Sands Files Lawsuit Against 35 Websites/Domains Including 368.COM, 8227.COM & 9770.COM,

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Las Vegas Sands Corp. (Sands) filed a federal lawsuit on Friday in the United States District Court for the District Of Nevada against the owners of 35 websites/domain names including 368.COM, 8227.COM and 9770.COM.

The suit alleges that the unknown registrants of thirty-five Internet domain names who are using Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s world famous “Sands” trademark, “Jinsha” Chinese characters ( 金沙, meaning roughly, “golden sand” and which is the Chinese equivalent of the “Sands” trademark,) on websites to falsely affiliate themselves with Las Vegas Sands Corp., to lure prospective gamblers to overseas online casinos, and to unlawfully and in bad faith advertise, promote, and provide online casino services and gambling services.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. sued for trademark infringement, false designation of origin, and dilution under the Lanham Act, as well as claims for common law trademark infringement, and common law unfair competition.

The Las Vegas Sands Corp. seeks temporary, preliminary, and permanent injunctive relief, as well as damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs.

Here are the relevant allegations from the lawsuit

Defendants have set up a network of Chinese language Internet websites (all of which are accessible to U.S. citizens) designed to drive Internet users to one or more online casinos. These websites are located at thirty-five Internet domains:

368.com

8227.com

9770.com

22v.com

vns000.com

vns002.com

vns003.com

vns004.com

vns005.com

vns006.com

vns007.com

vns008.com

vns009.com

vn008.com

666cp.com

xjs00.com

xjs11.com

xjs22.com

xjs33.com

xjs44.com

xjs55.com

xjs66.com

xjs77.com

xjs88.com

xjs99.com

vns95500.com

vns95511.com

vns95522.com

vns95533.com

vns95544.com

vns95555.com

vns95566.com

vns95577.com

vns95588.com

vns95599.com

The Sands Alleges their identities are unknown because the domain names were registered using a “privacy protection” service offered by eNom, Inc. or Name.com, Inc., through Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc. or by GoDaddy.com, Inc. through its affiliate DomainsByProxy, LLC.

These companies register domain names without listing the registrant’s true name, email address, or contact information in the publicly available “WHOIS” database of domain name registrants.

The extent of the Defendants’ network of domain names and gambling websites is presently unknown.

To date, however, Las Vegas Sands Corp. has discovered two “directory sites.” These sites are located at 368.com and vns000.com (or 22v.com).

The use of Plaintiff’s marks was no accident. The website is clearly intended to refer to Plaintiff’s world famous resort hotel, as it shows a skyline view of Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore.

The SANDS Marks are embodiments of the substantial goodwill and excellent reputation Las Vegas Sands Corp. and its predecessors have developed since 1952 as a premierprovider of entertainment and casino services. Asa result of the Defendants’ blatant exploitation of Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s trademarks without Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s consent, Las Vegas Sands Corp. has lost control over the SANDS Mark

This loss of control over its goodwill and reputation is irreparable and Las Vegas Sands Corp. cannot be adequately compensated by an award of money damages alone.

As just one example makes clear, while Las Vegas Sands Corp. is a strong supporter of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, and is presently engaged in publicity and lobbying campaigns aimed at defeating measures that would legalize Internet gambling in the United States and elsewhere,the Defendants’ use of the SANDS Marks on the homepages of online casinos, even though unauthorized by Las Vegas Sands Corp., threatens to dilute and detract from Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s message and its efforts to stop the proliferation of online gambling.

Accordingly, the Defendants’ actions have caused and are likely to continue to cause Las Vegas Sands Corp. to suffer irreparable harm and injury unless temporarily, preliminarily, and permanently enjoined by the Court.

The Sands is asking the Court for A temporary, preliminary, and permanent injunction prohibiting the Defendants and their respective officers, agents, servants, employees, and/or all ot her persons acting in concert or participation with Defendants, from:

(1) using the SANDS Marks, or any confusingly similar variations thereof, alone or in combination with any other letters, words, letter string, phrases or designs in commerce, including, without limitation,on any website, in any domain name, in any social network user name, in any hidden website text, or in any website metatag;

and

(2) engaging in false or misleading advertising or commercial activities likely to deceive consumers into believing that any Defendant is the Plaintiff or that any Defendant’s services are associated or affiliated with, connected to, or approved sponsored by the Plaintiff;

An order requiring domain name registrars eNom, Inc., Name.com, Inc., GoDaddy.com, Inc., and/or VeriSign, Inc. (the.com domain name registry) to immediately remove or disable the current domain name server information for each of the domain names and place the domain names on hold and lock pending further order of the Court.

Award of compensatory, consequential, statutory, and/or punitive damages to Plaintiff in an amount to be determined at trial;

An award of interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees incurred by Plaintiff in prosecuting this action; and

All other relief to which Plaintiff is entitled

The case number is  2:14-cv-01049.
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MyRedbook.com Seized By Feds & Owners Arrested

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According to Sfgate.com,  two San Fransisco based websites MyRedbook.com and sfredbook.com were seized by the federal government yesterday.

The alleged operators of the sites, Eric Omuro, and Annmarie Lanoce, were arrested Wednesday.

“Omuro was charged with 24 counts of money laundering in connection with alleged transfers of the website’s revenue into bank accounts.

“Federal authorities are seeking to seize $5.4 million in cash and property from Omuro and Lanoce, the alleged windfall from the operation since April 2010.”

The website allegedly allowed sex workers to advertise their services for free and customers to rank their experiences. It purported to offer escorts, dancers and other adult entertainment.

This Is Why There Needs To Be A Penalty For Someone Bringing A Groundless URS

Talk about a waste of time and money.

You probably will never find a better case for providing a penalty for someone who brings a groundless Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) proceeding than this one.

As you may know unlike the UDRP which at least carries a potential “penalty” in the form of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH) a URS carries no similar “penalty”

In this case the URS involved a three letter generic new gTLD domain.

The domain name Bas.Graphics was registered by QA Graphics of Ankeny, IA.

The Complaint was brought by BAS Services & Graphics, LLC. of Austin, TX, not exactly a household name.

The URS examiner, Mr. Sebastian Matthew White Hughes, gave the complaint a swift kick out of the door finding that the Complainant didn’t even have a registered trademark much less a trademark submitted to the Trademark Clearing House (TMCH) but instead showed up with its 2011 Name Certificate filed with the State of Texas ; its 2014 Florida Limited Liability Company Annual Report; its Articles of Organization; and its Application for Registration of Fictitious Name for “Building Automation Systems Service.

The examiner correctly found that “None of these documents constitute a valid national or regional word mark registration. Complainant has not provided any evidence to satisfy the first limb of the URS. It follows that the Complaint must be denied on these grounds alone.”

However the The Examiner went further to find the Registrant “has been providing services relating to BAS graphics since 2006 and therefore has a legitimate right or interest to the domain and Complainant has failed to establish the domain was registered and is being used in bad faith.”

“”””Respondent contends, as Complainant possesses no relevant trade mark rights, as the incident of consumer confusion relied upon by Complainant predated the date of registration of the domain name, as BAS graphics is a generic term, and as Respondent has been successful in relation to BAS graphics, these proceedings have been brought in order to harass Respondent, and constitute an abuse of the proceedings.

“It appears the proceedings have been brought under the misapprehension that Complainant can rely on common law rights, including Complainant’s various company registration documents. The evidence does however show that Complainant possesses prior common law rights in the term BAS graphics, if nothing else, by virtue of Complainant’s prior registration of the domain name .

“In all the circumstances, the Examiner is not prepared to make a finding that the Complaint is an abuse of the proceedings or that the Complaint contained material falsehoods.”

After Not Spending $20 To Register His Domains, Attorney Sues WordPress, Google and Web.com

Jeffrey Wilens D/B/A Lakeshore Law Center filed a federal lawsuit today against Google, the parent company of Word Press Automatic, Inc, and the registrar TLDS L.L.C. which appears to be owned by Web.com for trademark infringement and violation of the ACPA on his common law marks of Jeffrey Wilens and Lakeshore Law Center along with a bunch of registrants referred to as “Does”

The eight page complaint is in my opinion less than impressive.

We will quote from the Complaint below but basically Mr. Wilens who is an attorney and claims he has common law rights in his name since at least 1992 didn’t bother to register his own name, JeffreyWilens.com since 1992.

Actually no one registered the domain name JeffreyWilens.com until December 9th 2013 when it was registered by a “Konstantin Petrov” of Russia.

The domain was registered through TLDS L.L.C. d/b/a SRSPlus which seems to be a owned by Web.com so he sued them

Mr. Wilens sued Word Press because the guy in Russia used Word Press to put the domain name JeffreyWilens.com into a site.

One of the owners of the domain names is using Google’s Blogger.com service and therefore Google was sued

However what is not mentioned anywhere in the lawsuit is why Mr. Wilens didn’t invest $10 to register the .com domain of his own domain for some 25 plus years when it was available to be registered,

I also have no idea of why Mr. Wilens didn’t file a UDRP on the domain(s) which is much cheaper and quicker rather than sue Companies like Google, Web.com and Word Press in federal court none of which registered the domains.

Also I have no idea of why Mr. Wilens doesn’t seem to know that federal law protects registrars from a lawsuit when a third party uses their service to simply register a domain.

I also have a problem with the statement in the Complaint that the domain holders name “is obviously a fake name and address and in no way related to Plaintiff”

Well I have no doubt that Mr. Petrov is not related to Mr. Wilens but have no idea of how he can say its obviously a fake name.

Finally not sure why Mr. Wiliens is not as upset with the registration of LakeShoreLawCenter.com which was just registered in January under privacy at Reg.com which is the Russian registrar Reg.Ru.

That company was not named in the lawsuit.

Mr. Wilens does own some domains, therefore he knows something about domains and how to register them.

Blame for failing to register you’re own domain name, especially if your a professional like an attorney who uses that name in business and to then fails to register the name of you’re own law firm for more than two decades seems to fall squarely on the attorney, not Word Press or the Registrar or Google.

That’s my two cents here are the highlights of the Complaint:

“”Plaintiff is an attorney licensed in the State of California

Plaintiff holds trademarks or service marks on “Jeffrey Wilens” and “Lakeshore Law Center.”

He has had these since at least 1992.

These common law trademarks are pending registration under serial numbers 86193592 and 86193589 respectively.

Plaintiff operates a national law office under these trademarks and maintains websites at lakeshorelaw.org and creditrepairdebt.org as well as at other Internet locations.

There is only one attorney named Jeffrey Wilens in the USA and only one law firm named Lakeshore Law Center in the USA.

Plaintiff is known for a specialized practice in consumer and employment law and it is not unusual for him to receive inquiries from potential clients throughout the United States.

Over the past 20 years, Plaintiff has spent tens of thousands of dollars advertising and promoting his personal and business name.

Defendant TLDS L.L.C. DBA SRSPLUS is the domain name registrar for jeffreywilens.com.

The registrant for that domain name is listed as “Konstantin Petrov, Montazhnikov 24, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia,” which is obviously a fake name and address and in no way related to Plaintiff.

The registrant also lists a phone number of 812-000-0000, which is a fake number.

Doe Defendant No. 1 is a currently unidentified person who has created a number of websites for the purposes of diverting search engine traffic by clients and potential clients of Plaintiff from Plaintiff’s websites to the websites controlled by Doe No. 1. He did this for purposes of commercial gain and with intent to tarnish or disparage Plaintiff’s marks by creating likelihood of confusion.

To that end, Doe No. 1 created an account with AUTOMATTIC, INC. so that he could create WordPress-hosted websites.

Doe No. 1 was allowed by this defendant to use the trademarked names in prominent fashion. Specifically, Doe No. 1 was allowed by AUTOMATTIC, INC. to create websites using the names: lakeshorelawcenter.wordpress.com; attorneyjeffreywilens.wordpress.com; jeffreywilenslawyer.wordpress.com; unitedvictimsofjeffreywilens.wordpress.com; and jeffreywilenslakeshorelaw.wordpress.com.

Similarly, Doe No. 1 created an account with GOOGLE INC. which allowed him to created a Blogger hosted website using the name jeffreywilens.blogspot.com.

Similarly, Doe No. 1 hired SRSPLUS to register the name “jeffreywilens.com” for a website owned by Doe No. 1. SRSPLUS was immediately aware of the fake registrant information provided by Doe No. 1.

Each of the Defendants knew or should have known Doe No. 1 was not Plaintiff and had no legitimate purpose for using Plaintiff’s personal or business name in the domain name of the websites.

Each of the Defendants is aware their actions were and are contributing to the trademark infringements in that Plaintiff provided written notice on or about March 3, 2014 to each of the Defendants and provided specific information describing the trademark infringements and each particular defendant’s role in perpetuating them. Each of the Defendants responded in writing and stated they would not take any actions to stop the trademark infringements which they were assisting absent an order from a court of competent jurisdiction.

Defendants violated 15 U.S.C. § 1125, subdivision (a) (1) by using in commerce the terms or names “Jeffrey Wilens” and/or “Lakeshore Law Center” in a manner that is likely to cause confusion or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection or association of the ownership of the aforementioned websites.

As a result of these trademark infringements, Plaintiff has suffered damages in that potential and actual clients have been misdirected to the offending websites by virtue of the fact they appear prominently in the list of websites generated by “Googling” Jeffrey Wilens or Lakeshore Law Center. If Doe No. 1 had not been allowed to use the names “Jeffrey Wilens” or “Lakeshore Law Center” as the domain names, the search engines COMPLAINT would not have ranked these offending websites so highly.

Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1116 and 15 U.S.C. § 1117, Plaintiff is entitled to recover equitable relief in the form of an injunction and cancellation of the improper domain names, and damages sustained by Plaintiff.

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION FOR VIOLATION OF THE ANTI– CYBERSQUATTING PROTECTION ACT (ACPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)

Plaintiff has trademark rights to the domain names;

The domain names consist of the legal name of Plaintiff and of his business;

There is no history of prior use of these domain names by Defendants before October 2013;

Defendants intended to divert consumers from Plaintiff’s legitimate websites to sites controlled by Defendants which were set up to harm the goodwill represented by the marks and to disparage the marks and create confusion;

Doe No. 1 provided false contact information when applying to register the domain names and Defendants knowingly published that false information; Doe No. 1 registered or set up multiple websites with domain names Defendants knew were identical or confusingly similar to the marks of Plaintiff and Defendants permitted him to do this.

Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1116, 15 U.S.C. § 1117 and 15 U.S.C. § 1125 (d) (1) (C), Plaintiff is entitled to recover equitable relief in the form of an injunction, forfeiture or cancellation of the domain names being used by Doe No. 1 and transfer of same to Plaintiff, and damages sustained by Plaintiff.

31. In the alternative to actual damages, Plaintiff may elect to receive statutory damages of $1,000 to $100,000 per domain name from Defendants.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment on all causes of action against Defendants as follows:

1. For a permanent injunction enjoining Defendants from misusing Plaintiff’s trademarks or service marks and cancellation of domain names and/or transfer of them to Plaintiff;

2. For actual damages on the first and second causes of action in an amount according to
proof;

3. For statutory damages of $100,000 for each domain name that was misused as alleged
above on the second cause of action;

4. For interest on the sum of money awarded as damages”””

The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Interpol Takes Down Over 10,000 Websites and Targets Rogue Registrars

Interpol takes down over 10,000 websites and targets rogue domain name registrars. In what was the largest global operation ever for taking down bad pharmacies, Interpol included rogue registrars as one of the main areas used by those involved in illegal pharmaceuticals.

Here is the full release:

LYON, France – Nearly 200 enforcement agencies across 111 countries have taken part in Operation Pangea VII targeting criminal networks behind the sale of fake medicines via illicit online pharmacies. The operation led to 237 arrests worldwide and the seizure of nearly USD 36 million worth of potentially dangerous medicines.

In terms of the number of participating INTERPOL member countries, Operation Pangea VII is the largest-ever global operation targeting fake medicines. It resulted in the launch of 1,235 investigations, the removal of more than 19,000 adverts for illicit pharmaceuticals via social media platforms and more than 10,600 websites shut down.

In addition to interventions on the ground, which included the identification and dismantlement of  three illicit laboratories in Colombia, the operation also targeted the main areas exploited by organized crime in the illegal online medicine trade: rogue domain name registrars, electronic payment systems and delivery services.

Operation Pangea VII was coordinated by INTERPOL, with the World Customs Organization (WCO), the Permanent Forum of International Pharmaceutical Crime (PFIPC), the Heads of Medicines Agencies Working Group of Enforcement Officers (WGEO), the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI) and Europol, with support from the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) and private sector companies including G2 Web Services, LegitScript, MasterCard, Microsoft,PayPal and Visa.

As well as raids at addresses linked to the illicit pharmaceutical websites, some 543,000 packages were inspected by customs and regulatory authorities, of which nearly 20,000 were seized during the international week of action (13 – 20 May).

Among the 9.4 million fake and illicit medicines seized during the operation were slimming pills, cancer medication, erectile dysfunction pills, cough and cold medication, anti-malarial, cholesterol medication and nutritional products.

“The sole focus of the organized crime networks behind the sale of these fake and illicit medicines is to make money, and they do not care about the potentially life-threatening consequences of their actions,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

“Operation Pangea has again demonstrated that the joint efforts of law enforcement agencies around the world and with the support of the private sector can have a significant impact in helping to protect the public and turn back crime,” said the INTERPOL Chief.

Following the discovery of the illicit laboratories in Bogota, INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau in Colombia issued the first ever INTERPOL Purple Notices – which seek or provide information on modi operandi, objects, devices and concealment methods used by criminals – in relation to pharmaceutical crime.

NCB Bogota also requested INTERPOL Blue Notices requesting further intelligence regarding suspects in a criminal organization related to pharmaceutical crime in order to trace and locate them.

“The results from Operation Pangea VII are not just about the seizures and arrests, but also about demonstrating the growing commitment from member countries in tackling these crimes, and their increasing expertise,” said Aline Plançon, head of INTERPOL’s Medical Products Counterfeiting and Pharmaceutical Crime (MPCPC) unit.

“The interceptions and seizures physically stop these potentially life-threatening medicines from reaching unsuspecting consumers, but equally as important is shutting down the online platforms used by organized crime to target the public,” added Ms Plançon.

Throughout Operation Pangea VII, INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon served as the central hub for information exchange among the participating countries and agencies. From this base, the WCO’s Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for Western Europe coordinated activities between participating customs administrations via CENcomm and the Pangea team, and a mobile Europol office also conducted cross-checks.

Operation Pangea VII is part of INTERPOL’s Turn Back Crime global awareness campaign, which aims to educate society about the ways in which organized crime infiltrates our daily lives, and to assist the public in protecting themselves.