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30 November 2010

Weighing up the seizure of dodgy domain names by the US government

The US government has come up with a new approach to online IP rights enforcement - seizure of the domain names connected to websites that infringe IP rights. Last week, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency did just that, taking out 82 domain names and replacing the original websites to which they pointed with a frightening message from the government. But is it the best way to enforce IP rights online?

25 November 2010

US business lobby defends controversial online infringement bill

It is an insult to suggest that the proposed Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act amounts to internet censorship, as has been suggested by the bill's opponents, a spokesman for the US Chamber of Commerce has told WTR.

24 November 2010

Trademark register and web usernames to dovetail in new search service

The number one trademark filer in the United States has launched a new service that ties social network username registration to the trademark register. The move will help to drive the debate about the extent to which online locators such domain names and social network usernames will compete with trademarks in terms of importance.

16 November 2010

Ninth Circuit broadens ACPA's scope

In DSPT International v Nahum, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has broadened the protections available to trademark holders under the Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act by extending liability to individuals who hold domain names for ransom, even if those domain names were originally registered and initially used in a legitimate manner.

12 October 2010

New bill may not end cybersquatting but does send a warning to ICANN

While Senator Leahy’s proposed Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act will not automatically put an end to cybersquatting, participants at the Online Brand Abuse and Internet Governance Forum have argued the proposed law sends out a warning to ICANN prior to negotiations over the renewal of its charter.

21 September 2010

Importance of substantiating UDRP complaints highlighted

In GrubHub Inc v Nelson, the National Arbitration Forum has refused to order the cancellation of the domain name '', finding that complainant GrubHub Inc had failed to establish any of the three elements required under the UDRP. The decision underlines the importance of meticulously drafting and substantiating UDRP complaints, especially where there is no blatant case of cybersquatting.

16 September 2010

Bloodthirsty trademark protection services see dollar signs in social media

Trademark conference exhibition halls have become gladiatorial arenas in which non-legal trademark service providers battle each other with plasma screens and soft furnishings. This situation is the natural result of a pervasive internet, which invites innovative business models around the challenges trademark owners face daily. The new battleground is social network usernames, which could become as burdensome as domain names.

07 September 2010

Google investigation must consider trademarks and AdWords

The news that Google is being investigated on antitrust concerns is perhaps not surprising, but the fact that regulators may study Google's keywords policies certainly is. However, the possibility that it will consider the impact of AdWords policies – set to change in Europe next week – is why trademark owners should watch this investigation unfold.

30 July 2010

Use of mark in domain name for car brokers held to be nominative fair use

In Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc v Tabari, in a decision that may be a harbinger of things to come with respect to key trademark issues, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has clarified that use of a trademark in a domain name does not, in and of itself, amount to an infringing and thus preventable use. Rather, the question is whether the unauthorised use of the mark in the domain name gives rise to a likelihood of confusion.

30 April 2010

Rosetta Stone v Google thrown out: mark owners need new tactics

There is no stopping Google selling trademark terms as keywords. That is the message from the US courts this week. A judge from the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has dismissed Rosetta Stone's case against the search giant, effectively killing off once and for all the conventional method of attacking the AdWords programme.

06 April 2010

Call for legislative change as Utah takes the fight to cybersquatters

Utah has thrown the gauntlet down to other US states by signing the E-Commerce Integrity Act, amid calls for the 1999 Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act to be reviewed. The landmark legislation places the state at the head of the fight against cybersquatting and the question now is whether other states will follow Utah’s lead and increase the remedies available to brand owners.

16 March 2010

Domain names are located where registry and registrar are located

In Office Depot Inc v Zuccarini, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was presented with the question of where a domain name was located for attachment purposes. The court concluded that, under California law, domain names are located where the registry is located for the purpose of asserting quasi in rem jurisdiction.

25 February 2010

Neustar implements DNSSEC

Neustar, the registry responsible for the '.us' country-code top-level domain, has announced that it had implemented DNSSEC. The aim of DNSSEC technology is to secure any weak points in the domain name system which would potentially be exploitable by pirates.

03 February 2010

Apple and Fujitsu staying quiet over IPAD trademark dispute

Despite widespread speculation, Apple and Fujitsu are remaining silent over the potential dispute concerning the IPAD trademark. However, it has emerged that Apple owns no major web domain containing the name of its new product.

29 October 2009

Chris Bosh relieves cybersquatter of hundreds of domain names

In Bosh v Zavala, the US District Court for the Central District of California has ordered that Luis Zavala transfer nearly 800 domain names that include the names of professional and amateur athletes, celebrities and musicians, among others, to Chris Bosh, a well-known professional basketball player.