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The notion of constructive notice derives from US trademark law, specifically §1072 (Section 22 of the Lanham Act). In essence, as soon as someone has registered rights in and to a particular word, phrase or logo, the rights will be in the public domain, and everyone from the US is deemed to have notice of those specific rights.

For domain disputes, it is the consensus view that “Constructive Notice” or “Wilful Blindness” should not be applied outside the US (WIPO Overview 3.0, Paragraph 3.2.2),. One explanation for this reasoning is that a Respondent would have to have an extensive knowledge of trademarks and trademark law, before registering a disputed domain. Understandably, someone based in China will not necessarily know of trademark rights in Spain. Many WIPO decisions have discussed this principle and an example of which is seen in Aspenwood Dental Associates, Inc. v. Thomas Wade. Case No. D2009-0675, where Panellist, Richard G. Lyon, held that:

“The doctrine of constructive notice is rarely applied in Policy proceedings, WIPO Overview, paragraph 3.4. The exceptions to this general rule almost always occur in cases in which standard indicia of cybersquatting are present, Kellwood Company v. Onesies Corporation, WIPO Case No. D2008-1172 – not the case here”.

Therefore, it is clear that the threshold for claiming constructive notice is very high and has only applied in clear cut cybersquatting disputes, where circumstances show that it was extremely likely that the Respondent had knowledge of the Complainant’s trademark rights in and to a particular word or phrase. One could argue that as the digital age grows more and more, the expectation of registrant’s to do basic due diligence checks is higher, especially with the existence of public trademark databases like the EUIPO and TM view, which will show trademarks at a click of a button. One case which particularly caught this writer’s eye was Honeywell Safety Products USA, Inc. v. Michele Dinoia, Macrosten LTD. Case No. D2015-1834, in which the Panellist, Gabriela Kennedy, held that Respondents’ who are experienced domain users must: “bear the burden for failing to act with as little diligence as performing a trademark or website search (at no cost at all) that would have disclosed the existence of the Complainant”. Decisions like this show that a higher burden is applied for experienced domainers, who through their day-to-day activity of registering domains, should know the importance of brands and registered trademarks and do basic due diligence checks before considering to a register a domain name. Building on Gabriela Kennedy’s comments, the decision given by Panellist, Sok Ling Moi in All Saints Retail Limited v. Wang Ya Ya. Case No. D2016-1809 explained that:

“In this day and age of the Internet and advancement in information technology, the reputation of brands and trade marks transcends national borders. A cursory Internet search would have disclosed the ALL SAINTS trademark and its extensive use by the Complainant. As such, a presumption arises that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant and its trade mark when it registered the disputed domain name.

In conclusion, one can now see how the principle of constructive notice is applied outside of the US in domain disputes. However, factors such as geographic distance and the reputation of a trade mark in a given territory are still important when making assumptions of a Respondent’s knowledge.

If you need advice on “constructive notice” with domain disputes, you can contact our legal department (legal@safenames.net), or if you are an existing customer, please contact your Account Manager for further information.


Author – Dan Smith
Safenames Legal

Looking for inspiration for your next website? Instead of thinking outside the box, let’s try eliminating the box altogether. A creative domain name is not only versatile, but also powerful. Whether you’re working on your latest innovation, launching a marketing campaign, advocating for justice or looking to start a riot, an outstanding domain may just be the fast-track to achieving your goals. Here are four ways to use a .SUCKS domain creatively.

1. Product Innovation Research
So you’ve got a fantastic idea, but you’re not sure how to further develop it. When working on a new product, it’s vital to gather as much feedback as possible along the way. Survey tools, prototypes and email campaigns should all be in your strategy, but including a unique domain to bring it all together can work wonders. Having your own domain along the way not only provides you with a centrally-managed development platform, but it also gives you an avenue through which to chisel your brand.
Maybe your company is designing 3D printers for everyday households and you want to generate some buzz with 2Dprinting.sucks, or else your Kickstarter campaign for new-and-improved sex toys has broken 10k and you want to spread the word with youroldvibrator.sucks—no matter your niche market, you can gather a whole lot of interest and information with a creative domain name.
Failure.sucks, so gather as much crowd-sourced knowledge as possible to provide consumers with a new product that they actually want.

2. Customer Service Satisfaction
What if you gave your customers a platform where they truly felt heard? Let’s face it, customer service representatives often get a bad rap—be it cellphone service providers, airlines or the collections services. Rather than having customers wait on hold with elevator music to voice their grievances, why not retire outdated customer service ideas, let go of the unbranded FAQs and help your customer feel truly heard with a .SUCKS domain.
Work for an internet or mobile service provider? Try poorconnection.sucks, or mycurrentplan.sucks to direct customers towards better data packages. Run a food delivery service? Coldfood.sucks could do the trick. There are many ways to identify with your customers’ struggles while propelling them to less-sucky solutions.
Losingcustomers.sucks—so make sure yours know you’re listening!

3. Marketing Campaigns
Taco Bell set the bar high, driving customers by the thousands with its “sharing sucks” campaign. Whenever people feel strongly about a brand or a product, you can get creative with your marketing message. Brands can reinforce consumer loyalty or attract new customers by appealing to their ideals, hopes or fears while strategically pushing a service or product. A .SUCKS domain let’s you do just that.

A gum manufacturer could steal the spotlight with a platform like badbreath.sucks; Axe, already notorious for its viral campaigns, could pull it off once more with beinglonely.sucks. Selling on-the-go stain remover? Doinglaundry.sucks might be the domain for you. If you have a fantastic marketing campaign up your sleeve, a .SUCKS domain could be just the thing to drive it home.
Boredom.sucks, so let’s not annoy potential customers with the same old ads time and time again. Mix it up with a creative campaign and the domain to match.

4. Social Activism
Apathy sucks, and the world needs more altruistic hearts. Unfortunately, NGO voices are often muffled by the noise of corporate giants pumping money into lush advertisements. But viral marketing doesn’t have to be backed by Wall Street to get attention. And in times like these, providing a platform for thousands of passionate individuals longing to bond over social injustice is as noble a cause as any.
Whether you choose to build on the fire fuelled by the Women’s March with a site like thepatriarchy.sucks, or you want to raise legal fees defending immigrants affected by the president’s dubious executive orders with islamophobia.sucks, a .SUCKS domain gets straight to the heart of the issue. Thestatusquo.sucks, so let’s make a some changes, and fast.

The Takeaway
These four ideas can get you started, but the possibilities are endless. If you feel passionate about something, a unique platform can carry your voice to millions of individuals. Operation Incredible thought so too, so they launched inefficiency.sucks to share tips and tricks with busy techies. Is a beloved school being forcibly closed down in your neighborhood? Are you annoyed by hipster beards overtaking the face of every mildly-artsy skinny white boy in your town?

No matter how universal your cause, a .SUCKS domain gives you a voice. Start the conversation today.

Photos: Shutterstock / rawpixel.com, Shutterstock / Elnur, Flickr / Liz Lemon

Fraudsters are at it again. There is currently a counterfeit ‘renewal’ email circulating informing domain registrants that their domains(s) is expiring for a search engine listing, domain name listing, and/or SEO listing services.

How do they do this? Fraudulent companies “mine” the WHOIS database and then use the information they gather to send counterfeit emails (in this case, renewal emails) to ‘scam’ unknowing domain registrants into renewing services that do not actually exist. They make the message so confusing that it often works because registrants are lead to believe that their domain(s) is expiring.

Our message? Be vigilant and know that your Safenames renewal emails will only ever come from us–and this is likely the same for all domain registrars. If you have any questions about this post, please contact Safenames in the UK at +44 1908 200022 (emeasales@safenames.net) or in the US at +1 703 574 5313 (nasales@safenames.net).

It’s difficult to believe that it’s only been a couple of years since new domain extensions (also known as New Generic Top-Level Domains or gTLDs) changed the internet forever. With literally hundreds of new options, from .LIVE to .SOCIAL, .ROCKS to .CONSULTING, brands of all sizes and across all industries are embracing the creativity and branding potential.

Increase Customer Engagement with a Branded Short Link

Though Twitter is a valuable marketing platform, you still have to make the most of its limited digital space, making URL shorteners an essential tool. While some platforms help generate a generic short link for use in social media posts, many companies prefer branded content, even when it comes to link shorteners. Fortunately, new domain extensions are perfect for this purpose. By utilizing a branded short link, businesses can maintain brand consistency across multiple social media platforms with a call to action customers can trust. A Bitly study published in 2016 also states that branded link shorteners increase audience engagement, resulting in a 34% increase in click-through rates.

The Seattle Times - Secret Life of Pets

For example, The Seattle Times, Washington state’s largest daily newspaper, utilizes st.news to create branded short links that visually connect their brand to all stories they share via Twitter.

Rightside utilizes rs.news as a branded link shortener across multiple social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. After registering a unique branded domain like www.rs.news, brands have the opportunity to create customized text after the backslash to present a more descriptive call to action. For example, a recent blog entry with a full URL of “rightside.news/domains-vs-pay-per-click-new-tlds-work” was compressed to the concise “rs.news/seotlds” once we posted it to Twitter.

About Rightside: Rightside® inspires and delivers new possibilities for businesses and consumers to define and present themselves online. The company, with its affiliates, is a leading provider of domain name services, offering one of the industry’s most comprehensive platforms for the discovery, registration, usage, and monetization of domain names. Rightside’s strong portfolio of 40 TLDs offers a wide selection of business-focused TLDs perfect for Brands.

Guest blog by Rightside

February 12, 2015

History in the making? You be the judge. Dot COM registrations exceeded 116 million active domain names for the first time in history. What’s seemingly even more impressive is that the number of registrations has increased 600K since December 31, 2014. But it is worth noting that roughly 425,000 of the 600K increase were registered in-house at the registry. So the true growth number is around 125,000, which is still significant.

In similar news, VeriSign recently published the top 10 .com and .net keywords for January. It will be interesting to see how many of the 125,000 new .com registrations (mentioned above) correlate to keywords on this list:

.COM                         .NET

  1. holo                      1.  options
  2. block                    2.  now
  3. glitter                   3.  option
  4. options                4.  search
  5. send                     5.  find
  6. option                 6.  hemp
  7. hemp                   7.  stem
  8. guys                     8. degree
  9. remodeling        9. loss
  10. nursing               10. adult

New gTLD .POKER will enter TM Sunrise tomorrow, February 5, 2015. More than 40 million people play and host poker online, making it one of the most popular online pastimes.

This exclusive registration phase will remain open through March 7, 2015. Landrush will be open March 10 – April 9, 2015, and General Availability (GA) will open April 21, 2015. Registering additional domains (specifically new gTLDs) can help protect your brand(s) online within specific markets, and is one of the best way to optimize your naming strategy.

For questions about this launch please contact Safenames in the UK at +44 1908 200022 (emeasales@safenames.net) or in the US at +1 703 574 5313 (nasales@safenames.net).

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