Is The Tribune Company Doing Some CyberSquatting?

We couldn’t help but notice, especially when one of our readers pointed it out to us, that the Tribune Company, one of those giant “old media” companies and owner of the Chicago Tribune, just registered the domain

The Domain was registered on just a few days ago on January 10, 2010, well after all the speculation over Apple’s new iSlate product hit the news right after Christmas.

Of course the Tribune Company could have just come up with this domain out of the blue all on its own without having heard of the soon to be released Apple product, but if anyone of us would have registered the domain we would be catching hell.

Right now the domain is going to a Godaddy Landing page in which the first entry is for the “Apps on your iPhone”, which certainly would put any of us domainers under attack if we owned the domain, but if its an “Old Media” company I guess that’s OK.

Here is the whois info on this domain:

Tribune Company
435 N. Michigan
Chicago, Illinois 60611
United States

Registered through:, Inc. (
Created on: 01-Jan-10
Expires on: 01-Jan-12
Last Updated on: 01-Jan-10

Administrative Contact:
Jones, Christie
Tribune Company
435 N. Michigan
Chicago, Illinois 60611
United States
(312) 222-9100      Fax — (312) 222-5166

Technical Contact:
Jones, Christie
Tribune Company
435 N. Michigan
Chicago, Illinois 60611
United States
(312) 222-9100      Fax — (312) 222-5166


  1. says

    Hi Michael.

    It is free and clear to use “Slate” related to its use as a generic product like a slate tablet, but not of course related to slate magazine which they most likely not doing here.

    “Slate” as a computer existed way before Apple decided to use it as iSlate just as “phone” did before its use of iPhone, so I’m a tad confused here.

    It is not cybersquatting unless they registered

    The big question is are they going to use the domain in conjunction with an app for the islate or perhaps there own news slate, nothing would be wrong with that.

  2. MHB says


    The registration of the domain after Apple’s annoucement coupled with the parking page with the first entry going to an Apple product would put this domain in jeopardy.

    The domain could also refer to the Washington Post owned but I’m not sure that company would be happy with that use either

  3. says

    To be clear (maybe we are talking about two different things here) , if The Tribune Company develops a “brand” around “Chicago Slate” and it is related to news via slate app or device, there is nothing against that and expect many such apps in the futre related to games etc.

    We already know many companies are making and marketing “Slate PCs” just like many make laptops, same thing.

    As far as parking, unlike domains that are parked for money, Godaddy is the only one making money if any from any clicks here

    Still fail how to see based on what we know so far how they are getting away with anything.

  4. MHB says


    Yes Godaddy is the only one making money off the parked page but many WIPO and UDRP panels have taken domains away from domain holders even though the domain was going to a parked page owned and operated by the registrar.

  5. says


    assuming Apple will really use the name iSlate, clearly, it don’t become the “owner” of the word “slate”

    it’s not CyberSquatting without use the full name iSlate in a new domain

    however, CAN we say that use the word “iSlate” BEFORE than a product with this name is released by Apple is a form of CyberSquatting?

    my opinion/answer is: “NO”

    NOW, we are free to use the word “iSlate” for ALL the domains we want, and Apple NEVER can ask us to give our iSlate-derived domains to it (despite, Apple has the power and the money to have what it wants!)


  6. GoBuy says

    Is Apple the one that is CyberSquatting? Look at the trademark below of Slate Computing (USA) LLC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY DELAWARE

    Word Mark ISLATE
    Goods and Services IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Computers; computer software, namely, database management software, electronic mail and messaging software, Internet browser software, paging software, database synchronization software, software for accessing, browsing and searching online databases, software for creating spreadsheets, tables, graphs and charts, software for organizing and analyzing data, software for word processing, software for creation and display of presentations including text and graphics, software used for image editing, image processing, image acquisition, image file management, image viewing, image sharing, and the creation of documents incorporating images, software for use in developing websites, software to help users create, edit, organize, search, transfer, publish and subscribe to weblogs, blogs, podcasts, web broadcasts and news and information feeds on global and/or local computer and telecommunications networks, software for use in authoring, downloading, transmitting, receiving, editing, extracting, encoding, decoding, playing, storing and organizing audio, video and still images, software for authoring digital content, software for personal information management, software for DVD authoring, software for the electronic storage and retrieval of electronic calendar files, software with clock and alarm clock functionality, telephony management software, character recognition software, application development tool software for personal and handheld computers, software for the redirection of messages, Internet e-mail, and/or other data to one or more electronic handheld devices from a data store on or associated with a personal computer or a server, and software for the synchronization of data between a remote station or device and a fixed or remote station or device; computer operating system software; computer utility software; computer peripherals. notebook computers; laptop computers; tablet computers; computer servers; handheld computers; mobile computers; hard drives; audio speakers; speakers for computers; radios; cameras; video cameras; telephones; mobile telephones; personal digital assistants; electronic personal organizers; electronic notepads; blank magnetic data carriers; computer gaming machines; microprocessors; memory boards; computer monitors; keyboards; computer input devices, namely, touch screens, styluses, mice, trackballs and shuttle dials; computer cables; modems; printers; computer accessories, namely, computer battery chargers, battery packs, docking stations, adaptors, computer wired and wireless remote controls, audio headphones and earphones, and replacement parts for all the aforesaid goods
    Standard Characters Claimed
    Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
    Serial Number 77048955
    Filing Date November 21, 2006
    Current Filing Basis 1B
    Original Filing Basis 1B;44D
    Published for Opposition June 10, 2008
    International Registration Number 0907247
    Owner (APPLICANT) Slate Computing (USA) LLC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY DELAWARE Corporation Trust Center 1209 Orange Street Wilmington DELAWARE 19801
    Attorney of Record David Jones
    Priority Date May 23, 2006
    Type of Mark TRADEMARK
    Register PRINCIPAL
    Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

  7. rkb says

    Slate is 100% generic and has been used for some 50 years to write info/stuff on it…..all kind of stuff. Schools worldwide used slates for students to write on them with a chalk for ages.

    Now coming back to slate as a table or pc or computer, it has been used in this relation for many years so far….perhaps over 5 years by various pc manufacturers.

    That make the slate 100% generic, no TM at all.

    Plus apple has not even declared that they are calling their tablet iSlate yet……so where does the iSlate tm come from?

    Domains using the word Slate are just good generic domains while domains using the word iSlate may be iffy not because of apple but because of other registered tm as posted in the comment above.

    Michael, you just screwed this story big-time in my opinion.

    Tribune company or anyone else has full rights to buy and use domains with teh word Slate in those.


  8. MHB says


    Apple already owns the trademark on islate (see comments above)

    How about the first results of the landing page going to an apple product?

    How about infringement on the news site which is owned by the Washington Post?

    I have seen worse decisions in WIPO or UDRP than this one would be.

  9. rkb says

    Mike, anything is possible in UDRP as we all know but iSlate and Slate are two different words. Slate generic while iSlate may not be generic.

    Here is another registered tm even before apple’s:

    Mark Image
    Goods and Services IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: computers, namely tablet PC’s. FIRST USE: 20031200. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20031200
    Standard Characters Claimed
    Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
    Serial Number 76613043
    Filing Date September 20, 2004
    Current Filing Basis 1A
    Original Filing Basis 1A;1B
    Published for Opposition June 13, 2006
    Registration Number 3252650
    Registration Date June 19, 2007
    Owner (REGISTRANT) Sand Dune Ventures, Inc. CORPORATION FLORIDA 2629 Manhattan Avenue, #319 Hermosa Beach CALIFORNIA 90254
    Attorney of Record John Cyril Malloy, III
    Type of Mark TRADEMARK
    Register PRINCIPAL
    Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

    Note: there are 323 TMs registered for teh word SLATE and they belong to all kind of things including slate as a material.

    Again, slate has been used universally for writing suff on it for ages.

  10. MHB says


    Still if the domain was owned by one of us ‘bad domainers” and domain was going to the parked page its going to it would be a problem

  11. rkb says

    I agree UDRP never fair to domainers.

    But apple can NOT claim rights to SLATE but may claim the rights to iSlate if they own the TM.

    I believe that Tribune Company can use as a news site just like any regular news site and be ok with it.

    The parking page should not show ads for apple products but showing iphone apps ads is not same as showing iSlate apps ads imo.

    We are talking iSlate here, not iPhone.

    Bottomline Slate to iSlate is same as Phone to iPhone. One is generic while the other (with i) is not generic.

    Also, don’t forget 100s of Slate names registered for many years… Slate itself is generic.

  12. MHB says


    No it seems like its cybersqatting when a domainer does it and perfectly fine when a “big media” company does it.

  13. GoBuy says


    I agree with you, domainers need to be careful not to register anything with iSlate. If you register a domain with the word Slate you better have a development plan and build out the website.

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