEK INDIANS, dba PCI GAMING AUTHORITY, SACV-15-02025 (DCCD, CA July 10, 2017), "The Decision in the underlying UDRP before the NAF [now known as The Forum] ordering Plaintiff VPI to transfer ownership of the Domain Name to PBCI is reversed on the grounds that VPI has rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name, registered and used the Domain in good faith, and is the rightful owner of the Domain Name. It is therefore Ordered that the [UDRP] decision be withdrawn in full (Poarch Band of Creek Indians dba PCI Gaming Authority v. Tech Admin, Virtual Point, FA1509001639763 (Forum November 13, 2015) (<wind creek.com>)).

The Ricks dispute actually began in 2003 with Superiority, Inc. d/b/a Just Bulbs v. none/Mother boards.com, D2003‑0491 (WIPO October 9, 2003) for <justbulbs.com> but for a combination of reasons the Panel dismissed the complaint: "the phrase is a relatively short (only two words) and simple (comprised of common English words) descriptive phrase that could be used equally well to indicate flower bulbs or light bulbs." Further (and resulting in a finding that there was no bad faith registration, albeit transient bad faith use):

Since Respondent has represented it will not resume advertising light bulbs, Respondent's use of the domain name as a portal for customers interested in flower bulbs is sufficient to demonstrate a legitimate interest and a bona fide use of the domain name.

The dispute returned to the UDRP in 2013 because representations notwithstanding Ricks resumed advertising light bulbs, but now Complainant was faced with having to surmount two different arguments, namely res judicata (Ricks was the principal of the earlier Respondent) and more potently that proof of bad faith use subsequent to lawful registration is not sufficient to prove abusive registration under UDRP jurisprudence. The Panel accepted Respondent's argument and denied the complaint with the following explanation (in keeping with the consensus among Panelists that subsequent bad faith use after lawful registration is not actionable):

There is no new evidence in the record of the present case that Respondent=s state of knowledge of Complainant's mark back in 2003 was different from how the Superiority panel considered it. In other words, there is no more reason now than there was in 2003 to conclude that Respondent registered the Domain Name in bad faith. (The fact that, since 2003, Respondent has emerged as a serial cybersquatter does not, in this Panel's view, upset the conclusion under the particular circumstances of this case that Respondent's initial registration of the Domain Name — the second‑level domain of which ["just bulbs"] is a fairly descriptive term — was not in bad faith.)

In contrast, the ACPA provides a different route for determining abusive registration. For one, the ACPA is a disjunctive model as opposed to the UDRP which requires proof of conjunctive bad faith. Mark owners can succeed in an ACPA action by proving bad faith use (assuming the mark was distinctive before the registration of the domain name, which was the case in Bulbs). Proof of bad faith use alone is sufficient to establish abusive registration. There were also other implicating factors:

In this case, the Court finds that Plaintiff has conclusively demonstrated that Defendant acted in bad faith under the ACPA. An overwhelming majority of the factors suggest bad faith, and the Court is particularly convinced that Defendant's egregious pattern of cybersquatting shows bad faith. The prior WIPO decisions are also relevant to the "totality of the circumstances," because they clearly demonstrate that Defendant knew or should have known that his conduct was illegal, but continued to use his website to advertise lightbulbs.

In a Final Judgment entered August 3, 2017 the Court awarded plaintiff mark owner $50,000 statutory damages and $73,834.10 attorney's fees.

In Direct Niche the court is yet to rule on damages and attorney's fees, but its ruling on the summary judgment motion leaves little doubt it will be forthcoming against defendant domain name holder. The UDRP Panel

was able to personally assess that the Respondent uses the disputed domain name to direct Internet users to a website which contains a pay per click (PPC) website. The Internet user is automatically redirected to a webpage where you find several categories of sponsored links. When clicking on any subcategory the Internet user faces a list of sponsored links of products and services which compete with the Complainant's goods sold on the Complainant's website and retail stores.

The district court judge looked even further into the circumstances, questioning plaintiff's (formerly Respondent's credibility) at bench trial, the court simply didn't believe plaintiff's narrative):

[Pg 6] Despite this marked increase in price [over the singular version of the phrase for the domain name], [Plaintiff, previously Respondent in the UDRP proceeding] did not perform any trademark or Google searches for the plural casas bahia, instead choosing to rely on his recollection of the searches he had performed for the singular casa bahia three years earlier.

And

[Pg 16] Direct Niche fails to plausibly explain why it publicly listed its name and St. Louis Park, Minnesota, address as the registrant name and address for its other domains, yet hid its identity behind two layers of privacy protection when the time came to register the Casas Bahia DomainCthat is, until this lawsuit was filed, at which time it changed the registrant to its own name and address.

Earlier cases in which district courts had personal jurisdiction, the courts awarded damages and attorney's fees to prevailing parties. Other cases in the pipeline include Corporacion Empresarial Altra S.L. v. Development Services, Telepathy, Inc., D2017-0178 (WIPO May 15, 2017) (<airzone.com>. Complainant sanctioned for RDNH; Respondent has commenced an ACPA (as the prevailing party). It presents a first-time issue, namely whether a losing complainant who is sanctioned for reverse domain name hijacking is also exposed to monetary damages under the ACPA for up to $100,000; it could open a flood-gate if the answer is "yes."

Written by Gerald M. Levine, Intellectual Property, Arbitrator/Mediator at Levine Samuel LLP

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More under: Cybersquatting, Domain Names, UDRP

Categories: News and Updates

Instagram registers Doxagram domain names in wake of data breach

Domain Name Wire - Sat, 2017-09-02 13:46

Company’s domain registrations are probably futile.

Instagram hacked, DoxAGram selling data.

This week news broke that hackers stole account information on perhaps six million Instagram users and are selling the data. A group of hackers being called DoxAGram is responsible for the breach.

In the wake of the breach and disclosure, Instagram is registering lots of domain names with DoxAGram in them. It’s unclear why Instagram is choosing the domains that it is.

For example, it has registered domains across many of Uniregistry’s top level domains, including doxagram.christmas, doxagram.hiphop and doxagram.mom. It has also registered domains from other registries, such as doxagram.guru. Yet it has left some obvious ones off the registration list, such as doxagram.store.

Perhaps it is still going through the process of registering domains, but I’m not sure that registering domains across nearly 1,000 top level domains makes sense.


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Namecheap sues Enom and Tucows, demands transfer of 4 million domains

Domain Name Wire - Fri, 2017-09-01 22:09

Namecheap says Tucows is dragging its feet on transferring domains registered through Namecheap when it was an Enom reseller.

Domain name registrar Namecheap is big, but until this year it didn’t show up on charts that rank registrars by domains. That’s because Namecheap acted as an Enom reseller, so it added to Enom’s numbers rather than its own.

Starting this year, Namecheap began registering new .com domain names on its own registrar accreditations and it generally ranks as the fifth largest registrar each month when it comes to new .com registrations.

Namecheap wants to transfer four million domains that Verisign offers (e.g. .Com, .net) that were registered at Namecheap while it was an Enom reseller from Enom’s accreditations to its own accreditations. In a lawsuit filed in Seattle this week (pdf), Namecheap alleges that Tucows, which acquired Enom earlier this year, is thwarting the effort.

The issue seems to revolve around if this transfer qualifies for a “Bulk Transfer After Partial Portfolio Acquisition”, or BTAPPA. This type of transfer was set up to transfer a bunch of domains between registrars in bulk.

One reason to use BTAPPA is when a registrar acquires another one, so that it can transfer the domains to a single accreditation.

Does that apply in this case?

In its suit, Namecheap says that Verisign has already approved the transfer of these domains through BTAPPA. But Tucows, according to the suit, says it doesn’t qualify:

Tucows has refused to complete the bulk transfer of the VeriSign Domains to Namecheap using the BTAPPA service based on the unmeritorious argument that doing so would violate ICANN/VeriSign rules, regulations and processes….

Namecheap also claims that Tucows is concerned that the mass transfer of domains “would wreak such havoc and confusion” because of the volume and because .com is a thin Whois in which registrant data stays with the registrar, not the registry.

Enom’s margin on Namecheap’s domain registrations is surely quite low, but the agreement allows Enom to retain 100% of expired domain revenue and all parking revenue during registrations and during the expiration cycle, according to the suit. Namecheap positions this as a reason that Enom/Tucows might want to slow the transfer.

Namecheap says it offered to make a cash payment to Tucows and execute a separate purchase agreement so that the deal would be considered an acquisition “and thereby obviate any further basis for disagreement about whether the VeriSign Domains transfer qualifies for the BTAPPA service.” It says Tucows rejected this option.

I have reached out to both Namecheap and Tucows for comments and will update this story if either makes a statement.


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Categories: News and Updates

The Latest .Com Winners & Losers

Domain Name Wire - Fri, 2017-09-01 19:40

Latest data shows little change.

ICANN published the latest official .com transactions report from Verisign, which includes data by registrar for May 2017.

Little has changed in the top spots, with GoDaddy leading the way and Tucows, which now includes Enom, coming in second place.

Here are the top registrars in terms of new .com registrations for May:

1. GoDaddy* 930,127
2. Tucows** 190,589
3. HiChina 145,636
4. PublicDomainRegistry 124,470
5. Namecheap 122,598

Here are the top five registrars (open to the public) for net inbound transfers during the month:

1. HiChina +18669
2. GoDaddy +9,022
3. Google +7,816
4. TurnCommerce (Namebright) +6,199
5. MAFF Inc (XZ.com) +5,920

On the flip side, these five registrars saw the biggest net outflow of .com domain names due to transfers:

1. Tucows -13,170
2. PublicDomainRegistry -6,688
3. Fabulous -4,950
4. 1&1 -4,070
5. Domain.com –3979

*Includes GoDaddy and Wild West Domains **Includes Tucows and ENom.


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The post The Latest .Com Winners & Losers appeared first on Domain Name Wire | Domain Name News & Views.

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Categories: News and Updates

Expired domain “held for ransom”?

Domain Name Wire - Fri, 2017-09-01 13:25

Foster agency failed to renew domain and says it is being held for ransom.

The practice of domain investing can get a bad rap sometimes, and this story is an example of why.

A UK foster agency used the domain name littleacornsfostering.com for many years but failed to renew it earlier this year. Someone bought the expired domain and is asking the company for £9,000 if it wants to buy the domain.

A couple things come to mind when reading this story.

First, I’m surprised that the agency didn’t notice the domain expired during the required DNS disruption. This is a period of at least eight days that the registrar must change the DNS to alert the owner that the domain has expired.

Second, I personally stay away from domains like littleacornsfostering.com that seem like they would only be used by one company. I buy expired domains that were previously used, but only if it seems like there would be a broad appeal for the domain name rather than selling it back to the company that previously owned it.


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Hurricane Harvey Wipes Out Home and Possessions of Domain Industry Family - How You Can Help

DN Journal - Thu, 2017-08-31 19:42
The many victims of Hurricane Harvey included NamePros Admin Eric Lyon and his family who lost virtually everything but the clothes on their backs.
Categories: News and Updates

Large BGP Leak by Google Disrupts Internet in Japan

Domain industry news - Thu, 2017-08-31 19:14

At 03:22 UTC on Friday, 25 August 2017, the Internet experienced the effects of another massive BGP routing leak. This time it was Google who leaked over 160,000 prefixes to Verizon, who in turn accepted these routes and passed them on. Despite the fact that the leak took place in Chicago, Illinois, it had devastating consequences for the internet in Japan, half a world away. Two of Japan's major telecoms (KDDI and NTT's OCN) were severely affected, posting outage notices (KDDI / OCN pictured below).

Massive routing leaks continue

In recent years, large-scale (100K+ prefix) BGP routing leaks typically fall into one of two buckets: the leaker either 1) announces the global routing table as if it is the origin (or source) of all the routes (see Indosat in 2014), or 2) takes the global routing table as learned from providers and/or peers and mistakenly announced it to another provider (see Telekom Malaysia in 2015).

This case is different because the vast majority of the routes involved in this massive routing leak were not in the global routing table at the time but instead were more-specifics of routes that were. This is an important distinction over the previous cases. In the vernacular of the BGP protocol, more-specific routes describe smaller ranges of IP addresses than less-specifics and, within the BGP route selection process, the path defined by the more-specifics are selected over those of less-specifics.

These more-specifics were evidently used for traffic shaping within Google's network. When announced to the world, they were selected by outside networks over existing routes to direct their traffic, thus having greater impact on traffic redirection than they might have otherwise.

So why was Japan affected so severely?

Of the 160,000 routes leaked, over 25,000 of them were of routed address space belonging to NTT OCN, the most of any network that was impacted. None were from KDDI however. KDDI was impacted because, as a transit customer of Verizon, it accepted over 95,000 leaked prefixes from Verizon. Compounding the problem for Japan, another major Japanese telecom, IIJ, also accepted over 97,000 leaked prefixes from Verizon. As a result, any traffic going from KDDI or IIJ to OCN was being routed to Google's network in Chicago --
much of it likely getting dropped due to either high latency or bandwidth constraints.

Traceroute misdirections

Each day we perform hundreds of millions of traceroutes across the internet to measure paths and performance. Whenever a major routing event like this takes place, we can see evidence of its impact by observing the change in these traces. Below is a graphic showing the volume of traceroutes we see entering Google's network around the time of the leak. The spike in the center of the graph is the sudden increase of traffic entering Google from Verizon. In all, about 10,000 traceroutes got sucked into Google over a very brief period of time en-route to destinations around the world.

Below is a traceroute performed the day before the leak from our server in Equinix Japan to an IP address in OCN's network in Japan. As expected, it stays within Japan and arrives at its destination in 15ms.

Below is the same traceroute during the leak. IIJ hands to off to Verizon (Alter.net) in San Jose before taking a trip to Chicago to go to Google. Google then takes over routing this traceroute back to Japan over its internal network. Instead of 15ms, the round-trip time is 256ms – a very noticeable difference.

Here's an example of a traceroute from Shanghai, China to Macau (on the coast of China) that makes the same detour through Chicago during the leak.

Starting from the other side of the world, here's a traceroute that began at LINX in London but is taken by Verizon (Alter.net) to Chicago and Google before completing its journey to Vodafone in Nürnberg, Germany.

Conclusion

On Saturday it was reported that Google apologized for causing the disruption in internet connectivity in Japan on Friday. Verizon also had a role to play for this leak. On any given day, Google typically sends Verizon fewer than 50 prefixes. An instantaneous jump to over 160,000 prefixes representing over 400 million unique IPv4 addresses should have tripped a MAXPREF setting on a Verizon router and triggered an automated response, at the very least. Thankfully Verizon did not send the leaked routes on to any other major telecoms in the DFZ like Level 3, Telia, or NTT (AS2914, specifically), or the impact could have been much more severe.

We've written about routing leaks a number of times, including here and here. Not long ago we wrote up a case where a routing leak by another party managed to render Google unavailable for many. In every case, there is more than one party involved. There is a leaker, of course, but there is also always another network that distributes leaked routes out onto the internet. We have to do better to look out for each other when mistakes inevitably arise. The internet is a team effort.

This article was originally published on Dyn's weblog.

Written by Doug Madory, Director of Internet Analysis at Dyn

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More under: Access Providers, Broadband, IP Addressing, Telecom

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Beware of Extra Fees in UDRP Proceedings

Domain industry news - Thu, 2017-08-31 17:08

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is known as an inexpensive alternative to litigation (and that's true), but some proceedings can end up costing a trademark owner more than it may have expected.

There are generally two additional types of expenses that can arise during the course of a UDRP proceeding: (1) extra filing fees for certain aspects of a case filed at the Forum, and (2) an increased filing fee if the domain name registrant wants a three-member panel to decide the case.

These fees are in addition to the initial filing fee that a trademark owner is required to pay a UDRP service provider when it submits a complaint.

Mandatory Filing Fee

The initial filing fee (required in every UDRP case) is approximately the same at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Forum, which together account for about 97% of all UDRP proceedings: At WIPO, the filing fee starts at $1,500 for a complaint that includes up to five domain names and a single-member panel. At the Forum, the starting fee is $1,300 for up to two domain names and a single-member panel.

(The fees at two of the smaller providers — the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre (ADNDRC) and the Arab Center for Domain Name Dispute Resolution (ACDNDR) — are comparable, starting at $1,300 and $1,500, respectively. But the fees at the Czech Arbitration Court, which is much less popular, start at $500.)

Since a trademark owner can choose where to file its UDRP complaint, it should know at the beginning what fees to expect.

Additional Fees at the Forum

If a trademark owner files its UDRP complaint at the Forum, it should be aware of three instances in which additional fees may arise.

The first possible increased filing fee at the Forum applies where a complaint contains "arguments alleging Respondent aliases."

Specifically, the Forum's Supplemental Rules state:

If a Complainant alleges that a single Respondent is using multiple aliases and makes such arguments in the Complaint for Panel consideration..., the filing fee shall be increased proportionately to the number of aliases involved. Please contact the FORUM… with the number of domain names and the number of aliases to obtain a fee quote.

This would arise where a complainant believes that a single person or entity is the registrant of multiple domain names and has used "aliases" or different names when registering the domain names. Cybersquatters sometimes do this to frustrate a trademark owner's ability to include all of the domain names in a single complaint, something the UDRP allows where "the domain names are registered by the same domain-name holder."

Alleging respondent aliases is an efficient tactic for a complainant but could lead to significant additional work by the UDRP service provider, which, I assume, is why the Forum charges an additional fee in those cases.

The second possible increased filing fee at the Forum applies where a party (either the complainant or respondent) submits "additional written statements and documents" — that is, a submission in addition to the complaint or response.

This situation would typically occur if a complainant wants to respond to a response (sometimes referred to as a "Complainant's Supplemental Filing") or if a respondent wants to respond to a Complainant's Supplemental Filing. The UDRP itself does not expressly allow these additional filings (if submitted without solicitation by the service provider or panel), so the Forum charges an additional fee for them.

This additional fee of $400 is somewhat controversial, not only because none of the other UDRP service providers charge it, but also because some panels won't consider supplemental filings even if the extra fee is paid.

The third possible increased filing fee at the Forum applies where a respondent requests extra time to submit its response.

While the UDRP Rules state that a provider "shall automatically grant [an] extension" upon request for four days, a respondent can also request a further extension of up to 20 days. If a respondent makes that request, the Forum requires payment of a $100 "extension fee."

Additional Fees for Three-Member Panels

A different type of additional fee that a trademark owner should know about when filing a UDRP complaint applies at all of the UDRP service providers — the Forum, WIPO, ADNDRC, CAC and ACDNDR — because it is in the UDRP Rules, not in any of the providers' supplemental rules.

This fee arises in a very limited but important situation: when a complainant has requested only a one-member panel but, the respondent requests a three-member panel. In that case, the complainant would have paid the filing fee for a single-member panel, but the rules state that each party shall pay half of the fee for a three-member panel.

Here's an example of how this plays out:

  1. Complainant pays an initial filing fee to WIPO of $1,500 for a UDRP complaint with one domain name, requesting a single-member panel.
  2. Respondent files a response and requests a three-member panel. The fee for a three-member panel in this situation is $4,000. The respondent must pay half of this fee, that is, $2,000, when filing its response.
  3. The other half of the fee, that is, the other $2,000, must be paid by the complainant. Because the complainant initially paid $1,500, it must now submit an additional fee of $500.

While this situation ends up costing a complainant more ($2,000 total) than it had paid when it chose a one-member panel ($1,500), it is less expensive for the complainant than if it had elected a three-member panel itself when filing the complaint, in which case it would have been responsible for the entire $4,000 filing fee.

Conclusion

In most UDRP cases, none of these additional fees arise. Typically, a trademark owner pays the filing fee for a one-member panel and may not incur any further expenses. But because they are possible, it is important to be prepared (and ready to pay) when filing a complaint.

Written by Doug Isenberg, Attorney & Founder of The GigaLaw Firm

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Beijing starts issuing ICPs on new top level domains

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2017-08-31 15:02

Beijing residents of approved TLDs can now get a license to use them.

Getting approval for registrants to use and host content on new top level domain names in China can be a complicated process for registries. First, they need to get approval from Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). But it doesn’t stop there. The regional communications departments also have to begin allowing registrants who live in their provinces to apply for Internet Content Provider licenses (or ICP) for their individual domains.

An ICP is a number that ties a website to an individual (usually the registrant). This number allows the Chinese government to know who is responsible for the content on a website and hold them accountable for it. Without an ICP license, it is illegal to host a website using a given domain inside of China, and the individual can get into very serious trouble with the Public Security Bureau.

Until just recently, people who live in Beijing were unable to get an ICP for sites hosted on the approved new top level domains, even if the TLD was approved by MIIT. Last week, the Beijing Communications Administration started issuing ICPs, which means that these domains (such as .VIP and .Club) can finally be put to use by residents of Beijing.

Beijing was the largest holdout of regional/city groups for issuing ICPs (most other developed provinces and municipalities were already allowing registrants to get ICPs for their websites).

It will be interesting to see if this boosts development of new TLDs registered to people in Beijing, which is home to the largest online business sector in China.

(Hat tip to Simon Cousins of Allegravita for his help understanding this latest development.)


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Categories: News and Updates

Afilias gets patent related to community top level domains

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2017-08-31 14:08

Patent describes way to verify registrant information to create trust and community.

An explanatory graphic from Afilias’ patent.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted patent 9,747,378 (pdf) to Afilias this week for “Linked web presence pages associated with a top level domain”.

I was a bit confused about what the patent covered and if the technology behind it had been implemented, so I reached out to Afilias for an explanation. Its explanation is a better description of the patent than I could come up with:

US Patent 9747378 stemmed from work by Afilias on a way to support the ability of community oriented TLDs to help the registrants gain exposure and interaction. Specifically, the patent addresses two important aspects of community building. The first is to add credibility that a particular registrant and domain name is a bonafide participant in the community.

It does this by cross checking various public sources of data against the registrant’s information and verifying the match. A proper match elevates the profile of a registrant and their domain name and gives other members of the community more confidence in dealing with them.The second is to enable the registrant to self-add functionality to their web presence by enabling things like: accepting donations, offering chat service, posting a twitter feed, allowing comments, and providing customer service.

Afilias says the concept is a result of Afilias’ support of various community-oriented TLDs, although none have specifically deployed the capability at this time.


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Categories: News and Updates

.Cam will be confused for .Com

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2017-08-31 13:36

The similarity at quick glance will fool a lot of people.

.Cam is short for Camera, but businesses should consider registering the domains to reduce the chances of phishing.

Verisign objected when companies applied for the .cam top level domain. It argued that the string was too similar to .com and would cause confusion. One panelist agreed with Verisign and another didn’t, leading to the ICANN board intervening. Long story short, .cam is now a top level domain with about 4,000 registrations.

So, is .cam confusing with .com? It just was for me.

I was reviewing UDRP decisions on UDRPSearch when I came across a decision for WellsFargo.cam. I didn’t notice the a instead of o in the extension. I figured it was an IDN second level domain that looked really similar to the ASCII version. When I read the decision there was no mention of that, though. It took me about a minute to realize the top level domain.

If this fooled me momentarily, imagine what will happen to the average internet user who gets visits a phishing site that uses .cam?

I think it would be wise for large brands to register their matching .cam domain name for defensive purposes.


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14 End User Domain Name Sales

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2017-08-30 18:10

Here are 14 examples of end users that bought domain names on the Sedo aftermarket over the past week.

The top public sale at Sedo this past week was Quoin.com for $15,000. The buyer is a lawyer in Germany, so it might be for a client.

Other end user domain sales include a three letter .co, a .ai domain name and a company buying the .com to match its .ca domain name.

(You can view previous lists like this here.)

Quoin.com $15,000 – The buyer is a lawyer at a firm in Germany, so I’m guessing this is for a client.

KairosGroup.com $5,000 – Kairos Private Investment Limited in Cyprus.

AdSoul.com $5,000 – into-e is a German e-commerce consultancy.

Rng.co $3,999 – Raange is a consumer marketing company with a name that miserably fails the radio test.

Refounding.com $3,800 – This is a clever name. Bionic says it “installs a startup ecosystem into large enterprises”. I can see how Refounding–a play on Founding a company–could be a cool term for the company to use.

ICMJapan.com $3,488 – This company sells used Japanese cars.

Econsave.com $3,299 – The buyer is a grocer in Malaysia called Econsave. It uses the domain econsave.com.my.

OnlineFileConverter.com $3,180 – rSpark packages things like toolbars with downloadable software.

LuxuryDriver.com $3,000 – Superior Auto Extras supplies merchandise for car washes.

Plenty.ai $2,999 – Plenty, an indoor farming company, just raised $200 million. (Psst. I own IndoorFarm.com.)

Chandler.co $2,300 – Chandler Resources, a glass and packaging company that uses the domain chandler-resources.com.

GetRetired.com $2,249 – Financial Independents, Inc. is a financial advisor in Michigan.

HeathrowExpansion.co.uk £2,000 – A web design company called Studio 24 bought the domain.

Go99.com $2,000 – Freight marketplace Go99 uses the domain Go99.ca.


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The Internet Must Remain Open - Even for Those We Disagree With

Domain industry news - Wed, 2017-08-30 16:49

Over the past couple of weeks, following the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, there has been significant discussion in social and traditional media about various technology companies removing websites from their servers, or otherwise making them unavailable.

As the operators of Canada's Internet domain, we at CIRA are getting numerous inquiries about our stance and policies on this issue. I'd like to use this opportunity to make a couple of clarifications about how CIRA works and what CIRA actually does.

First, and perhaps most importantly, CIRA has no involvement on the content of .CA websites. Our role is to manage the registration of the domain name and to ensure that Registrants (those that register .CA domain names) and Registrars (the organizations that sell the .CA domain to Canadians) meet CIRA's legal and policy requirements, such as Canadian Presence Requirements. We are also responsible for the safe, secure and stable operation of the underlying domain name system (DNS). We are one part of Canada's Internet ecosystem, working with registrars and web hosting companies who interact directly with Canadian organizations and individuals who purchase a .CA domain and host relevant content. Policing content is not what we do.

I've written before about an open and free Internet, and I stand firm in this belief. I must take this stance even when it supports content that differs from my personal beliefs. Open means open for all.

This doesn't mean that I don't struggle with it. I find many of the websites in question repugnant — websites that express derogatory views of people based on their religious beliefs, race, gender or sexual orientation. They go against everything I believe in and the values I teach my children.

But I stand firm that the Internet must remain free and open, and taking actions to remove websites, regardless of how repellent the content, would go directly against this approach. A free and open Internet precludes my personal beliefs related to its content, and I couldn't continue to lead CIRA, an organization committed to managing Canada's domain, if I didn't support this viewpoint for all Canadians, even those I disagree with. One individual should not have the power to make these decisions based on personal beliefs or as an emotional reaction. CIRA has policies in place to ensure this can't happen.

There is, however, a clear line to this open and free Internet: when laws are broken.

CIRA will assist authorities to remove sites that are breaking the law, be that through hate speech, fraud and others, when presented with a Canadian court order or other judicial instrument. For example, a .CA domain was recently seized by the Edmonton Police Service. This fraudulent site was stealing financial information and money from people, and through a court order, CIRA assisted the Edmonton Police. This is a prime example of a line that was crossed. The proper authorities were involved, a judicial order was sent, and CIRA took appropriate action. We support the ideals of an open Internet but not at the expense of the laws of the land.

To those who reached out to us concerned that we may be participating in what they feel is censorship, you can rest assured we are not. And to those who would like to see us engage in this more heavily by taking down hateful sites, we would ask you to examine these sites and if you feel they are promoting hate speech or breaking the law, contact your local authorities and work with them first. The processes exist for CIRA, as well as our channel partners and Canadian hosting companies, to work with the legal system to prevent criminal activities in our digital space.

An open and free Internet includes the zealots that spout outlandish ideas, and on the other end of the spectrum, cat videos. More importantly, it includes helpful information, art, science and transformative, democratizing thinking. And that is worth protecting, even it if means protecting the others as well.

While I don't agree with the content of all websites that hold a .CA, I support their right to exist as long as they remain within the bounds of Canadian law. Sites that are racist, sexist or homophobic make sense to many of us to take down. But just because that makes sense to you or me it doesn't make it right.

Take the Miller test (read up on it here), which is the United States Supreme Court's three prong obscenity test. One of those prongs relates to the community within which the content exists. The Internet muddies the water here. While content may be published in one community, it can be consumed in another. So how do you define "community" in the Internet age? What is offensive to some, is not to others.

The Internet connects us all, across Canada and beyond. It includes divergent opinions and perspectives on many different issues. It is not for me or CIRA as a whole to decide which opinions are right or wrong, but rather, it is our responsibility to stand by the continuation of an open and free Internet — while also working to protect the .CA space by working within — and helping enforce — Canadian law.

Written by Byron Holland, President and CEO of CIRA

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More under: Censorship, DNS, Domain Names, Internet Governance, Law, Policy & Regulation

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Boeing's Satellite Internet Project

Domain industry news - Wed, 2017-08-30 16:28

2,956 satellites orbiting at altitudes of 970, 1,034 and 1,086 km at inclinations of 45°, 55° & 88° (Source).I recently posted updates on the satellite Internet service projects of SpaceX and OneWeb. OneWeb and SpaceX have received a lot of publicity, but there is a third entry in the global satellite Internet race — Boeing.

Boeing has applied for a license to launch a constellation of 2,956 Internet-access satellites orbiting at an altitude of 1,200 km. (In a subsequent amendment, the orbits were lowered to three different levels). They outlined a two phase plan — the first 1,396 satellites would be operating within six years, and another 1,560 would be launched within 12 years as demand justified.

There has also been speculation that Apple may be funding and collaborating with Boeing on satellite Internet-service provision. (If you follow this link, read the comments).

Small cells around Washington DCBoeing will use beam-forming, digital processing and instantaneous handoff between overlapping satellite footprints to generate thousands of narrow spot beams, dividing the Earth's surface into 8-11 km diameter (50-95 km2) cells as illustrated here. Each cell will have 5 GHz bandwidth and, if a cell contains both user terminals and Internet gateways, time-division algorithms will enable frequency re-use to serve both. These are very smart radios!

In reviewing the FCC filings, I was struck by the degree of cooperation between the competitors. When Boeing proposed 1,200 km orbits, OneWeb filed a comment saying that would interfere with their design which also called for 1,200 km orbits. In response, Boeing met with OneWeb and altered their plan, lowering altitudes to 970, 1,082 and 1,030 km.

There were also concerns that waivers Boeing requested might lead to radio interference and SpaceX responded by stating that:

The Commission should encourage systems that facilitate spectrum sharing among licensed users. The waivers Boeing seeks will help to build a sensible regulatory environment for NGSO operations while honoring the goals of the rules at issue.

These companies value engineering as well as business. (Tesla has shared their patents — might SpaceX do the same)?

In researching this post, I came across two other Boeing filings — one for 60 high-altitude satellites (shown here) and another for a low-Earth constellation of 132 satellites and 15 high-altitude satellites. I imagine these smaller constellations will complement the larger constellation somehow but have not been able to learn how they will interact.

Sixty high-altitude satellites launched in three phase: the Amercas, Europe and Africa and Asia and Australia. Click to enlarge. (Source)

Boeing, OneWeb and SpaceX are from different generations. OneWeb and SpaceX are relatively recent startups and Boeing is venerable. The startups may have less legacy overhead and have gotten off to a faster start, but Boeing has been thinking about providing Internet service using a satellite constellation for over twenty years — they were the prime contractor for Teledesic's failed attempt in the late 1990s.

We have three potential global Internet service providers — SpaceX, OneWeb and Apple(?)/Boeing. I hope they all succeed, giving us some competition in the Internet service market. That might one day help current Internet customers who have only one choice for their service provider (like me), but it would surely be a boon for people with no terrestrial Internet access today.

Written by Larry Press, Professor of Information Systems at California State University

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Uber (the ride hailing company) is causing a headache for Uber (the IT company)

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2017-08-30 13:42

Healthcare IT company sues Uber for trademark infringement after being inundated with misdirected communication.

Need a ride or are you looking for healthcare IT?

A healthcare IT company in Florida called Uber Operations, LLC is suing ride hailing company Uber Technologies for trademark infringement after dealing with confusion between the two companies.

The lawsuit (pdf) explains a number of headaches the company has experienced from people thinking it is the ride hailing company.:

Actual customer confusion, initial interest confusion and/or reverse confusion have already occurred on numerous occasions, all to the detriment of Uber Operations. In fact, Uber Operations receives and has received multiple telephone calls and emails from the public looking for or complaining about Uber Tech and/or its goods and services. Uber Operations has received thousands of calls, emails, and faxes directed to Uber Tech. This is a constant business interruption and distraction, resulting in lost time and productivity. In addition, Uber Operations has been sent information relating to background checks, credit checks and other personal information (presumably for Uber Tech drivers or prospective drivers). Uber Operations has been sent packages with phones and other personal items in them. Uber Operations has received financing applications (with personal information) for the “Uber Xchange” leasing program (as previously noted, Uber Operations has used the mark “UberXchange” for many years).

Uber Operations says it has also received government orders meant for the California company as well as bad reviews on internet review sites.

The experience reminds me a bit of what happens when a company doesn’t use a domain name that matches their company name, or doesn’t use the .com (or logical country code).


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Elisa Cooper and Matt Serlin join new corporate domain registrar

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2017-08-30 13:00

Ex-MarkMonitor employees join new corporate domain manager.

Elisa Cooper and Matt Serlin have joined Brandsight.

Two former employees of corporate domain name registrar MarkMonitor have joined Brandsight, a new domain name registrar targeting the corporate market.

Elisa Cooper and Matt Serlin joined the company that was founded by Phil Lodico earlier this year. It is officially launching its website today.

Both Cooper and Serlin are well known in the domain name and ICANN communities. Cooper left MarkMonitor in 2015 and joined intellectual property company Lecorpio. Lecorpio justed merged with IP firm Anaqua, so Cooper made the move to Brandsight. Serlin’s name is well known because he was listed as the contact on about 35,000 domain names that MarkMonitor registered on behalf of clients that wished to remain anonymous. He left MarkMonitor earlier this year.


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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Internet But Were Too Embarrassed to Ask

DN Journal - Tue, 2017-08-29 23:43
Do you think you know all of the basics about the Internet? How does your knowledge stack up against the man on the street. PIR has the answers.
Categories: News and Updates

Snappa makes creating social media graphics easy

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2017-08-29 17:47

I learned about Snappa because of its domain purchase and recently became a paying customer.

Snappa helps you create social media (and other) graphics.

Back in May I interviewed Christopher Gimmer, co-founder of a graphics site called Snappa. His company paid $40,000 to upgrade its domain name from Snappa.io to Snappa.com.

I was interested because of the domain story. But a couple months ago I needed to create some video thumbnails for YouTube and didn’t have the skills to do it. I tried a few apps that popped up when I searched Google for “Create YouTube Thumbnails”. They were all rather tricky to figure out. I remembered Snappa from the interview and decided to check it out.

It turns out Snappa is the perfect solution for the graphically-challenged (like me).

Snappa offers templates and an easy editor for creating graphics. It’s super simple, with preset sizes for YouTube Thumbnails, Facebook covers, Twitter posts and more. In a minute or two, you can upgrade all of your social media graphics.

I also think the way Snappa gated its subscription option was brilliant. You can use the service for free but will start to discover limitations when you use it more than a few times.

First you can create and download graphics but not save them. Then you hit a download limit. At that point, you see the value and pay for a subscription. In my case, that’s $15 a month, which is very reasonable if I create just a few graphics per month.


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