Potential Legal Issues for Typo Squats?
#11
I have been crunching on this problem a lot lately, and I have to think that registrars need to step up to the plate and think twice before allowing a typo squatter to purchase a domain, but the thing is there is a lot of gray area here. We have implications upon accusations, and overall a person who registers their personal name can still be considered a typo squatter if the wrong person is questioning motives. Part of me is concerned that the WWW is still a wild wild west, with so many variables to consider with discrepancies. Perhaps big businesses need to think farther ahead and reserve potential typos prior to getting started. If they do not do this, it is irresponsibility on their part as well unless they just didn't forsee it. Perhaps registrars could make suggestions as to which domains they might want to include to avoid it.
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#12
Hoosierhunter Wrote:I have been crunching on this problem a lot lately, and I have to think that registrars need to step up to the plate and think twice before allowing a typo squatter to purchase a domain, but the thing is there is a lot of gray area here. We have implications upon accusations, and overall a person who registers their personal name can still be considered a typo squatter if the wrong person is questioning motives. Part of me is concerned that the WWW is still a wild wild west, with so many variables to consider with discrepancies. Perhaps big businesses need to think farther ahead and reserve potential typos prior to getting started. If they do not do this, it is irresponsibility on their part as well unless they just didn't forsee it. Perhaps registrars could make suggestions as to which domains they might want to include to avoid it.

There is a 1999 Court ruling where Network Solutions was found not to be
responsible for checking for trademarks. I don't have the exact link, but I
somewhat recall the name "lockheed" (just google it).

It's not realistically and economically feasible for registrars to do that for
their end-users. If they do, they're not going to charge $6-10 a year for a
.com domain name.

Also, some parties find it more convenient to track down domain names
that potentially infringe their trademark rights and send notices after rather
than possibly register all typos and possibly miss out one later on.
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#13
Yeah I don't think you can hold the registrars responsible, sometimes trademarks are implied, or seen where they might not actully exist. I would not put the burden on them at all.
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#14
Nod. If this is a matter to keep prices down, yes. But I think a registrar that allows a blatant infringement is assisting somehow in fraud. Like a misspelling of a common business name, for example. Do you think a registrar should allow that to go through?
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#15
Hoosierhunter Wrote:But I think a registrar that allows a blatant infringement is assisting somehow in fraud. Like a misspelling of a common business name, for example. Do you think a registrar should allow that to go through?

And how's the registrar supposed to know it's a "blatant infringement"?

I'll tell you what: let's create a scenario, shall we?

Imagine you, Hoosierhunter, registers defg.com with triumph's registrar. You
then put up a forum about widgets (with a touch of adsense).

Six months later, it's a very popular site making you about $5k from adsense.

Another six months later, I register degg.com also with triumph's registrar to
sell my fangled new widget ball named degg. I also file a registration with the
USPTO with the intent to use the word "degg" to sell them.

Along the way, I find your forum and its domain name. I examine it and am
lead to believe it's infringing my trademark rights.

I call triumph's registrar and tell them, "Hey guys. This bozo's domain name
is infringing my trademark. Can you shut it down for me please?"

Then the registrar's rep shuts down the domain name just like that. Or s/he
forwards the request to a higherup and they shut it down pronto.

A day later, you get tons of email complaining the forum's down. You check
it out and confirm the status.

You call triumph's registrar and demand to know what's going on, saying you
are potentially losing $5k. Eventually you're told it's shut down because it's
infringing my trademark rights.

Then you ask how could your domain name infringe my trademark rights,
especially since there's a difference in one letter. Well, your forum's topic is
kinda similar to my topic, and just that one difference can matter.

Not a nice scenario to happen, don't you think?

Point is, you'd better be careful what you think or wish for. It just might come
true and you might be on the bitter end of it.

(BTW, something like what I described above almost happened.)
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#16
Nod I'm referring to actual licensed companies like banks, corporations, and the like. Intellectual property, if you will. Registered and trademarked items.
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#17
Hoosierhunter Wrote:Nod I'm referring to actual licensed companies like banks, corporations, and the like. Intellectual property, if you will. Registered and trademarked items.

Let me ask you this: if you're running a registrar, are you willing to do what
you're thinking? And you honestly think you'll still be able to stay in business
for a long time while doing that?

If the country I'm doing business in has a law addressing this, then either I
comply or I shut down my registrar because I can't possibly afford it. But no
country has such a law for now.

It might be nice if a registrar does check for registered trademarks and warn
users of such. Then again, it takes a lot of work checking for a gazillion legal
technicalities and jurisdictions, and the registrar might end up receiving lots
of unwanted complaints.

I respect your belief. But I'll tell you, it's not realistic.
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