BusinessInsider Covers EarPods.com: Domain May Sell For $2 Million

We posted about the domain name Earpods.com and how Apple failed to secure the domain prior to the last Apple event where the product was publicly announced last week.

Now BusinessInsider.com has picked up on the story (unfortunately without giving us any credit) and  is talking about a $2 Million dollars purchase price for the domain.

“Want to feel super jealous of someone who struck gold with a super lucky domain name purchase? is how the article starts.

“”How much would it go for?

Hard to say, but Apple has paid anywhere from $1 million to $10 million for domains it needs. It paid $4.5 million for iCloud.com. In a completely unscientific, unsourced discussion in our newsroom, we decided the EarPods.com client is going to walk away with at least a few hundred thousand dollars. The DNSR guy thinks $2 million.”

Comments

  1. Adam Strong says

    icloud was a crucial component to their business.
    $2m for a domain that’s not crucial to their business. No way.

    I bet hugedomains.com and webcomplete.com are kicking themselves (both prior owners)
    Congrats to Mr Sullivan

  2. says

    I remember the same happened with iphone.com, and the reports suggested approximately $1million for that one.

    However the seller at the time didn’t want to disclose the exact price. I think I’d be happy to enter a non-disclosure agreement with Apple for that sort of money too…

  3. says

    Didn’t Apple used to go after domains with pod or pods in them with UDRPs? Not that they’d necessarily have a leg to stand on, but just wondering if it’s more likely that they buy this domain or try to UDRP it.

  4. says

    Additionally BI was not entirely accurate in the article. Brad whom represents this url and was communicating with the writer @ BI made it very clear that we have not, nor will not be contacting Apple seeking an offer. He also never quoted a price target for the url either.

    Our focus is on protecting this IP, should the owner decide to sell or develop the domain, it is solely at their discretion. Unfortunately we live in a very litigious world and as we all know there are attempts made by individuals and corporations on a daily basis to obtain IP that they have no right to.

    Our counsel has defended domain owners from the likes of Sony, Tribune Corp, Pearson, Lego and others all successfully.

  5. globalventures says

    iBill.com, nice michael, albe old company he sold back in the early days…. If apple has not approached the owners yet, I would say they are not pursuing it.. We manage the assets i-phone.com and PhotoStream.com and have not once been contacted by apple yet.. Those guys build create products so its nice when they account new ones that you own the url to as it definitely pumps traffic to the domain.. They dont reach far unless its a core asset but who knows, maybe when they reach 500 billion in the bank they might just decide the domain is something to have for protection…

  6. Paul Omego says

    Folks do you think EarPods.com really worth that much? or is the price included with the selling of the company?In my own opinion that amount is very high if it is for the domain alone.

    What do you think about IpodMaker.com ? will this name make any meaning to Apple or phone buyers? Got it to develop for ipods,iphones,smartphones and accessories and other related items.

    I will appreciate your kind opinions.
    Thanks.

  7. Paul Omego says

    Steve,I checked the link and found some cases between apple and some other people. What do you think? I also own CellphoneMaker.com, does that also have anything to do with apple?

    Thanks so far for your time and hope to hear again from you.

  8. says

    Thanks Paul, Stu, & Michael, for your incisive input. Yes, as far as I am concerned, it’s now ‘good night’ to ipod, ipad, iphone & itunes. Hopefully, there’ll be more time for me to concentrate on ‘controversy-free’ domain names. Thanks again and have a rollicking week-end.

  9. says

    On the UK’s ipo [ Intellectual Property Office ] web-site, I see that Apple has registered “Apple Earpods” as a trademark in the UK , but when one simply enters a search for “earpods” as a trademark,it is not shown to be one.Is it the search web-site that is at fault? Is “earpods” on its own a bona fide Apple trademark?

  10. Paul Omego says

    Bona,Steve and others, before we trow away our domains because of Trademark issues,I think it will be interesting for us to read the article on the link below and see if there is any additional knowledge we can acquire from this discussion. I would love to read your opinions and views,i think it is an interesting article to learn from.Cheers.

    http://www.thedomains.com/2010/07/11/federal-court-rules-against-toyota-in-domain-case-buy-a-lexus-com-buyorleaselexus-com/

  11. says

    Forbes estimates that the new Passbook app will generate $5 billion this year from thin air. They still pay Cisco a $30 per iPhone activated license fee for the use of the name they DONT own iPhone and that’s passed through to the carrier subsidies (Verizon/ATT/Sprint over $10 billion this year)

    Passbook.com is a parked page infringing Apple’s name at every turn. Last known owner prior to going under privacy is our friends at COMPANA, LLC.

    So what’s a few million to Apple to buy or litigate for any name they want.

    btw, They will be dropping the i convention next year so holders better start thinking about offers that may never come again.

  12. says

    By the way, I own the domain names :-

    ear-pod.net and ear-pod.co.uk

    and

    ear-pods.net and ear-pods.co.uk

    Americans may not like hyphens much, but the MOST vibrant PROFITABLE economy in the WORLD , outside China, is Germany and Germany certainly likes hyphenated terms and hyphenated domains.

    What is their BIGGEST brand……and one of the most profitable in the world?

    Mercedes-Benz off course………WITH A HYPHEN !

    What do you reckon on my domains? The Trademark term I find on ISP.org trademark web-site is “APPLE EARPODS” , not “EARPODS”.

    What do you reckon will happen? Will I be tackled by Apple lawyers?

  13. says

    Gypsumfantastic,

    It depends on what “date” you refer to . Do you mean September 12th 2012?
    Is that the date that Apple registered their Trademark ?

    Again……what is the Trademark ? Is it “Apple Earpods” or simply “Earpods”?

    Is Earpods on its own an Apple Trademark?

    AND…..Is Earpods the same as Ear-Pods when it comes to Trademarking ?

    If Apple want to BUY the domains , fair enough, I will talk to them.

    I wonder what Mike Berkens thinks on this issue? He is very knowledgeable.

  14. says

    Here is a section of IPO.gov.uk the official web-site of Intellectual Property Office for the UK .

    By clicking TRADEMARKS and entering APPLE EARPODS, one finds the following entry. There is NOTHING if one enters the word EARPODS alone.

    September 12th 2012 is the date here for the UK.

    Why was APPLE EARPODS a priority in Jamaica ALONE in July 2012?

    IPO Home
    Types of IP
    Patents
    Trade marks
    About trade marks (brands)
    Applying for a TM
    TM forms and fees
    Online TM Services
    Online TM Forms
    Find trade marks
    By number
    By proprietor
    By refused mark
    By word or image
    By decision (following a hearing)
    Trade Marks Journal
    Classification
    Classification information request
    Managing your trade marks
    Other people’s TMs
    Designs
    Copyright
    Other protection
    Hargreaves implementation

    Patents
    Trade marks
    Designs
    Copyright
    Other protection
    Hargreaves implementation

    Reviewed 8 September 2009

    IPO Home>
    Types of IP>
    Trade marks>
    Online TM Services>
    Find trade marks>
    By number>
    Results

    Case details for Community Trade Mark E11182532

    Explanation of terms used on this page
    Mark

    Mark text:
    APPLE EARPODS

    Status

    UK case status:
    New application
    Original language:
    English
    Second language:
    Italian
    Classes:
    09, 35, 38, 41

    Relevant dates

    Filing date:
    12 September 2012

    Priority claims

    Priority date:
    17 July 2012
    Country:
    Jamaica
    Reference:
    060770

    List of goods or services

    Class 09:
    Computers; computer peripheral devices; computer hardware; computer gaming machines; hand held computers, tablet computers, personal digital assistants, electronic organizers, electronic notepads, electronic book readers; handheld electronic game units adapted for use with an external display screen or monitor; handheld digital electronic devices and software related thereto; handheld mobile digital electronic devices capable of providing access to the Internet and for the sending, receiving, and storing of telephone calls, faxes, electronic mail, and other digital data; electronic handheld units for the wireless receipt, storage and/or transmission of data and messages, and electronic devices that enable the user to keep track of or manage personal information; sound recording and reproducing apparatus; MP3 and other digital format audio players; digital audio recorders; digital video recorders and players; audio cassette recorders and players; video cassette recorders and players; compact disc recorders and players; digital versatile disc recorders and players; digital audio tape recorders and players; radios, radio transmitters, and receivers; audio, video, and digital mixers; audio amplifiers; audio receivers; audio decoders; car audio apparatus; earphones, headphones; audio speakers; microphones; audio components and accessories; electronic communication equipment and instruments; audiovisual teaching apparatus; optical apparatus and instruments; telecommunications apparatus and instruments; global positioning system (GPS) devices; telephones; wireless communication devices for voice, data or image transmission; cables; apparatus for data storage; chips, discs and tapes bearing or for recording computer programs and software; facsimile machines; cameras; batteries; televisions; television receivers; television monitors; computer softwar

  15. says

    gypsumfantastic

    I am a farmer [ and tourism operator] so I know only too well that “ear” and “pod” are both agricultural….or botanical…terms. We grow barley. A “ear” of barley is the “seed head” containing something like 20 or 30 grains [ seeds] of barley.
    That is a “ear of barley”. The same applies to wheat.
    A “pod” is a seed container ,or “husk”. The husk is the outer skin of the barley seed or grain.
    So “Ear-Pod” is a well known cereal /agricultural/botanical term . A Ear-pod is a seed husk.
    By what right does a multi-national “johnny-come-lately ” like Apple have to STEAL very old biological / botanical/agricultual common-place words and phrases and take them to be their OWN?
    I am 65 years of age……and for about 55 years of that time an APPLE was simply a FRUIT that grew on a tree. Now a computer company think it OWNS that word too !! As far as I am concerned an apple is STILL a fruit….not some computer company……..just like AMAZON is the gtreatest river [ not the longest…that’s the Nile] in the world……or an ancient race of “warrior women”.

    How come that fairly recently formed commercial companies can STEAL common-place words THAT WERE AROUND IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE ….OR SOME OTHER LANGUAGE…. LONG BEFORE AMERICA WAS EVEN DISCOVERED BY “WHITES”……NOT PROPER AMERICANS…… and treat them as PRIVATE TRADEMARKS ???

  16. Paul Omego says

    Visittheworld,
    I think you are correct with your explanations of the agricultural meanings of your domain,but unfortunately the domain laws had made it look different in order to protect companies good name and image,I also own IpodMaker.com which I agree Apple owns the trademark for IPOD and am very sure there are many others too in the same situation as yours and I,however you will not have any trademark problem with apple if you read and understand the article below,the article may take you about 10 minutes,but i think it worths your time.

    http://www.thedomains.com/2010/07/11/federal-court-rules-against-toyota-in-domain-case-buy-a-lexus-com-buyorleaselexus-com/

  17. says

    @visitworld

    I’m not a lawyer so you should only treat my comments as my own opinion ;-)

    I can see from WHOIS that you have only just registered the domains within the past week?

    So potentially that could become an issue since it’s after Apple’s public announcement about using the term. However your last post sounds like a valid case for you owning those domains.

    I do hope it will turn out ok.

  18. says

    Gypsumfantastic,
    Thanks.
    As I say, I can only see ,according to IPO Trademark listings in the UK, “APPLE EARPODS ” registered as a “Trademark” by Apple Computers.

    The word , or words, EARPOD and EAR-POD , are not Apple trademarks on their OWN. Have you investigated that? Is it different in the USA ?

    The words “ear” and “pod” are clearly botanical/agricultural terms. As a farmer, I may set up a barley/wheat web-site using my Ear-Pod domains. What do you think?

    Anyone else any thoughts on this ?

  19. says

    Paul Omego,
    Thank-you for your input. I have read the Lexus argument, which was good for domainers fighting big business.

    If I may say so, your case is a bit different from mine ,because “IPOD” is not a natural , existing thing , like a “POD”. IPOD is something unique to Apple.It is a new word branded by Apple.
    When it comes to EAR-POD , neither EAR nor POD are new unique words.
    Furthermore , the trademark term, as far as I can see is “APPLE EARPODS”, not “EARPODS”. That is the case on IPO , the official UK Trademark site.
    Is it any different in the USA ? What trademark re EARPOD do Apple have there?

    For there to be any contravention , does the word APPLE have to precede EARPOD?

    I see the Lexus argument, but one does not want to go to Court to argue a similar point of view. It is a very expensive business.
    That couple were selling Lexus cars and did not try to say that Lexus MEANT something else. LEXUS is a brand name .
    I am saying that “Ear-Pods” can mean something other than a listening invention by apple Computers !

    In fact……EARS…..and PODS…….and APPLES….should ALL be BOTANICAL TERMS.

    WHY IS PUSHY BIG BROTHER AND INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS BEING ALLOWED TO STEAL THEM ?? THEY EXISTED TENS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS BEFORE COMPUTERS !

  20. Paul Omego says

    Visittheworld,
    It is true your domains are english and agricultural terms,but it does not make any difference if a company already own the trademark. Ipod is a brand of apple just as Lexus is to Toyota. Earpod too is a brand,product and trademark of apple.

    In the case of the auto broker couple and Toyota,what we have to learn is that the domain name does not really matter when it comes to trademark cases,what matters most is the way you use the domain.The use of the domain name has to be line with nominative fair use ,nominative faie use is not an infringment when you look at the definition.

    I think you will be having problem with apple if you intend to use the site as if it an affiliate of apple or sponsored by apple. If you can go ahead and use the domain for your farming business or for nominative fair use you won have any problem. And if you dont have the money and time to go to court,you better not use the domain for apple related brands business or allow the domain to go.

    But am sure if you can use it as farming related business and within the nominative fair use rule you will be fine. These are what i understand from the article and verdict of the court.Cheers.

  21. says

    Paul Omego,

    1] Has every Trademark dispute reached the same conclusion as the Lexus one? i doubt it. I wager there have been similar ones before that have found in favour of big business.

    2] Is the Trademark “Earpod” in the UK ….or “Apple Earpod”?

    As I have said if one enters “Earpod” into an UK search on IPO .gov , there is no mention of a Trademark.

    If one enters “Apple Earpod” , it is listed as a Trademark.

    What about the USA?

    Cheers.

  22. says

    Here is one internet version of the EarPods story.This is in more detail.

    EarPod .com SINGULAR, sold Hearing Aids !! Apple chose EarPods PLURAL, of course for their new devices.

    I see that AppleEarPods.com is on sale on EBay, according to this account.

    Lucky EarPods.com Domain Owner Wins The Apple Lottery, Could Net $2 Million
    Nicholas Carlson | Sep. 20, 2012, 9:43 AM | 10,854 | 9

    Want to feel super jealous of someone who struck gold with a super lucky domain name purchase?

    Keep reading.

    Way back in 2004, an unnamed client of domain brokerage firm DNSR bought a URL: EarPods.com.

    The plan for this domain, according to a DNSR rep, was to sell a product similar to the one sold at EarPod.com, which sells hearing aids.

    The plan never got off the ground.

    But then: salvation.

    Last month, word leaked that Apple planned to package a new type of earphones with its new iPhone. Last week, Apple made it official. And guess what the fancy new earphones are called? EarPods. Yes, the name is plural, a final piece of luck for DNSR’s super lucky clients.

    The DNSR rep we spoke to says his firm is not actively selling the domain for its client. He says the client only hired DNSR to help “protect” the domain from Apple, which might try grab control of the domain through a “UDRP” with ICANN, the government body that controls domain names. In a UDRP, a trademark owner basically has to prove the prove that someone is squatting on their domain for no purpose other than squatting.

    The DNSR rep thinks his client has a strong case because EarPods.com has been owned since 2004, unlike say, AppleEarPods.com, which is for sale on eBay by someone who has owned it for a couple weeks.

    Blah, blah, blah.

    The DNSR rep didn’t say this, but obviously, the plan is to sell the domain.

    How much would it go for?

    Hard to say, but Apple has paid anywhere from $1 million to $10 million for domains it needs. It paid $4.5 million for iCloud.com. In a completely unscientific, unsourced discussion in our newsroom, we decided the EarPods.com client is going to walk away with at least a few hundred thousand dollars. The DNSR guy thinks $2 million.

    Cha-Ching? CHA-CHING!

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/earpodscom-domain-owner-could-net-2-million-2012-9#ixzz27uArbUKc

  23. says

    Have you seen this information about the EAR POD TREE of Central and South America ?

    Enterolobium cyclocarpum
    Species identity
    Ecology and distribution
    Propagation and management
    Functional uses
    Pests and diseases
    Additional Info
    Bibliography
    Images
    Species identity
    Taxonomy
    Current name: Enterolobium cyclocarpum
    Authority: (Jacq.) Griseb.
    Family: Fabaceae – Mimosoideae

    Synonym(s)
    Albizia longipes Britton & Killip
    Inga cyclocarpa (Jacq.) Willd.
    Mimosa cyclocarpa Jacq.
    Mimosa parota Sessé & Mocino
    Pithecellobium cyclocarpum Mart.

    Common names

    (Creole Patois) : bwa tanis wouj
    (English) : ear fruit, EAR POD TREE , elephant ear, enterolobium, Mexican walnut, pitchwood
    (French) : bois tanniste rouge
    (Spanish) : algarrobo de orejos, dormilon, framboyan extranjero, oreja, oreja de judio, orejon

    Botanic description
    Enterolobium cyclocarpum is one of the largest trees in the dry forest formation, reaching up to 40 m in height and 3 m in diameter, with a huge, spreading crown. Older E. cyclocarpum trees develop small buttresses and produce large roots that run along the surface of the ground for 2-3 m. Sidewalks, roads, or foundations may be cracked or raised by E. cyclocarpum trees growing close by. The bipinnate compound leaves of E. cyclocarpum have 5 opposite leaflets. The small white flowers occur in compact, round heads. Seeds contained in distinctive, thickened, contorted, indehiscent pods that resemble an ear in form; seed 20 x 15 mm, ovate, compressed, dull, reddish-brown, with 100% pleurogram, marked with a yellowish band on each face, punctiform apical hilium concealed or not by whitish funicle; adult trees produce about 2000 pods, each with 10-16 seeds.
    Ecology and distribution
    History of cultivation
    Although E. cyclocarpum is generally considered to have been introduced throughout the tropics mainly as a roadside or garden tree, it is apparently little known or used outside its native range and has never been planted on a large scale, although it has been tested in plantations in Puerto, Ghana and sporadically elsewhere. The history of introductions remains poorly documented and it is unclear exactly how widely distributed this species is, at least in Africa and Asia. It is without doubt widespread and common throughout the Caribbean.
    Natural Habitat
    Colonizing a wide range of habitats, E. cyclocarpum is a climax species in subtropical, dry forest zones, restricted to disturbed areas in wetter forest types. It is a dominant species in all the tree associations in which it is found. In Mexico, it is found in association with Ficus mexicana, Sideroxylon capirit, Trichilia hirta, Ceiba pentandra, and others. Dry seasons of 1-6 months are usual in most of its habitats.
    Geographic distribution
    Native : Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, Mexico, United States of America, Venezuela
    Exotic : Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico

    Biophysical limits
    Altitude: 0-1200 m, Mean annual temperature: 23-28 deg. C, Mean annual rainfall: 750-2500 mm Soil type: E. cyclocarpum tolerates alkaline, calcareous and even acidic soils. Medium-textured soils are probably best, but eroded Ultasols, deep moist clays, shallow sandy clays and porous limestone all allow good development.

    Reproductive Biology
    The small, white flowers are borne in clusters or heads at the base of the leaves. Flowering takes place in March and April during the regrowth of new leaves after the leafless dry season. There is no indication in the literature as to what age flowers 1st appear. Seed dissemination is mainly by cattle, horses and wild ungulates, attracted by the syrupy pulp of the fruits.

    Propagation and management

    EarPods

    I hear you say “Good God!”
    What is this term Ear Pod?
    A barley “ear”,
    Produces beer !
    That’s a “ear” that gets the nod !!

    Wheat also grows a ear,
    Across prairies every year,
    Tilling sun-baked clod,
    Cutting Prairie Sod,
    The steel plow came from John Deere

    John Deere developed the plow,
    That farmers rely upon now,
    Bringing ears of wheat,
    For your bread to eat,
    ‘Cross the Plains from river to brow !!

    And there’s even a Ear Pod Tree,
    Which grows in the tropics, you’ll see !
    Shade from the heat,
    Juicy pods to eat,
    Ear Pod Tree for those farmers is key !!

    So, Ear Pods ?! What do they mean ?
    They’re not new upon the scene !
    Ears.. billions feed!
    Pods…hold the seed !
    Not of apple……but the edible bean !!

  24. says

    I am going to create a web-site, Ear-Pods.co.uk and put those limericks of mine and botanical information on Ear Pods on there.
    You will note from the information on the EarPod Tree, that it is also native of the USA.
    It may have been in the US longer than apples !!

  25. Paul Omego says

    Hi Visittheworld,
    You can go ahead and create your site on Ear-Pods.co.uk with botanical information inside,i dont think there is any problem with that,you are only providing information on agricultural or farming words which though is an apple trademark but totally different from apple tech business.

    You can see that UsApple.org is about apple fruits which is totally different from apple tech business,Apple own the APPLE trademark you see on that domain,but the domain use is different,this is similar to yours,so there is not problem to continue with your plan of developing your EAR PODS domains for agric information business . have a nice weekend.

    Thanks.

    Paul.

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