Trademarks and Brands

French Ex-Pat Who Lost Rights to France.com Files Lawsuit

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Friday, 18 May, 2018

In an attempt to get the rights to the France.com domain back, Jean-Noël Frydman is suing the French Republic, Atout France (a government tourism agency), the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and VeriSign. Frydman's lawsuit accuses France of cybersquatting and "reverse domain-name hijacking," and more.

French-born Frydman claims the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs illegally seized the France.com domain that had been under his ownership since he purchased it from Network Solutions, LLC in 1994. He says he set up the website in 1995 as a "digital kiosk" about France and "included information about French culture, the Francophile community and a small section on tourism to France."

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Topics: domains, domain management

GDPR and WHOIS: What Will Happen to Key Information as of May 25—Likely Blackout Period and Corsearch Solutions

by Diane Plaut and Brian Conchuratt on Tuesday, 10 April, 2018

The implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and its potential impact on right holders’ access to full WHOIS data has been a very topical issue for our clients. We have been carefully monitoring the discussion and proposals surrounding this issue, from a company perspective and as part of ICANN’s Intellectual Property Constituency, the IAPP recent Global Privacy Summit, INTA, and from listening, as always, to our clients. The requirements and interpretation of the GDPR and the ability to continue to access full, publicly available information through the WHOIS system is under review by ICANN. At the recent ICANN 61 meeting in San Juan, it became clear that a resolution to this issue will not be imminent.

The need and right to access and use this information for legitimate interests by intellectual property and trademark owners in enforcing rights against third-party alleged infringers of trademarks and content or in relation to bad faith domain registration, is the essential issue to us. ICANN published an Interim Compliance Model and a “Cookbook” to arrive at possible solutions to the WHOIS access issues. Nonetheless, there is substantial conflict amongst interest groups and gaps in the ICANN Interim Model regarding key elements including, layered/tiered access and the establishment of an accreditation program (with a lack of agreement on the enforcement body and process for the proposed, author-supported, accreditation program). Due to this present conflict in resolution drivers, there will likely be a blackout period, which is due to subsist for six months or more, with the possibility that the accreditation program will not be in place until Q1 2019.

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Topics: domain management

Amazon Expands Domain Registrations

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 21 December, 2017

Domain Name Wire reports that Amazon has recently broadened its domain registrations to include "AmazonTube" and "Open Tube," stirring speculation that the company may be planning to compete with YouTube. The company also registered several variations of these domains, including OpenTube.biz, AmazonTube.ca, and even OpenTube.xyz. You can read more details on Domain Name Wire.

These new Amazon domain registrations come not long after Amazon Technologies registered several cryptocurrency URLs including amazonethereum.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com, and amazoncryptocurrencies.com last month. Amazon also owns the domain amazonbitcoin.com, which currently redirects to the Amazon home page.

You too may be wondering exactly what Fortune asks: "What, if anything, is Amazon planning to do in the cryptocurrency space?" According to CNBC, Patrick Gauthier of Amazon Pay said last month that Amazon has no plans to accept cryptocurrency.

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Topics: domains, domain management

Equifax Domain Names Recouped in WIPO Cybersquatting Decision

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Monday, 20 November, 2017

The massive data breach at US credit bureau Equifax, Inc. in September resulted in the theft of personal details, including names, birthdates, and social security numbers from more than 140 million people.

After news of the breach broke, Equifax set up an official web site called EquifaxSecurity2017.com for consumers to refer to for information about the hack. It turns out that many similar domain names were registered after the breach, according to Domain Name Wire, including 138 domain names registered by China Capital investment Limited. Many of the domain names included misspellings of "Equifax" and "security." Some of these sites advertised services for identity theft protection services and credit scores.

In response to this blatant cybersquatting, Equifax filed a successful domain dispute under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and all of these domains are now being transferred to the company.

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Topics: cybersquatters, domain infringement, trademark infringement, domain management

Important Trends in the Domain Name Industry

by Brian Conchuratt on Thursday, 7 September, 2017

The number of worldwide phishing attacks continues to grow, having reached an all-time high of 255,065 unique attacks in 2016, according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group’s (APWG) annual report, “Global Phishing Survey: Trends and Domain Name Use in 2016,” published this summer. 

Why is this important to IP professionals? For those that manage domain portfolios or monitor domain registrations, this is an important issue to understand because you have a role to play in defending your company or your clients from these attacks.

This wasn’t always the case. Over the past 10 years that the APWG has been publishing these reports, most phishing attacks have originated from compromised Web sites that had been hacked and used to execute these campaigns. However, the most recent data show that we’re experiencing an important new trend:  the use of malicious domain registrations to conduct phishing attacks is growing rapidly. As recently as 2012, phishing attacks from maliciously registered domain names comprised less than 9% of all phishing attacks worldwide. In 2016, nearly half of all phishing attacks originated from malicious registrations. 

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Topics: domains, domain management

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