According to a blog post on paidcontent.org, Verizon has filed suit against Parked.com, the ICANN accredited registrar Directnic and John Doe defendants for cybersquatting on more than 600 domain names.
The 36 page federal suit was filed on January 27th in the Central District of California, including over 8 pages which just lists the domain names at issue.
This is not the first time that Verizon has sued DirectNic.
The suit asks $100,000 per domain in statutory damages, the transfer of all domain names to Verizon, the disgorgement of all amounts generated from the domains and other damages.
Here are some of the domains cited in the suit
:: StolenIdeas.Org :: Lytro Accessories Foundry :: says
Danny Pryor says
*sigh*. You know, these names are obviously infringing on the nameplate, but Parked.com is (mostly) offline and a $100,000 punative per domain, plus disgorgment, plus the transfer of the domains, seems really stupid. In other words, Verison didn’t want to spend the money to get the domains, themselves, and someone else did, and now they’re just acting like little bullies in the sandbox. Sometimes the corporate types act like – to use a somewhat arcane Star Trek reference – “tin plated dictators with delusions of godhood”. Oy freakin’ VAY! Just use the UDRP and get the names, then fuh-getta-bout it!
Back in the real world says
The problem with what you are saying is the fact that with all the different typos and additional words/numbers the amount of potential UDRPs Verizon could file becomes infinite. This is way they not only get the domains but they send a bigger message out to anyone who is considering registering an infringing domain.
Losing a domain to a UDRP that you do not have to turn upto is one thing, thinking that you may get a 100k suit against you is another.
Do you agree with this or think I am way out?
Back is correct
Verizon has its sights on cleaning up the domain traiffe
Parked is done
I agree with “Back in the real world”, however, the domain list is overly broad.
For example, I fail to see why amberzon.com and verioh.com were included above as infringing.
Tier 1 Development says
Not on this list, http://www.VerizonMifi.com. It’s an interesting way to avoid getting throw into the middle of this. Don’t know if it will hold up though.
they do this because they can.
they’ve done it plenty before and ended up with judgments for millions.
…is this perhaps why parked.com turned off the lights a while back and switched to some other name?
Steve Jones says
I wonder if some companies will see lawsuits like this and opt not to get their typos or infringing names in order to leave them as bait. That obviously doesn’t excuse anyone who would get those domains, but $100,000 per domain is more than any of those domains would make in a lifetime.
suspect verizon itself registered the names and asking money with registrar and parking company
I am happy for this. Its about time that sleazy DirectNIC / Parked / IntercosmosMedia / NOLDC / Kenyatech / Solares / et al get it and get it good.
That explains why they shut down in a hurry.
$66 million is nuts though.
Probably more than the value of the company, let alone revenues from those 660 domains.
I was just chuckling to myself thinking of all the collective time and money wasted by A) everyone involved in registering these domains in the first place B) the Verizon corporate lawyers who have to justify their existence by suing everyone they can think of and C) the people and entities who now have their lives turned inside out over a bunch of worthless domains.
This should be a lesson for other parking companies. Start scanning the list of domains parked and remove the obvious TM domains.
Michael H. Berkens says
The bottom line is typo TM domains make money.
The only one in the food chain that never get sued is the up-line provider who monetizes the domain on behalf of the domain holder collects the ad revenue and pays the money to the domain holder directly or through a parking company.
In this case that appears to have been Yahoo
Looks like same lawsuit, new venue
Whether parking typo TM domains makes money or not is a moot point don’t you think? And why should Yahoo get sued anyway? It is the parking company and the domain owner who have knowingly profited from trademark infringement. Yahoo doesn’t have any safe-guards in place to limit which domains their ads appear on. That is the responsibility of the parking / monetization platform. In the end it is almost always going to come back and bite perpetrators right in the @ss. If every domain investor were to throw caution to the wind and not consider the legality of their actions simply because there was a chance to make a profit where would we be?
Michael H. Berkens says
No I think its far from a moot point
If there was no money to be made in parking of TM domains you would not see third parties registering these domains.
Why shouldn’t Yahoo be liable as well.
Why should Yahoo and Google be able to make money and keep the money they make on TM domains?
Yahoo doesn’t have any safeguards in place?
Why aren’t they required to?
Why are some in the food chain get a pass and others held liable?
Why are you willing to hold a parking company liable while letting the upstream provider who is the one who creates the food chain off the hook completely?
(they are the ones who have the advertisers and bill and collect the money)
You wrote, “If there was no money in the parking of TM domains you would not see third parties registering these domains.”
So what? If there was no money in illegal drugs no one would sell them either.
The end does not justify the means.
Michael H. Berkens says
I’m not justifying registering and/or the monetization of the domains, if I thought it was legal and fine and dandy to do then I would have been doing it for the last 12 year and I would have $10’s of millions in the bank
I was just addressing your comment above:
I was just chuckling to myself thinking of all the collective time and money wasted by A) everyone involved in registering these domains in the first place””
I was telling you why it happens as it seems you were looking for an answer
I hear ya. I was just expressing that whether profitable or not, TM & related typo domains making money is a secondary consideration because of the legal issues. So whether or not you can make money with them is moot. I’ll shut-up now 🙂
Wouldn’t SOPA stop this from being news 🙂
“I was just chuckling to myself thinking of all the collective time and money wasted by A) everyone involved in registering these domains in the first place”
No. It’s all automated and legit according to peeps like Mike Mann (on his Facebook TMs).
“This whole thing is a mistake, we have fewer tm names in our collection than anyone and have lost almost no cases. These were registered by an automated system, not by hand, in any case we are trying to give them to FB for free eventhough they are rich and rude if they would merely stfu and contact us.”
There you go. Lawsuits are just really really expensive emails.
Tier 1 Development says
You’re joking right? Of course Yahoo has a way to monitor these things. They block domains all of the time. But like many companies they sometimes turn a blind eye to these kinds of things when there’s millions of dollars in click rev involved. If they’re serving up ads for Verizon on these domains there’s no excuse for it.
Does anyone know if a domain owner has ever been hit with the actual $100K per domain judgement?
Michael H. Berkens says
No, I’m sure Yahoo could prevent Verizon ads from showing up on parked typo domains of “Verizon” misspellings across any and all partners within their network if they had to. I just don’t think they should have to.
Mann up says
Ah mike Mann god bless you
The old automated script huh
Second time I’ve heard that this month
What amazes me is these supposedly brilliant über domainers who rely on crap excuses like
Google is responsible
We caught them with a script
We never heard of bergdorff goodman
Yada yada yada
No one in the know believes any of it
Bala Subramaniam says
I think parked.com closed in a hurry due to this. But however the lawsuit seems to be pathetic. Where verizon have been all these days? Were they in out of the planet? They should have identified it ask the registrar for a transfer promptly. Simply creating issue / legal action shows verizon is not interested about TM. But only interested in bad publicity & harrasing other corporates and bring them for a settlement.
How about they go after the registrars too. Like GoDaddy, Name, Dynadot, and so on??? Registars could put in blocks for “big name” known brands and prevent the names from being registered. To go one step further, these very same companies shouldn’t be able to throw ads up on your domain name once you buy it. They violate just as many, if not more, TMs every single day and profit from it.
SEO Translator says
Sorry, but I have trouble understanding how domains like “verioh.com”, “verixoncentral.com” or “amberzon.com” could be infringing anything from Verizon. What happens, everything that has “very” or “zon” in it belongs to Verizon? Come on!
I could understand that Verizon claims for anything that contains the word “Verizon” in it, but this is ridiculous… next they’ll chaim that anything containing the letters “v”, “e”, “r”, “i”, “z”, “o” or “n” is cybersquatting…
In any case, why did they do not buy those domains themselves? And is there not an approved process for claiming domains that infringe copyrights to prevent exactly this kind of situations? Like stated above, this is just the Internet bully….
Michael H. Berkens says
Well I think its the totality of the registrations.
It is doubtful the would have filed a federal lawsuit to get any one of the domains you sited if they were owned by different people, but once they have hundreds of obvious TM infringing domains registered by the same party and they have to go through the cost of filing, pursing the suit and collecting a judgement if they are successful from a company located outside the US, I would expect them to go after any conceivable TM infringing domains.
Donny Domaineer says
In the development of Internet vocabulary or computer jargon, “domaineering” is relatively new marketing term from a Professor named William Lorenz of Canada.
According to Lorenz, domaineering is the niche web-based marketing business of acquiring and monetizing Internet domain names by purposely focusing on their use specifically as an advertising medium. In essence, the domain names function as meta tags for virtual Internet billboards with generic domain names being highly valued for their revenue generating potential derived from attracting Internet traffic hits. Revenue is earned as potential customers view pay per click ( PPC ) ads or the Internet traffic attracted may be redirected to another website. Hence, the domain name itself is the revenue generating asset conveying information beyond just functioning as a typical web address. As the value here is intrinsically in the domain name as an information carrying vehicle and not in a website’s products or services, these domains are developed for advertising, ( i.e, “parked” ), and not into “conventional” websites. It is a mistake to characterize a parked domain as “undeveloped” when in fact many are among the most highly specialized and monetized domains being as they are used solely for the purpose of advertising.
As with traditional advertising, domaineering is considered part art and part science. Often to be the most effective as an advertising tool, the domain names and their corresponding landing pages must be “engineered” or optimized to produce maximum revenue which may require considerable skill and keen knowledge of search engine optimization ( SEO ) practices, marketing psychology and an understanding of the target market audience, including demographics and buying habits. Domaineering generally utilizes a firm offering domain parking services to provide the sponsored “ad feed” of a word or phrase searched for thus creating a mini-directory populated largely by advertisers paying to promote their products and services under a relevant generic keyword domain. Occasionally content is added to develop a functional mini-website.
Ethical domaineers contend that their product, i.e., “domain advertising”, is a bona fide offering of goods or services in and of itself which provides rights to and legitimate interests in the generic keyword domains they use. This serves as a rebuttal or defense in addressing occasional spurious accusations of cybersquatting on trademarks. Domaineers and others who advertise online using generic keyword domains believe domaineering provides a useful, legal and legitimate Internet marketing service while opponents of domaineering decry the practice as increasing the ubiquitous commercialization of the world wide web. Those same opponents of domaineering suggest that a better use would be for one firm to develop a website for it’s products using a relevant generic keyword domain pointed at or as it’s url oddly for the same commercial purposes they cite the domaineer using it as, i.e., advertising. Having, however, one firm control a relevant generic keyword domain in this way to exclusively market it’s own products under could be viewed as a significant barrier to entry by denying potential or actual competitors the same advantage to penetrate a market or maintain / increase market share. Domaineers instead can offer their generic keyword domains to several or more firms to advertise under thus promoting healthy competition and making markets more perfect than they otherwise might be which benefits consumers.
Domaineering aka “domain advertising” is practiced by both large organizations which may have registered hundreds or even thousands of domains, ( example: toothpaste.com ), to individual entrepreneurial minded domaineers who may only own one or a few. The identification and defining of domaineering as a distinct Internet advertising practice is often attributed to Canadian Professor William Lorenz’s pioneering work in ecommerce evolution.
“Domaineering” is sometimes mistakenly confused with the similar sounding word “domaining” when the two are distinctly different in meaning. Domaining, in computer terminology or Internet slang, is best defined as primarily speculating on Internet domain names as intellectual property investments for resale. Domaining may, but does not require, the use of domain parking services. In domaining, generating advertising revenue from domain parking, ( if done at all ), is considered something of a bonus while awaiting a sale of the domain. In short, domaining is the speculation on domains for capital gains by those commonly referred to as “domainers”.
Any business or organization that selects a generic keyword domain that is descriptive of it’s product or service for (re)direction to it’s website is essentially practicing domaineering. Using generic domain names for advertising has become a common practice and is generally legal.
Using an fanciful, famous and registered trademark without permission of the owner is not domaineering.
Joseph Slabaugh says
And 2 and a half year later, see the domains that are still registered, vs the ones that are dropped. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12NMcqc-AorQKp5qW74CDDk1pLE60mQyI9joZgErDkjo/edit?usp=sharing