ICANN Tells U.S. Court That Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) Are Not “Property”

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has told a U.S. federal court in the District of Columbia, that a country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) cannot be considered “property,” and thus cannot be attached by plaintiffs in a lawsuit, who are trying to obtain the assets of countries that they argued have supported terrorism.

“We filed a Motion to Quash in the US federal court today, to ensure that the court has the essential information about how the Internet’s domain name system (DNS) works. While we sympathize with what plaintiffs may have endured, ICANN’s role in the domain name system has nothing to do with any property of the countries involved”, said John Jeffrey, ICANN’s General Counsel and Secretary.

“We explained in our Motion to Quash, that country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD) are part of a single, global interoperable Internet which ICANN serves to help maintain.” Jeffrey further explained that “ccTLD’s are not property, and are not ‘owned’ or ‘possessed’ by anyone including ICANN, and therefore cannot be seized in a lawsuit.”

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Trademark Clearinghouse Has 31,866 Marks And 89,773 “TM” Notices Have Been Sent

The Trademark Clearinghouse has published it’s latest stats. So far 31,866 marks have been submitted to the Trademark Clearinghouse as of the 28th of July 2014. The number of marks were 30,916 on the 19th of June. So the Trademark Clearinghouse added 950 trademarks in these past 40 days.

Finally there have been 89,773 notifications sent out to TM holders so far. This means that 89,773 (or probably less) new gTLD domain names have been registered that contain a mark that is registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse. The registered domains are probably less than 89,773 as when a domain, that consists of a trademark that is registered by multiple parties in the Trademark Clearinghouse, is registered then multiple notifications are sent to TM holders.

On itself that doesn’t mean something to me as it is getting more difficult with each passing day to find a dictionary term that is not registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse and because of availability most of the New gTLD domains that are registered consist of just 1 word. Common terms such as “insurance” or the letter “e” are trademarked.

I am almost certain that almost 99.9% of these 89,773 domain registrations do not infringe on any trademark. Of course most of it all depends on the use. Continue reading

Potential Scandal At WIPO Involving Director General Francis Gurry

TheRegister did an article yesterday exposing allegations of bizarre and potentially illegal conduct within the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). The Register obtained access to an internal report indicating reasonable grounds to suspect serious misconduct within the UN agency.

“The report, published exclusively by The Register today, outlines serious allegations against WIPO chief Francis Gurry. The organisation’s staff council has also demanded a prompt and independent investigation.

An OnlineDomain.com reader brought this article to my attention and he also commented that “Francis Gurry has been a flag-waver for UDRP from day one, and he has written some very one-sided papers trying to expand the power of the UDRP against domainers. He’s always putting out releasing saying that cybersquatting is on the rise, even when it isn’t.” Continue reading

Neustar Announces usTLD Rapid Suspension for .US Domains

On July 1, Neustar will become one of the first country-code top-level domains to implement the usTLD Rapid Suspension Procedure (“usRS”). Although this new mechanism has been introduced with the new generic top-level domains approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, it is not widespread within the ccTLD community.

The usRS will provide intellectual property rights holders a faster, more cost-effective mechanism to resolve clear-cut cases of trademark infringement within the usTLD than the existing .us Dispute Resolution Policy (“usDRP”).

Under the usRS, the complainant must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that: Continue reading

Student Wins The Domain ThePirateBay.dk From Domainer In A Strange Case

TorrentFreak reported that a student from Denmark filed and won a complaint against James McAvoy of Bristol, UK, “who appears to be a prolific purchaser of domains” as Torrent Freak says, for the domain name ThePirateBay.dk. The decision was that James McAvoy’s registration of the domain should be canceled and ThePirateBay.dk will be transferred to the student by June 13, 2014.

The domain ThePirateBay.dk was registered in August 2010. The DomainTools.com reports that James McAvoy owns about Continue reading

DRS Complaint for Rock.co.uk denied as registrants are not obligated to use their domains

An attempt to grab the domain name Rock.co.uk using a DRS complaint, the equivalent to UDRP for .co.uk domains, was denied as the Complainant failed to prove that it had rights to a mark and that the registration was abusive.

The Independent Expert said that “Registrants in the .uk space are under no obligation to use their domain names and failure to do so is not in itself Abusive. While I can understand the Complainant’s frustration in seeing a potentially useful domain name lying unused, this is not a matter for the DRS.”

Rock.co.uk was registered in 2010 by it’s owner from California. The domain does not currently resolve and is registered with Enom.

According to the Independent Expert that handled the case, the Complainant Continue reading

Fake Trademarks Stealing Generic Domains In New gTLD Sunrises

Have you heard of “What Box Holdings“, “Plan Bee LLC” andThomas A. Brackey II“? If you are looking to buy a New gTLD domain name you probably have. They managed to register more than 300 premium generic domain names before anyone else. How? Using “fake” trademarks in Sunrise.

They have registered domain names such as cloud.guru, social.photos, Build.house, BET.guru, online.bike, VACATION.photos, discount.repair etc.

I am sure they will tell you that these are not fake trademarks. They have about 40 real trademark registrations in Switzerland, although they only operate in the US, for non existent
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Trademark Clearinghouse: 500,000 claims notices delivered with 25,000 domains registered

Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) send out a press release today claiming that over 500,000 claims notices have been delivered. TMCH is providing protection to over 10,000 brands and businesses and over 28,000 trademarks have been recorded within its database.

The Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) revealed that over 500,000 Claims Notices (CNIS) have been delivered, of which 95% of the queries for trademark terms are not being followed through to a live registration.

Neither is a surprise to me but these numbers don’t tell the truth. Most of the 28,000 trademarks are for dictionary words like Continue reading

ICANN Grants Data Retention Waiver to European Registrar OVH SAS

On the 12th of March ICANN granted a data retention waiver to European registrar OVH SAS. There are a lot more registrars that are waiting for this waiver such as Irish Registrar Blacknight that Is Furious At ICANN Because Of RAA 2013.

OVH SAS (“Registrar”) submitted to ICANN a Registrar Data Retention Waiver Request (“Waiver Request”) on the basis of Registrar’s contention that compliance with the data collection and/or retention requirements of the Data Retention Specification in the 2013 RAA violates applicable law in France.

ICANN hereby grants Registrar a limited waiver from compliance with certain provisions of the 2013 RAA on the following terms: Continue reading

Bulk Transfer of Domain Names from ABSYSTEMS INC dba yournamemonkey.com to EnCirca

ICANN has authorized the bulk transfer of gTLD domain names from ABSYSTEMS INC dba yournamemonkey.com to EnCirca, Inc. due to compliance actions taken by ICANN that resulted in the de-accreditation of ABSYSTEMS INC dba yournamemonkey.com.

The affected gTLD registries have processed the bulk transfers. Former registrant-customers of ABSYSTEMS INC dba yournamemonkey.com should receive notices from EnCirca, Inc. advising of the transfer. Customer questions about the transfer should be directed to Continue reading