Despite Trademark Domainer ECorp Beats Back UDRP On ChannelGuide.com

A well known domainer Chad Folkening, Ecorp beat back a UDRP from a powerhouse, the Tribune Media Services, Inc. of Chicago, Illinois, on the domain name ChannelGuide.com despite the presence of a bang on trademark,  the domain being used as a parked page and the case being decided by only a one person panel.

Here are the relevant parts of the decision:

“Complainant is the owner of United States Trademark Registration No. 1,943,605 for the CHANNEL GUIDE trademark, covering “magazines featuring programming information for television and cable television networks” in International Class 16.”

“Complainant’s predecessor-in-interest first used the CHANNEL GUIDE mark in 1984, and first registered the mark in 1995.”

“The Domain Name was created on June 26, 1997.”

“It is undisputed that Complainant has long-established rights, through use and registration, in its CHANNEL GUIDE trademark.”

“Complainant maintains that Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the Domain Name because, while Respondent has been using it commercially, Respondent has made no bona fide use of it. Respondent is not affiliated with Complainant nor has Complainant authorized Respondent to use the CHANNEL GUIDE mark.”

“Respondent is not using or preparing to use the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods and services, as evidenced by the fact that the Domain Name’s website contains nothing more than pay-per-click links and does not itself offer any original content.”

“According to Complainant, Respondent is not making a legitimate noncommercial or fair use, but instead is using the Domain Name in a misleading manner to attract consumers looking for Complainant’s CHANNEL GUIDE services, and then diverting them through links to third-party websites, including sites of Complainant’s competitors. ”

“The Panel finds that Complainant has made out a prima facie case on this showing as supported by the evidence Complainant has submitted.”

“Respondent asserts that it has a legitimate interest in the Domain Name because it is made up of two common dictionary terms that were attractive to use as an integral part of the development of its “Broadband Channel vertical” and as an introductory directory site for its 1,089 other channel-related domain names, both of which constitute bona fide purposes. As discussed above, while Respondent concedes that the Domain Name is currently linked to a pay-per-click site, it stresses that it is making, and has been making for years, substantial preparations to use the Domain Name. This is purportedly evidenced by Respondent registration of the 1,089 other channel-related domain names, which Respondent claims will be listed in a vast directory through a site linked to the Domain Name, and as part of a well-developed system of resources related to Broadband Internet services.”

“The Panel finds that Respondent’s statements are unconvincing, where it claims that it intends to use of the Domain Name for a “Broadband Channel vertical” or for a vast directory of channel-related domain names. The Domain Name, despite Respondent’s ownership for almost 14 years, has been used for nothing other than to link to a pay-per-click website. ”

“The Panel, using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, checked random dates spanning the last 10 years and found that, in all cases, the Domain Name was linked to pay-per-click web pages. ”

“The same is true for Respondent’s other channel-related domain names, such as <businesschannel.com>, <videochannel.com> and <muscichannel.com>. Thus, there is no evidence that Respondent is or has been making substantial preparations to use the Domain Name for any of the reasons alleged by Respondent.”

“The Panel finds that, in view of the evidence before it and Respondent’s unconvincing arguments, Respondent has failed to rebut Complainant’s prima facie showing and has failed to establish any rights or legitimate interests in the Domain Name based on preparations to use it or actual use.”

“the Panel concludes that Respondent’s use of the Domain Name (in connection with a pay-per-click site with links to Complainant’s competitors) constitutes a bad faith and infringing use. ”

However the panel found:

“There is insufficient evidence to show that Respondent targeted Complainant and its CHANNEL GUIDE trademark, and thereby intended to disrupt Complainant’s business, when it registered the Domain Name almost 14 years ago in 1997. “

“The CHANNEL GUIDE mark is comprised of two common words and Complainant has provided little evidence of the mark’s reputation or distinctiveness (outside of the trademark registration itself), all facts which weigh against a finding of relevant notice and targeting in this case.”

“”Further, Respondent has registered thousands of “channel-related” domain names, which is another point that weighs against a finding that there was targeting of Complainant’s trademark, in particular. “

“Respondent has also indicated that the USPTO’s on-line searchable trademark database was not available in 1997, when the Domain Name was registered. “

“In view of all the facts and circumstances presented in this case, the Panel determines, on balance, that the Domain Name was not registered in bad faith, even if it has been used by Respondent in an infringing and bad faith manner. This case is better suited for a court rather than UDRP procedures.”

 

Breaking: It’s Offical Overstock.com Is Changing Its Name To O.Co

 

 

Last week when the .CO registry announced it has surpassed 1 Million domain name registrations it teased that there would be a major announcement coming today from Overstock, and as we guessed on our post at the time,  Overstock.com officially announced today that it is going to start transitioning the changing of  its name from Overstock.com to O.Co starting with the stadium naming deal of the home of The Oakland Raiders and The Oakland A’s.

According to AdAge.com, the change will be reflected today as a new sign will be installed at the home of the Oakland Raiders and Oakland Athletics and it it will read:

O.co Coliseum.

The first event in the new O.Co stadium is a U2 Concert tomorrow night.

Yes U2 is going to rock the O.Co.

The next highly visible change  is if you go to Overstock.com today you will see that the website logo has also changed:

“O.co, also known as Overstock.com”

Before today the site said :Overstock.com also known as O.co.:

TV ads will begin to reflect the change to O.co after Father’s Day.

“O.co will keep on emerging as our brand,” he said. “It’s been a gradual transition. We didn’t want to risk throwing out the brand equity we’ve built with Overstock.com. … I think if it all works really nicely, you’ll just see Overstock.com fade away and O.co take its place.”

Overstock President Jonathon Johnson likened the change to when Kentucky Fried Chicken changed its name to KFC. “Our business has changed. We used to be a pure liquidator and our product was all overstock.

“We’ve been known for a long time as the O. TV commercials back in 2004 used ‘It’s all about the O.’”

The company said O.co as a brand name also works better globally, whereas the word “overstock” is sometimes difficult to translate. While Overstock has what Mr. Johnson called a “nascent” global footprint, he said it plans to grow significantly and begin to build “in-country” presence overseas.

The company says that 20% of its customers are going directly to the O.co homepage vs. Overstock.com.

UPDATE:  The official press release is now out on the Stadium

 

Was SnapNames “Verisign High Traffic Score” Domain Name Auction Just A Big Domain Tasting Experiment?

A few days ago we posted about SnapNames.com Flash auction of over 600 domain names “recently registered by SnapNames due to their high VeriSign Data Analyzer Traffic Score and Generic Word strength!”

Today, courtesy of a reader, it appears that many of the unsold domains from this auction have now been deleted and are available again for registration.

As we noted in our original post the domains in the auction were registered on June 1st.

As of publication here are just a few of the domains that were in this auction that are now available for hand registration:

blackfoto.com

blackmailorder.com

bluefaq.com

bluenoel.com

bluetaste.com

dentonhealthcare.com

echocottage.com

monsterweapons.com

fortunefrog.com

gotoanguilla.com

helloalgeria.com

hitechspot.com

honolulugolfcourses.com

insideresort.com

interestcarloan.com

ipoone.com

ipsrc.com

ishmo.com

isomalia.com

issix.com

isthree.com

ivytax.com

jobssenegal.com

kalamazooyouthsoccer.com

kidbelt.com

kinads.com

lansingmortgages.com

lawhalf.com

likerev.com

linuxand.com

lowestnews.com

So it appears that a lot if not all of the unsold this auction were deleted by the registrars that registered the domains.

This of course was called domain tasting back in the day.

While some thing domain tasting is no longer possible that isn’t the case.

What changed was an increase of fees and the number of give back registrations allowed per registrar, making the registration of tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of registrations a day with a 2% retention rate not economically feasible.

Add into the fact that many different registrar tags with Snapnames affiliation were used to register the domain and the a portion of these domains for $69 or more than that will more than cover the costs of the domains that don’t sell.

In the aftermath it seems that this auction was a experiment in domain tasting 2.0

 

Our Picks From The Live DomainFest Barcelona Auction

There are 70 domains currently listed for the Live DomainFest auction from Barcelona which will be held on June 8th at 12pm EST.

Remote bidding will be available at Snapnames.com, and pre-bidding is currently opened.

We have went through the list of domain names in the auction and here are our thoughts.

As of time of publication we should note that 4 domain names have bids and have met reserve:

gado.com

seoagencies.com

houses.co.uk

semexpert.com

We should also note that none of the domains in the auction are owned by us and

I think one of the domain names in the auction, best describe the auction:

MuchoDinero.com (reserve $10k-$25K)

There are some killer domains at some big prices but they maybe well worth it and I wouldn’t be surprised to see  any of the below domain sell.

Having said that here are our picks:

First our picks from the $100K+ domains:

Data.com ($1M-$5M) we know that  Datacenters.com recently sold for $350K, so $1M would seem to be a bargain for this one, but the reserve could be closer to $5M then to $1M, its a pretty wide range $1M-$5M, but its a killer name.

The Domain has a Google Page rank of 6.

Social.com ($5M+) if the online world can be described in one word right now “social” might be it.

According to Compete.com, the domain has gotten monthly traffic in the last year ranging from a high of 57,000 visitors a month (a year ago) to 7,500.

Alexa.com ranks this domain in the top 250K of all sites.

This domain has gotten some mainstream press this last week here, and here, and wouldn’t be surprised to see it sell north of $5M.

Twitrbackgrounds.com ($100K-$250K)  Of course this is not just a domain but a site, one which gets quite a bit of traffic.

According to Compete.com this site generated between 38,000-98,000 visitors a month over the last year.

The site has an Alexa ranking of 35,000.

The site also has a Google Page Rank of 6.

CheckCashing.com, huge high paying topic.  The site has traffic between 4K-10K in the past year according to Compete.  There are a ton of Check Cashing brick and mortar stores around the US and I bet there are several with 10 miles of where ever you live.

This is a category killer.

Skills.com ($100k-$250K) is another nice one word .com which has some traffic and would be a good domain for a jobs or education site.

For those with a smaller budget these domains look most interesting:

BodySculpting.com ($5K-$10K) might just be the best buy in the auction.  Its a huge cosmetic surgery procedure and the cost of one procedure is probably more than the reserve price.

DuffelBag.com ($5K-$10K) nice name for luggage site or web 2.0 domain.

FreeHostingPlan.com ($1K-$2,500) seems like a no-brainer at this price point.  We wrote a post on the flip of the domain name WebsiteHosting.com just a couple of days ago.

NicotinePatches.com ($5K-$10K) nice product name

TireStores.com ($5K-$10K) there are thousands of these in the US alone and some huge chains.

HardAbs.com ($1K-$2,500) one of those fitness related terms and one of the things people try to get by going to the gym.  Nice name for a informerical, how many of these type of products have you seen advertised?

SpamFilters.com ($10K-$25K) Huge category and a cheap price especially for any company which sells such a product.

So those are my picks.

In all if one of the big domains pop, the auction and the industry is going to get huge coverage so lets hope.

Finally I have an observation on the domain name Fares.com ($750K-$1M).

Oversee which is the owner and operator of DomainFest.com, own the site LowFares.com which is one of its major development projects.

Personally I think Fares.com its a nice name but I have to note that the owner of the auction owns LowFares.com and doesn’t want to pick up Fares.com, instead listing it for sale, I have to wonder if the domain name is as valuable as the reserve price.

Those are my thoughts.

You can continue to vote for your favorite (up to 3 at one time) on our poll on the right and we will close it on Wednesday Morning before the auction.

Pure Opinion: Oversee.net Should Disclose The Traffic Numbers Of Those Verisign High Score Domains

Yesterday I wrote about a flash auction Oversee was holding on over 600 domain names “recently registered by SnapNames due to their high VeriSign Data Analyzer Traffic Score and Generic Word strength!”

As of time of publication, 24 domain names have bids.

The auctions expire over the next three days with Sunday having the most closing auctions.

This is a ground breaking auction in some ways since its the 1st auction I can remember anyone selling all the domains based off of a metric.

Ok just so we are all clear here Verisign provides this Data Analyzer Traffic Score report on a daily basis to any and all ICANN accredited registrars that request it.

Oversee.net owns more than one registrar and therefore can and obviously gets the report.

The program has been around a while, I want to say for at least 6 months but it could be longer.

The purpose of the data release is to encourage more registrations of dropped domains, after all the more .com registrations the more VerSign makes.

So VeriSign isn’t just doing it to do it, they are doing it to increase registrations and therefore there bottom line.

Nothing wrong with that.

The assumption is if a domain has a high score its going to have traffic and going to be worth registering for less than $8.

But its just an assumption.

Like other measuring tools, like Alexa.com traffic data can be inaccurate and certainly not all traffic is created equal.

So a drop name with traffic may have as its source of traffic; bot traffic, spam traffic or other monetize-able traffic.

Now its a fair assumption that SnapNames has been taking advantage of the list, registering domains on the drop and now has the benefit of seeing the traffic on the domains it registered.

Remember there is no more tasting so basically if you register a domain that you think has traffic to find out it has none, you own it.

Now they have put up over 600 domains they registered based off of VeriSign’s info but have had the benefit of tasting the traffic for a couple of days as a quick check of these domains find most were registered on June 1.

So again a fair assumption is that these domains maybe didn’t have the traffic or at least monetize-able traffic and therefore Oversee is now selling them for 7x their cost.

Smart Business.

Of course they know they aren’t going to sell a large percentage but they are trying to recoup some of their registration fees for what I’m guessing is dead inventory.

For every 1 they sell they cover the cost of 10.

So here the point of the post, since Snapames is promoting these domains as having a high VeriSign Score, basically selling domains based on metrics not on quality, then  Snapnames.com should be giving you parking stats as well, at least visitor counts.

While SnapNames is giving yallowing you to see the VeriSign Score for each, what they aren’t showing you,  which IMHO they also should be showing you is  at least one day of parking stats.

After all the domains are parked.

By DomainSponsor another OverSee.net company.

So Snapnames has those stats.

They should be disclosed along side the VeriSign score.

If your going to sell domains by metrics alone then disclose all the metrics and let the buyer decide.

Just my opinion.