A few days ago, I started to convince myself that there might be less to worry about with new gTLDs.  It was calming to consider that the largest percentage of new extensions would likely be .brands which would pose little risk to others’ intellectual property rights. What I’d forgotten is how potentially problematic some of the new generic extensions could be.  And recent news reminded me that rights’ holders will likely realize all the pain they expected and more.  Announcements from Momentus Corporation, Radix, CloudNames and TLDH have catalyzed these fears. They’ve published the extensions they have applied for, many of which... Read More
Courtesy of Brian Beckham from the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center in Geneva, here are a few important links with information that may be helpful for rights holders with ICANN’s New gTLD program now launched and accepting applications: • First, is a helpful FAQ that explains plainly the Legal Rights objection process. It’s important that rights owners are very familiar with this process and are ready to respond if in the unlikely but potentially problematic situation that another entity applies for a gTLD that includes their intellectual property. • Next, comes a summary explanation of the post gTLD delegation (beginning late... Read More
In a move that reinforces their communication of support for creating a brand rights holder-friendly environment, the ICM registry, who operate the .XXX registry, have begun to take independent and unique action to thwart brand abuse. According to this post in World Trademark Review, it appears that they have created their own way to act on obviously infringing names. It seems like this is an opportunity to remove names from the ICM .XXX registry without lengthy litigation or complicated UDRP proceedings. Is this a model that could work in the new expanding domain naming environment and will rights holders be happy... Read More
Online fakes can be a lucrative business and difficult to crack down on, due to the ease and low-cost of setting up multiple virtual storefronts and the ability to obfuscate an operation’s identity. A federal lawsuit filed on March 1, 2010 by Polo Ralph Lauren and VF Corp. illustrates these points and highlights many of the intricacies of an online counterfeit ring. According to a recent article in WWD (subscription required), the joint lawsuit uncovers one of the largest counterfeit cases ever in terms of the size, scope and sophistication of an online operation. The online counterfeit network identified in the lawsuit... Read More
You have to give scammers credit, as they are a creative bunch.  While most of us think of the annual open enrollment period for employee benefits as a non-event, scammers see it as an opportunity.   Just last month we’ve seen suspicious sites targeting employees of some of the largest corporations.  In one particular example, a cybersquatter registered a domain name that closely mimicked the open enrollment benefits page of a Fortune 500 company. To illustrate using a generic company name, the squatted domain was ‘enrollcorporation.com,’ whereas the real company benefits page resided on the subdomain ‘enroll.corporation.com.’  The cybersquatter obviously was anticipating... Read More


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Stefanie Ellis
Stefanie has over ten years’ experience in anti-fraud, brand protection and vendor relations, she has worked with a wi... More