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Did Zoom pay $2 million for Zoom.com?

Sat, 2019-03-23 15:57

A clue in Zoom’s IPO filing hints at Zoom.com purchase price.

Late last year video conferencing company Zoom acquired the domain name Zoom.com. A new clue suggests that the company might have paid $2 million to acquire the domain name.

Media Options acquired the domain name last year and filed a trademark application to launch a domain name consulting service. Then it sold it to Zoom Communications, which uses the domain Zoom.us.

Zoom just filed to go public and its S-1 filing shows intangible asset purchases of $2.018 million in the fiscal year that ended January 31, 2019.

George Kirikos pointed out on twitter that $2.018 million is exactly what the company would have paid if it used Escrow.com to complete a $2.0 million transaction:

For a $2,000,000 domain name transaction paid via wire at https://t.co/i8MQK0GIO6 , the fees just happen to be $17,800.00. $2,000,000 + $17,800 = $2,017,800 which is the same as $2,018,000 when rounded to the nearest $1,000. Coincidence? @andrewrosener @MediaOptions @zoom_us

— George Kirikos (@GeorgeKirikos) March 23, 2019

It’s possible that Zoom acquired other IP last year, but $2 million seems about right for this domain name given the circumstances.

The last known sales price for Zoom.com was $350,000 in equity back in 2010. That included the domain name and some intellectual property.

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Categories: News and Updates

Challenges of “.brand” domain names

Fri, 2019-03-22 15:14

The structure of domain names and ICANN rules hamper .brand domains.

Earlier this week ICANN posted a notice from Honeywell that it wants to terminate its .honeywell domain name. These domains–with a trademark after the dot–are commonly referred to as .brand top level domain names.

They were shoehorned into the existing framework for top level domains, making them hard to use in innovative ways. A couple of the comments on my post about Honeywell’s withdrawal point these out.

One commenter, who goes by the name Snoopy, questioned what should go left of the dot in a .brand domain for the company’s main website. He said www.brand is a possibility.

John Berryhill responded and pointed out some of the challenges of .brand domains:

Right, but they’d all have to adopt the same protocol in order to have a hope of “guessability”. But you are spot on with the words being in the wrong order, as I have also heard from the brand manager for a major automobile manufacturer. Many more .brand TLDs are going to be dropped since they were obtained on the basis of there being a limited time window to apply for them, so quite a few of the applications were simply exercises in avoiding a lost opportunity to obtain something they could figure out later if they wanted to use. (and, yes, urged on by the ICANN consultant corps)

In order to advertise the “home” destination in a .brand TLD, the brand owner, with potentially billions of value in the goodwill associated with their brand, has to pick some other word and give it ‘top billing’ on their marquee, ahead of their brand. I’s particularly tough if you are, say, Yamaha, and make everything from concert pianos to motorcycles. It would be one thing if DNS wild-carding were allowed, but it’s not since ICANN’s revenue model is based on registration volume of 2LDs. That also rules out any “TLD as database” applications, such as being able to use (product-serial-number).brand in service, support or warranty applications.

Having control of one’s own DNS data to the top-level may be of some marginal utility, but there is precious little practical value .brand TLDs. Now, of course, someone with something to sell may pop up here and argue otherwise, but one can’t deny the fact that you have better odds of seeing a snow leopard than a .brand TLD with any substantial use. It is going to become more difficult to foist these on brand owners against the growing wasteland of discarded .brand TLDs, so I can certainly understand the urgency.

One of the better pitches for these things was by Joe Alagna, then of Centralnic, who would explain that early email addresses, such as through Compuserve, would look like “(numeric)@compuserve.net”, which made no brand impression. Later, one could get “(brand)@earthlink.net” which included the brand, but still advertised Earthlink. Then, it became easier to get addresses like help@brand.com, which eliminated the ad for the provider, but still implicitly ‘advertises’ Verisign as the .com registry. Joe could get you to buy sand in the desert if you listen long enough.

The thing is, generic TLDs like .com are just that – generic. Nobody associates any particular brand with .com or other gTLDs (unless they are in the domain business), so they are blank canvases which do not detract from the commercial impression of a URL or email address.

This will be a challenge unless or until ICANN changes how these domains can be used. Even then, it will be an uphill battle.

For the pro-.brand view, listen to this podcast.

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Related posts:
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  2. 3 more dot-brand top level domains to be cut
  3. Honeywell calls it quits on new top level domain name
Categories: News and Updates

When the search bar goes away

Thu, 2019-03-21 18:38

The anticipatory web will change how people access and use the World Wide Web.

I’ve been warning for a while that the greatest threat to domain names is new technology that requires less searching and browsing.

Owners of premium domains have been hurt as browsers switched from an address bar to a search bar. But what if people don’t need to search or visit a web browser at all? What if computers anticipate our needs and do the searching for us? I call this the “anticipatory web”.

The Wall Street Journal published a story today about Jetblack, a personal shopping service from WalMart. It lets people in New York City ask for product recommendations and order stuff via text message. A team of agents responds to the messages, picks up stuff, and delivers it the customer.

It’s a money-losing venture with a long-term goal: using artificial intelligence to handle the future of web interactivity:

Walmart is using Jetblack’s army of human agents to train an artificial intelligence system that could someday power an automated personal-shopping service, preparing Walmart for a time when the search bar disappears and more shopping is done through voice-activated devices, said Jetblack CEO Jenny Fleiss.

Some people confuse the idea of voice browsing with what we’re really talking about here: systems that can anticipate or respond to your needs without a visual browser.

Maybe that’s via text message:

“When I’m laying in bed at night and I’m thinking about something, rather than going to Amazon and searching, I just text,” said member Julia LeClair, co-founder of a high-end fashion e-commerce site and mother of a 1-year-old. She has asked for recommendations on which sippy cup to buy and for help planning her daughter’s recent birthday party. Jetblack recommended a theme, decorations and party favors, and then ordered the items for delivery.

and

Through the dialogue, the system is learning which follow up questions to ask, said Ms. Fleiss. For example, if a shopper asks for a new stroller, the system might learn to next ask “For how many children?” and “Do you need your child to nap in the stroller?”

I envision a time when your phone or voice assistant reminds you that it’s your mother’s birthday and asks, “Would you like to deliver a dozen roses for $29.95”?

Yes.

And that means one less trip to a visual browser, scanning search results and clicking on a domain name.

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Categories: News and Updates

Brazil company guilty of reverse domain name hijacking

Thu, 2019-03-21 16:52

Company went after the .com version of its country code domain name.

A World Intellectual Property Organization panelist has found a company in Brazil guilty of reverse domain name hijacking despite the owner of the domain name not responding to the UDRP.

Panelist Wilson Pinheiro Jabur made the finding against 2XT Tecnologia e Comercio de Informática Ltda, which owns the domain name passagenspromo.com.br. The company filed the case against the matching .com domain, passagenspromo.com.

The domain was registered in 2013 before the Complainant started using the mark. The domain means “promo tickets” in Portuguese.

The Complainant characterized the domain as typosquatting and argued that the registrant intended to sell it to the highest bidder given that it did not take any steps to acquire trademark rights over the term.

Historical Whois records can’t confirm the original registrant of the domain due to Whois privacy but the domain has always been registered at PublicDomainRegistry.

The Complainant basically agreed that it was registered in 2013, which is fatal to its case. In finding reverse domain name hijacking, the panelist wrote:

In the present case, the Panel considers that the Complainant has been guilty of RDNH due to the fact that it has failed by a large margin, since the Complainant knew or at least should have known that it did not possess enough evidence to prove at least one of the essential elements contained in paragraph 4(a) of the Policy.

The Complainant’s representative quoted UDRP case law and the Panel thinks it is unlikely that he was unaware of (i) the consensus set forth in section 3.8 of the WIPO Overview 3.0; and (ii) the current overwhelming view of UDRP panelists as to the need to prove registration and use in bad faith.

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  3. One panelist’s weird standard for Reverse Domain Name Hijacking
Categories: News and Updates

Lawsuit claims Verisign shouldn’t have transferred domain name

Thu, 2019-03-21 16:34

Suit alleges that domain name wasn’t owned by defendants named in class action.

Bitseller, a company in Cyprus, says that Verisign shouldn’t have transferred the domain name Radaris.com as requested by a court and is asking (pdf) for at least $500,000 in damages.

The backstory is interesting. In 2014, attorneys filed a class action lawsuit against organizations that is said were running Radaris.com. The lawsuit claimed that Radaris, which aggregates public information about individuals and businesses, was not complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

In 2017 the court issued a default judgment against the defendants in that case and ordered Radaris.com to be transferred to the plaintiffs. The domain’s registrar, EuroDNS, refused to transfer the domain. So, according to the new lawsuit, the plaintiffs took their court order to Verisign and got the domain transferred.

Bitseller says that it operates the Radaris website and that the domain is registered by a company called Accuracy Consulting. Historical Whois information supports that Accuracy Consulting was the registrant of the domain.

Yet, despite neither Bitseller nor Accuracy being named in the original lawsuit, the domain was transferred. Bitseller and Accuracy got the court in the class action case to determine that the domain should be returned.

Bitseller eventually got the name back but argues that it suffered great losses from not having the domain name. It says that Verisign could have easily verified that Accuracy was not named in the lawsuit.

Verisign’s defense in this case will likely be that it was just complying with a court order as it always does. That court ordered stated:

To the extent that the registrars do not assist in changing the registrars of record for the domains under their control within 1 business day of receipt of this Order, the top-level domain (TLD) registrars [sic] (or their administrators) for the Subject Domain Names within 5 business days of receipt of this Order shall change or assist in changing the registrars of record for the Subject Domain Names to a registrar of Plaintiffs’ choosing.

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Categories: News and Updates

Scratch.org owner defends domain name in court

Thu, 2019-03-21 15:29

Ravi Lahoti says he has owned the domain since 1998.

An updated website at Scratch.org notes that it was registered in 1998 and includes the dictionary definition of the word.

Earlier this year Scratch Foundation, a non-profit that started at MIT, filed an in rem lawsuit (pdf) against the domain name Scratch.org claiming that the domain is cybersquatting.

In the complaint, Scratch Foundation said it reached out to the owner of the domain name in 2015 and offered under $5,000 for the name. According to the lawsuit, the owner asked for $450,000 and shortly thereafter started showing ads related to credit repair.

The owner of the domain name is now defending the domain name in court. Ravi Lahoti says (pdf) he registered the domain in 1998, which is well before Scratch Foundation was created in 2007.

If the name Lahoti looks familiar, that might be because Ravi Lahoti is the brother of UDRPSearch.com owner David Lahoti. A third brother, Raj Lahoti, runs DMV.org.

Last year, UDRPSearch.com forwarded to information about a lawsuit filed against Ravi, making it clear that his brother David took sides with the plaintiff.

In a filing yesterday, Ravi Lahoti asked that the Scratch.org lawsuit be transferred to California.

Ravi updated the site at Scratch.org recently to includes news articles and videos with the word scratch in them. It also has a notice that the domain was registered in 1998 and includes the dictionary definition of scratch.

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Related posts:
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Categories: News and Updates

Honeywell calls it quits on new top level domain name

Thu, 2019-03-21 02:32

Company tells domain name overseer that it doesn’t want .Honeywell anymore.

American conglomerate Honeywell (NYSE: HON) has decided it doesn’t want to run its own top level domain name after all.

The company informed (pdf) ICANN last month that it wishes to terminate its agreement to run .honeywell as a top level domain name. The company never used the domain; the only second level domain name it registered under .Honeywell was the obligatory nic.honeywell.

.Honeywell was the only domain name the conglomerate applied for.

The company joins others that have belatedly decided they didn’t want to operate new top level domains, including McDonald’s and Emerson.

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Categories: News and Updates

16 end user domain name sales up to $25k

Wed, 2019-03-20 17:39

A Black Friday site, a gaming company and an apartment community bought domain names last week.

Sedo had a variety of end user domain name sales this past week, including a rare appearance by .travel. As usual, it was an international list of buyers.

Here are the end user sales I found. You can view previous lists like this here.

Vivlio.com $25,000 – A French company called Tea, which bills itself as The eBook Alternative, bought the domain. A rebrand in the works?

Mandom.com €20,000 – Japanese company Mandom Corporation.

BF.de €15,000 – Forwards to black-friday.de, a site in German about Black Friday deals and a countdown to retail’s biggest day of the year. This is a nice, shorter version of the domain.

Artificer.com $12,000 – This site is still in development with a message that says, “CRAFTING GOOD GAMES: We are Artificer, a new veteran studio…” Looks like it will be a game developer.

Ostsee.travel €9,500 – Kuehlungsborn Travel KG bought this domain. Ostsee seems to be German for Baltic Sea.

PostCodeSoftware.com $8,495 – MRI Software in Ohio specializes in real estate software.

Endumax.com $8,400 – TriMM, an internet agency in The Netherlands, bought this domain name. It’s likely for a client.

ExportPartner.com €4,300 – Export Partner BV, a Netherlands company that specializes in international exporting of products and consumer goods. The website is still in development.

SaludDigital.com €3,800 – Fundacion Carlos Slim (the foundation for the 5th richest man in the world) bought this for its healthcare service.

WestridgeApartments.com $3,181 – Glenco Apartments Incorporated bought this domain for its luxury apartment community in Burlington, Wisconsin.

Aero.pk $3,000 – Forwards to Aero.de, a news site in German covering aviation topics. .PK is the country code for Pakistan.

Magniva.com $2,895 – Lallemand is a global leader in the development, production and marketing of yeast, bacteria and specialty ingredients. Magniva sure sounds like a bacteria product.

SightseeingToursAustralia.com $2,714 – True to its name, this is a travel site for Australian tour providers and other travel services down under.

TwistedAlchemy.com $2,500 – A new company producing high-end mixers for cocktails from freshly squeezed juices.

CoolQuotesCollection.com $2,500 – This might have been a website purchase as it had an existing site featuring quotes. The site hasn’t been updated since 2012.

Pulte.net $2,500 – A guy whose last name is Pulte.

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Categories: News and Updates

AppDetex raises $10 million in Series B

Wed, 2019-03-20 13:24

Company that fights domain registrars over access to Whois data pockets $10 million.

Brand protection company AppDetex has raised $10 million in a round led by First Analysis. It has raised $17.5 million to date; a prior round was led by EPIC Ventures and Origin Ventures, which also participated this time.

AppDetex is best known in the domain name industry for its complaints about access to redacted Whois data. It tends to request a lot of redacted data just before ICANN meetings and then complains that it didn’t get satisfactory responses.

Its key client for the domain data is Facebook, and the two companies have a close relationship. Facebook acquired a domain name registrar from AppDetex in 2016.

AppDetex is based in Boise, Idaho.

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Categories: News and Updates

More cybersquatting cases but fewer domains at WIPO in 2018

Tue, 2019-03-19 18:39

Filings up but number of domains down at largest UDRP organization.

WIPO heard 3,447 cybersquatting cases covering 5,655 domains in 2018. Chart courtesy WIPO.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has issued its annual release about how many cybersquatting cases it heard under UDRP and similar policies.

WIPO’s headline says it’s a record, and that’s true when considering the number of cases (3,447). But the number of domains involved (5,665) was only the third highest (see chart).

Another thing to point out is that there will be a lot of false headlines saying that cybersquatting has hit a new high. Remember that WIPO is just one of the providers for UDRP. It has tended to win more market share over time.

Also, case filings do not necessarily correlate to the amount of cybersquatting.

I expect UDRP filings to increase in 2019 because of GDPR. Companies that question whether a domain constitutes cybersquatting have difficulty figuring out if the registrant has rights or legitimate interests in the domain because they can’t research the registrant. They might be dissuaded from filing a complaint depending on who the owner is.

Of the 5,665 domains, 5022 were gTLDs and 633 were ccTLDs.

.Com, .Net and .Org were unsurprisingly the top gTLDs. .Nl, .Co and .Se led the way for ccTLDs.

According to RDNH.com, there were 28 reverse domain name hijacking findings at WIPO last year.

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Categories: News and Updates

The problem with price hikes on legacy TLDs

Tue, 2019-03-19 14:20

It should not be a goal to align legacy TLD policies with new TLD policies.

ICANN dropped a bombshell yesterday: it’s planning to remove all price controls on .org and .info domain names.

The organization justified this move by saying:

This change will not only allow the [.org/info] renewal agreement to better conform with the base registry agreement, but also takes into consideration the maturation of the domain name market and the goal of treating the Registry Operator equitably with registry operators of new gTLDs and other legacy gTLDs utilizing the base registry agreement.

The proposed agreement also adds Uniform Rapid Suspension, a trademark rights protection mechanism that was created as part of the new top level domain program. It allows trademark holders to quickly take down domains that are alleged to be cybersquatting. ICANN has previously added URS to several other top level domain contracts as they have renewed.

ICANN’s justification seems to be that all registries should play by the same rules. But this ignores the environment in which these domain names were launched and registered by customers. It is, in effect, a retroactive change to policy.

It’s true that new top level domain registries can jack up their prices as much as they want. However, compared to legacy TLDs, these price increases were allowed from the start. The most recent .org and .info registry agreements had price controls baked in that only allowed prices to increase 10% per year. That’s a lot, but it’s not unlimited.

So people who have registered .org and .info domains with the understanding that price increases would be capped are suddenly using domains that could theoretically cost thousands of dollars to renew.

While I doubt that Public Interest Registry (.org) and Afilias (.info) will increase prices that much, history tells us that the existing customers are the ones that will end up paying the higher prices. Registries generally discount first-year registrations, not renewals. So it’s reasonable to expect that these registries will increase the base cost going forward but then offer specials on new registrations.

ICANN notes that “Protections for existing registrants will remain in place, in line with the base registry agreement.” These protections are just allowing existing registrants to renew their domains for up to 10 years at current prices before price hikes take effect. That just kicks the can down the road.

One of ICANN’s missions is the stability of the DNS. Allowing uncapped price changes adds instability to the market behind it.

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Categories: News and Updates

Tucows acquires Ascio as consolidation continues

Tue, 2019-03-19 13:59

Tucows acquires another reseller registrar.

Tucows (NASDAQ: TCX) has acquired reseller registrar Ascio Technologies from CSC for $29.44 million.

Ascio has 1.8 million domains under management and 500 active resellers. Compared to Enom, which Tucows acquired two years ago, Ascio has fewer but bigger resellers.

By selling Ascio, CSC it focusing on its brand management registrar.

Ascio has a strong presence in Europe with a headquarters in Denmark and office in Germany. It’s also known for carrying lots of country code top level domains, which will help Tucows expand the number of TLDs available.

According to the release, Ascio had approximately $4 million in annual EBITDA. Tucows had already included the Ascio contribution in the latest financial guidance it provided last month.

Tucows says it expects cost synergies in the deal and this makes sense. The company is already rebuilding its platform to run both Enom and OpenSRS, Tucows’ other reseller registrar.

 

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Categories: News and Updates

ICANN proposes lifting price controls on .Org, .Info domains

Mon, 2019-03-18 20:44

You might have to pay a lot more for your .org and .info domains in the future.

Domain name overseer ICANN has proposed new contracts for the .Org and .Info registries that would eliminate price caps on the domain names. Under the terms of the new agreements, .Org operator Public Interest Registry and .Info operator Afilias could increase prices on registrations to an unlimited amount, provided that they give advance notice.

The terms are similar to those found in new top level domain name agreements that have resulted in some registry operators jacking up prices as much as 30x. While those cases were for little-used domains, .Org currently has 10 million domains under management.

In announcing the proposed contract, ICANN stated:

In alignment with the base registry agreement, the price cap provisions in the current .org agreement, which limited the price of registrations and allowable price increases for registrations, are removed from the .org renewal agreement. Protections for existing registrants will remain in place, in line with the base registry agreement. This change will not only allow the .org renewal agreement to better conform with the base registry agreement, but also takes into consideration the maturation of the domain name market and the goal of treating the Registry Operator equitably with registry operators of new gTLDs and other legacy gTLDs utilizing the base registry agreement

The protections for existing registrants are basically the right to renew their domains for up to 10 years in advance at current prices.

ICANN’s language will likely be cited by Verisign in future price increase requests.

The current contract allows Public Interest Registry and Afilias to increase wholesale prices by 10% per year.

ICANN also added Uniform Rapid Suspension to the contracts.

Both contracts are open to public comment until April 29: .Org comments .Info comments

Read more here

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Categories: News and Updates

5 little-known tools for finding great domains

Mon, 2019-03-18 19:36

These linguistic tools will help you brainstorm good domain names.

Last week I interviewed Anthony Shore of Operative Words to understand how he comes up with names for his clients. He mentioned many tools he uses. I call these little-known because they aren’t domain name tools; they are powerful linguistic and dictionary tools that will help you brainstorm names.

I recommend listening to the full podcast to understand how Anthony uses each tool, but here’s a rundown.

Sketch Engine – This is a very powerful tool but has a learning curve, especially if you don’t have a linguistic background. It’s inexpensive and there’s a free trial so you can try it before you buy it.

OneLook.com – Great thesaurus capabilities and wildcarding.

RhymeZone – Find rhyming words, synonyms, adjectives and other words.

MRC Psycholinguistic Database – Good for substitutions, wildcarding, etc. (Listen to an example in the podcast.)

GoldenDict – A dictionary lookup program that allows you to search multiple dictionaries.

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Categories: News and Updates

7Up and March Madness – DNW Podcast #228

Mon, 2019-03-18 15:30

Hear the story of 7Up.com’s launch in March Madness 1996.

My guest on today’s program created the original 7up.com website when he was in his early 20s working at an advertising agency. Archie Smart was fresh out of school when he pitched the soda maker on a campaign to drive people to 7up.com during March Madness 1996. He talked them into printing the domain name on the side of soda cans, on the basketball court and using it in a major media buy.

Then, just days before March Madness, they ran into a problem.

Also: A true-crime thriller with a domain name angle, Radix’s revenue, 864.com and SyFy

Mentioned on this episode: the spinning 7Up can

This week’s sponsor: DNAcademy. Use code DNW for $50 off.

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

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Categories: News and Updates

Samsung tries to hijack GalaxyStore.com domain name

Mon, 2019-03-18 13:34

Samsung files abusive cybersquatting complaint in an effort to get GalaxyStore.com domain name.

Samsung renamed its app store Galaxy Store but doesn’t have the matching domain name.

Samsung has been found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking over the domain name GalaxyStore.com.

The electronics company changed the name of Galaxy Apps to Galaxy Store earlier this year and wanted the GalaxyStore.com domain name. However, the owner of GalaxyStore.com registered the domain name in 2004, at least five years before Samsung adopted the name Galaxy for its smartphones and tablets.

In other words, there’s no way the domain registrant registered the domain name with Samsung in mind. Nevertheless, Samsung filed a cybersquatting complaint under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) at Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre.

Because the domain registration pre-dated Samsung’s use of the Galaxy brand, the case was dead on arrival.

The domain owner’s counsel, Zak Muscovitch, warned Samsung’s counsel at Bae, Kim & Lee LLC IP Group about this critical fact and invited Samsung to withdraw the case. It didn’t, and the three-person UDRP panel found (pdf) Samsung to have filed the case in abuse of the policy, aka reverse domain name hijacking.

 

 

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Categories: News and Updates

How to get your domains out of Alpnames – Fast!

Fri, 2019-03-15 16:48

Customers can access their account through LogicBoxes.

Domain name registrar Alpnames has imploded, leaving hundreds of thousands of domain names temporarily stuck in purgatory. Thankfully, there is a solution for customers that want to access their accounts and move domains to another registrar.

Alpnames used the registrar platform LogicBoxes to manage its domains and you can still log into LogicBoxes’ system to access your domains.

The Alpnames Logic Boxes control panel is at apal516804.myorderbox.com. Choose “customer” from the dropdown box and enter your Alpnames credentials.

A new registrar will eventually take over Alpnames accounts, but it’s worth transferring at least your best domains for safe keeping.

It should give Alpnames customers some relief to know that a third party was managing Alpnames’ backend.

Thanks to InfoClicks for the tip.

© DomainNameWire.com 2019. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

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Categories: News and Updates

ICANN shuts down Alpnames domain name registrar

Fri, 2019-03-15 02:36

ICANN takes emergency action after Alpnames seemingly shutters.

This is all that’s left of Alpnames.

Domain name overseer ICANN has shut down registrar Alpnames after the registrar seemingly went dark.

I received an email from a customer about a week ago complaining about not being able to log in to his account. Kevin Murphy at DomainIncite has done a good job tracking the situation at Alpnames.

The termination will be a good test of the mechanisms ICANN put in place after RegisterFly was shuttered many years ago. Yes, other registrars have been terminated, but Alpnames is fairly large in terms of domains under management. It is the ninth-largest registrar for new top level domain names. At one point it had some common ownership with Famous Four Media, which offered its domains at cut-rate prices.

It was also shut down without warning.

Let’s hope that Alpnames was properly escrowing its domain ownership data.

Just last year in February, the company put out a press release stating that “Iain Roache has increased his ownership of AlpNames a leading domain registrar and web hosting company by acquiring a further 20% of the Company’s share capital for a consideration (including combined costs) of £3.9 million with a view to growing the business into a Tier 1 registrar.”

That didn’t work out.

The demise of Alpnames is another reminder to choose a domain name registrar you trust to be in it for the long haul.

© DomainNameWire.com 2019. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

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The Mastermind created his own domain registrar to run his criminal enterprise

Thu, 2019-03-14 15:58

Paul Le Roux found a workaround to domain name suspensions: create his own ICANN-accredited domain name registrar.

I just finished reading Evan Ratliff’s book The Mastermind about Paul Le Roux. Le Roux ran a lot of unsavory and illegal businesses starting with an online pharmacy business called RX Limited.

Le Roux used a lot of domain names to sell pills online to U.S. consumers. In addition to operating an illegal service, many of the sites were promoted with spam. He knew that domain registrars would terminate his domain names for doing this so he found a workaround: create his own ICANN-accredited domain name registrar.

Le Roux created domain name registrar ABSystems using someone else’s identity and registered his domains through the registrar.

ICANN terminated the registrar in 2013. ICANN works with another registrar to transfer domains when it shuts down a registrar. Registrars look at this as a way to grow their business; in this case, EnCirca got stuck holding a bag of bad domains.

The detectives who chased Le Roux used Whois and DomainTools to connect the dots.

The Mastermind is a fascinating book in which domain names play a large role.

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Categories: News and Updates

15 end user domain name sales up to $70K

Thu, 2019-03-14 13:51

A German clothing brand, a link shortener and the SyFy network all bought domain names last week.

The top sale on Sedo this past week seems like a great deal for the buyer. Not only is boot.com a great brandable name, but it means boat in German. The top ccTLD sale also made the end user list, SwimmingPool.de at €12,750. And these weren’t the only 5-figure sales, there were several that made the list this week.

Let’s take a look at some of the end user sales on Sedo. You can view previous lists like this here.

Boot.com $70,000 – Boot is German for boat. The domain forwards to Boot.de, which looks like a trade show for the boating world. It’s worth noting they also use Boot.club for a program. This was a great deal for the buyer!

TZGZ.com $43,000 – Universal Studios acquired the domain name and it now redirects to SyFy.com, the popular science fiction television network. It has applied for trademarks for TZGZ It Comes after Syfy, suggesting this might be the new name for the network.

Datenschutzauditor.com €15,000 – It’s now owned by a German software company specializing in privacy and data protection.

SwimmingPool.de €12,750 – Forwards to SwimmingPool.com, an online network to find pool service providers.

SecureAccess.com $10,000 – This domain was purchased by Hilltop Advisors, which provides professional services to financial services companies with special focus on lenders of all types, loan service providers and more. This indicates that this domain could be for a financial services company of some sort.

TR.im €8,000 – What a fun name for this new link shortener.

Geburtstagsgeschenk.de €7,500 – Forwards to businessangels.de which is a service that assists companies in the areas of marketing, e-commerce, technology and infrastructure.

Ozti.com $5,000 – The main site for Öztiryakiler, a Turkish kitchen equipment manufacturer established in 1958 which makes it one of the first manufacturing companies of Turkey in this sector.

C-A.de €5,000 – Forwards to the quite choppy domain of C-and-A.com/de/, a German clothing brand.

Tawek.com €4,000 – The domain forwards to Homeless.lacounty.gov, which is the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative. I can’t figure out what this name has to do with the group, but it must be some sort of acronym.

GBCTrading.com $3,995 – Forwards to GBCTrading.co.uk, a wholesaler of nutritional health products from around the globe based in the UK.

Pingtopia.com $3,750 – Identity management company Ping Identity bought this domain for “A Community of Ping advocates”.

Championship-Rings.net $2,500 – The site ChampionshipRings.net, which specializes in the resale of sports championship rings.

ULesson.com $2,500 – An online learning and educational platform for students in Africa.

CryptoMood.com €2,000 – A new crypto news aggregator, powered by “artificial intelligence and advanced text processing algorithms”. The site processes data from 50,000+ news sources, 4 social media networks and over 100 crypto trading blogs.

© DomainNameWire.com 2019. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

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