Well it seems as the trademark lobby predicted there isa lot of cybersquatting going on in the new gTLD space, a lot more than I thought we would ever see.
I was one who thought there would be a negligible amount of trademark infringing domain names registered in the new gTLD space due to the high cost of registration and the small probability of any type in traffic.
However just looking at the most recent 400 UDRP/URS cases filed or decided, 69 concerned new gTLD’s domain names (multiple domains in the same UDRP were only counted once) which represents over 17% of the 400 cases.
Based on the last Verisign Domain Industry Report, there are 280 Million registered domain names as of June 30th 2014 and as today just 3.5 Million domain names are new gTLD’s or less about 1.25%
So the number of UDRP/URS cases filed to all UDRP’s to the number of gTLD’s registrations to total registrations based on the last 400 cases, is more than 15x higher.
Once the year is over we can get exact figures on the number of cases filed on new gTLD’s Vs. all other domains and then look at the number of cases where the domain name was ordered transferred in the new gTLD space compared to all other new gTLD extensions.
Here are the new gTLD’s we are citing in the above stats:
Domainer Extraordinaire says
Those are clueless cybersquatters that are finding out that zero traffic = zero revenue. The new tld operators are counting on these names to end up in TM holders hands so they will get renewed every year.
Called it! I’ve seen this coming. I’ve been warning my customer base about this exact issue. Though they own trademarks for their name. It costs anyone time/legal fees to deal with domain squatters. I’ve had some customers have domain names which represent their business, forward to porn sites even. Whether it was a domain squatter or a former employee.
Mind you it seems like squatters are also walking right into a trap. However I wonder what percentage of these names were purchased by people who have no idea what cybersquatting is, and simply want to become “domainers” and have no idea what they are walking into.
Thanks for this analysis. I have to say from .CLUB’s perspective, we are frustrated, not with the brands but with the companies and lawyers that serve the brands. .CLUB firmly believes that it is better to have the names in the trademark holders hands vs. domain squatters. And yes I think I can call them that if they are actually registering distinct trademarks (not generic words). We have worked tirelessly to get the word out including advertising in legal blogs, and reaching out to all of the corporate registrars in person about our sunrise and landrush. Very recently, .CLUB offered an extended landrush for names that had already went through sunrise and with a little bit of analysis discovered that 2400 names that were registered in the USPTO were also made available in general availability. If you follow my tweets over the last couple of weeks you would see my frustration with names being registered by what appears to be domain squatters. Just yesterday, I tweeted Twitter.club being registered by someone in Egypt.
My frustration does not lie with brands. In fact, many brands have been snapping up premium .CLUB names including Mary Kay and Disney. The brand managers love .CLUB, not just because we are the most popular new TLD (by many measures) but also because we have a name that resonates very well with the brands. The problem squarely lands with the lawyers and those representing the companies that have failed to have recognized which TLDs these companies need to register their names with. I completely agree with the premise that they should not register every new gTLD – its cost prohibitive but to do nothing is equally a bad strategy. I think it is pretty simple, if its a top 10 name like .CLUB and if it is relevant (almost every fortune 1000 company has a loyalty program), then the name should be set aside. At a minimum it should be registered in general availability for 10 bucks.
Michael Berkens says
I agree Colin and have written many times about the fact that a lot of cybersquatting activity in general is the fault of the brand holders for not registering domain names they should have registered.
what percentage of these cases all involve one particular individual and .email as the gTLD?
That guy has to be close to setting a record of some sort….
Does that mean that TM holders should register all their trade names and variations across all possible TLDs ? (currently hundreds, soon thousands)
Agreed. As well If you’re business name is Joe Blow’s Marketing Services, at the very least protect your business name with joeblowsmarketing.services. I think when looking at the master list, it can be a little bit overwhelming for people, and those who understand brand protection think they HAVE to protect their name on each and every GTLD.
this is all a lawyer play. if not for them not the brands or anyone else would know or care that these domains exist. these idiots waste their money and eventually let the domain expire. if they’d just ignore it they’d save themselves time and money.
Joseph Peterson says
Have to agree, on the whole.
If a company has no interest in using a squatted-on domain, is leaking no or negligible traffic to that domain, loses no customer emails to that domain, sees no reason why its customers would view the domain as a plausible representation of the company, and has no reason to think the domain is being used nefariously, then who cares that some cybersquatting fool has registered it?
If paid no attention, such cybersquatting starves, withers away, and dies.
Every time a lawyer gets involved, someone else decides to settle and buy from the cybersquatter. And that only encourages them.
Once companies decide to ignore cybersquatters, then the parasites are left with no incentive to pay renewal fees.
In my opinion, the only rational reason to wrest a trademark-infringing domain out of a squatter’s hands is if the domain is doing some actual damage.
If we become obsessed with the numerous mites that live in our eyelashes, we’d only go mad plucking at them.
David J Castello says
Press releases, like this one from dotXYZ, certainly don’t help the situation. Read this, it’s like ringing the dinner bell for cybersquatters: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2375348
Michael Berkens says
Each company is going to have to decide what is best for them
I know there are companies that have hundreds or thousands of brands but I have seen some UDRP’s filed that are should have been no-brainer registrations.
So you got Dior lets say Dior.clothing would have been a no-brainer but they didn’t register it and then UDRP or URS it. Now if Dior didn’t register Dior.army or Dior.accoutant that would not get a the same type of comment from me.
If your business and your main brand is know for one of 3 or 5 things in the world yes I think the should have registered those
should have Virgin registered VirginAtlantic.flights, yes
virginatlantic.plumber not so much
Michael Berkens says
YoYo.email is the company your talking about
They have 31 UDRP/URS that have been filed against them so far
Only 5 .email domains are mentioned about and not all owned by YoYo
Donuts Inc. says
Mike, the piece in question is this: “Based on the last Verisign Domain Industry Report, there are 280 million registered domain names as of June 30th 2014 and as today just 3.5 Million domain names are new gTLD’s or less about 1.25%”
By this logic, you’re saying that new TLDs are only 1.25% of all domain names, but 17% of UDRP/URS and, therefore, a 15x ratio.
However, the 1.25% number is misleading. A better comparison is the ratio of names created in legacy TLDs and ccTLDs in 2014 (these tend to be more subject to trademark action) — this is more like five million per month, or about 55 million since new TLDs launched. Therefore, 3.5 million new domains vs. 55 million names in legacy TLDs is a ratio of 6.5%. Using these numbers, your headline changes to “2.5x as much”.
If you outline that concept in another way, to make an apples-to-apples comparison, if you want to include the full 280 million, you should also cite the number of UDRP claims filed since these zones were first opened.
There’s also the potentially significant error of counting URS filings, since URS isn’t available for legacy and ccTLDs. It’s not surprising there are more than a few URS, since it’s cheaper and more efficient.
Michael Berkens says
I disagree with the premise that “A better comparison is the ratio of names created in legacy TLDs and ccTLDs in 2014 (these tend to be more subject to trademark action)”
We talk all the time about UDRP filed on domain names many years after they were registered.
One would have to look at every UDRP/URS filed lets say one month, after the first new gTLD was registered and see with regards to the legacy TLD and ccTLD’s subject to a UDRP how many were registered within one year of the filing Vs. how many were filed that were registered more than a year before the UDRP filing.
My guess based on looking a hundred of these cases a year is there are a lot more UDRP’s filed on domains registered a year after registration than you think
A lot more
I also look at the cases filed everyday I’m telling you that my gut looking at these cases everyday its trending not in favor of the new G’s, they will wind up anyway you slice it with a much higher percentage of cases filed than legacy filings to new G registrations to legacy registrations.
I have also and often placed a lot of the blame for this conduct on the brands for letting years go by before taking action, and not registering natural defense registrations.