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Archive for March, 2011

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) just released its domain dispute filing data for 2010.  The results show that trademark holders filed 2,696 cybersquatting/typosquatting cases that included 4,370 domain names with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center).  The number of cases represent an increase of 28% over the 2009 level and of 16% over the previous record year for filings, 2008.  This growth trend indicates that brand owners are becoming more aware of the harmful effects caused by online trademark infringement including consumer confusion, inflated keyword budgets and lost revenue.

Since the UDRP’s launch in December 1999, the WIPO Center has received over 20,000 UDRP Cases, involving 35,000 domain names.  WIPO arbitrates domain disputes for both generic and country code Top Level Domains (gTLDs and ccTLDs).  Domain dispute cases filed with WIPO in 2010 included parties from 57 countries.

Interestingly, in 91% of cases, panels found evidence that domains were registered and being used in bad faith, thus deciding in favor of complainants.    The top five vertical markets for WIPO complainant activity were the retail, banking and finance, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, Internet and IT, and fashion sectors.  While a majority of the cases (82%) related to registrations in the .com domain extension, domain disputes over country code Top Level Domains rose to 15% of all cases in 2010.

If your business is being damaged by cybersquatters infringing on your trademarks by diverting web traffic to pay per click ads sites, committing affiliate fraud, selling counterfeit goods or redirecting domains with your brands to your competitors, please contact Safenames to discuss your legal options.  Safenames legal team has experience filing UDRPs for both gTLDs (.COM/.NET/.ORG) and most ccTLDs including CO.UK, .SE and COM.AU.

If you would like to discuss filing a UDRP or online brand enforcement strategies and online brand monitoring for your trademarks, please contact your Safenames account manager.

If you are not currently a customer, you may also contact the the Safenames US office at +1.703.574.5313 and [email protected], or the Safenames UK office at +44 1908 200022 and [email protected] to discuss how we can help.

The .ASIA registry has announced that the IDN.Asia launch will begin in May 2011.  The initial launch of IDN.Asia will allow registrants to register .ASIA domains using in-language characters for Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Japanese and Korean.

There will be a Sunrise Period for trademark holders. This will be followed by a Land Rush Period for registering premium names, and then a General Availability Period will begin. During the Sunrise and Land Rush periods domains that: (1) have been requested by two or more parties; and (2) have been verified, will be sent to a domain auction and awarded to the highest bidder. Domains requested by a single successful application will be allocated to the applicant, and no auction will be held.

.Asia IDN launch Timeline:

  • Sunrise Application Period (70 days)

OPEN:  11 May 2011 (Wed, 12:00 UTC)

CLOSE:  20 July 2011 (Wed, 24:00 UTC)

  •  Land Rush Application Period (70 days)

OPEN:  2 Aug 2011 (Tue, 12:00 UTC)

CLOSE:  11 Oct 2011 (Tue, 24:00 UTC)

If you would like to apply for a IDN.Asia or have any questions regarding the Sunrise Application process, please contact your Safenames account manager.

You may also contact the Safenames UK office at +44 1908 200022 and [email protected], or the Safenames US office at +1.703.574.5313 and [email protected].

The General Availability period for .SO domains will begin on April 1st at 0:00 UTC.  If you have not yet registered your brand(s) in the .SO ccTLD, this is a great opportunity to protect you brand(s). You’ll also be able to register vanity domains for your products or keywords related to your business that that end in “so”.

You’ll want to act quickly because during this General Availability period all registration requests for a .SO domain names will be processed on a first come, first served basis.  

If you would like to register a .SO domain or have any questions regarding the General Availability period, please contact your Safenames account manager.

You may also contact the Safenames UK office at +44 1908 200022 and [email protected], or the Safenames US office at +1.703.574.5313 and [email protected].

The ICANN Board of Directors held their Board Meeting in San Francisco at the conclusion of the “Silicon Valley Public Meeting”. In a major development, the Board, for the first time, provided a timeline for approving the new Top Level Domain applicant guidebook.

The Board stated it will hold a special meeting on June 20th to review the guidebook just prior to the start of the ICANN’s “Singapore Public Meeting”.

There are still some hurdles that must be overcome, such as the differences with Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), but feedback from the GAC is expected by March 25. Once feedback has been given, the final GAC scorecard for constituency comment is expected by April 15 with a public comment period ending May 15. On May 20, the GAC and the Board will have a teleconference to discuss the final scorecard. If all goes according to plan, the final guidebook will be posted May 30 and the board will consider it for approval on June 20.

If approved in June there will be a four (4) month communication period to the global Internet community before the application process would begin. Under the current timeline published by ICANN, the application period for new gTLDs could begin in October 2011, with delegation of new gTLD strings into the root zone in the 2nd quarter of 2012.

Safenames will continue to keep you updated as we learn more about new developments with the new gTLD program.

If you would like to apply for a TLD for your brand or have any questions regarding new gTLDs and the ICANN application process, please contact your Safenames account manager.

You may also contact the Safenames UK office at +44 1908 200022 and [email protected], or the Safenames US office at +1.703.574.5313 and [email protected].

As the 40th ICANN meeting held in San Francisco wrapped up, the ICANN board voted to proceed with the new domain extension, dotXXX (.XXX). After seven years of debate in the domain and adult entertainment communities, the board voted 9-3, with four board members abstaining, to approve the .XXX. The Free Speech Coalition and a wide range of adult industry leaders had attempted to stop ICANN from approving this extension, but the Board decided to approve the new sTLD. The ICANN board even went against the advice of its Government Advisory Committee (GAC), an action which has rarely, if ever occurred in the past. The .XXX registry announced that it will have a sunrise for the adult industry, a dedicated period where brand holders may register a lifetime “block” on domains where they hold the trademark, followed by an open registration period. There have been some rumblings around the ICANN Meeting that those groups opposed to .XXX will not go away quietly, but for now, expect that .XXX will launch within the next 90 days. An official timeline is expected to be published shortly and will be communicated as soon as it becomes available.

If you have any questions regarding .XXX, please contact your Safenames account manager.

You may also contact the Safenames UK office at +44 1908 200022 and [email protected], or the Safenames US office at +1.703.574.5313 and [email protected]

ICANN recently announced that the String Evaluations on proposed IDNs ccTLDs for Ukraine and Pakistan have passed.

Since the Fast Track Process was approved by the ICANN Board at its annual meeting in Seoul, South Korea on 30 October 2009, a total of 25 countries/territories requests have successfully passed through the String Evaluation. Of these, 17 countries/territories (represented by 27 IDN ccTLDs) are delegated in the DNS root zone; with the remainder either readying to apply, or actively applying for, delegation of the string.

If you have any questions regarding IDN.IDN ccTLDs, please contact your Safenames account manager.

You may also contact the Safenames UK office at +44 1908 200022 and [email protected], or the Safenames US office at +1.703.574.5313 and [email protected]

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