Most of you might not know, but Dell is pursing a major “cybersquatting” lawsuit against several companies. These companies buy and sell web addresses, and are argued to be responsible for earning a great amount of money off nearly 1,100 domain names that are “confusingly similar” to Dell’s trademarks.
We all know that registering a domain name containing a trademark that doesn’t belong to you is a big no-no. But what about registering a domain name that is made up of slight misspellings of well-known trademarks, ie. dellsuportcenter.com and dellfinancialservices.com?
The registration of such domain names are called typosquatting, and in Dell’s claim, it is effectively a counterfeit of the authentic ‘trademark holder’s domain name”.
This case has raised a couple issues:
- Should registrars be held responsible for typosquatting?
- Should ICANN change its rules to prevent ‘domain tasting’?
Should registrars be held responsible for typosquatting?
Does the Internet need more central regulation? Would adding an extra layer in the domain registration process resolve the problem of typosquatting? Is waiting a couple weeks for your domain name approval something we want?
Should ICANN change its rules to prevent ‘domain tasting’?
One cited example in Dell’s lawsuit follows the registration of the domain namedellfinacncialservices.com:
- May 25, 2007: Domain registered by DomainDoorman; deleted May 30 2007
- May 30, 2007: Domain registered by BelgiumDomains; deleted June 4 2007
- June 4, 2007: Domain registered by Capitoldomains; deleted June 9 2007
- June 9, 2007: Domain registered by DomainDoorman; deleted June 14 2007
- June 14, 2007: Domain registered by BelgiumDomains… and so on, and so on.
Not only are the domain name squatters earning a profit off Dell brands and trademarks, they aren’t even paying domain name registration fees for doing it.
“David Steele, an attorney representing Dell in the case, said the defendants tasted on average between 30 million and 60 million domains each month.”
So, should ICANN change its policy to prevent domain tasting? Maybe put enough of a price tag on domain tasting so that it is not profitable anymore?
What are your views on these?
Side note: Doteasy does not offer ‘domain tasting”. Once your domain registration request is submitted through our registration form, it is understood that the name requested is genuine and you are sincere about purchasing that name. We understand that if we should allow domain tasting as other domain registrars, our domain registration numbers would be significantly higher. But unfortunately, our focus is not on the number-game.