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IBM files URS complaints against guy who spent $2,500 on two domains

Kevin Murphy, February 6, 2014, 18:33:12 (UTC), Domain Registries

If you were a cybersquatter, would you spend $2,500 on just two domain names without doing even the most basic research into whether you’d get to keep the names?

One individual from New Jersey has done precisely that, apparently, and has now been hit with what may well be the first new gTLD Uniform Rapid Suspension complaint, according to Donuts.

Donuts VP Mason Cole said in a DI comment today that the company has “been notified of an additional URS action involving two IBM names.”

I believe he’s referring to ibm.guru and ibm.ventures, two new gTLD domains I highlighted earlier today as being registered under Go Daddy’s Whois privacy service.

Privacy protection has since been lifted from both domains, in accordance with Go Daddy policy, revealing the registrant (assuming it’s not a fake name) as one Denis Antipov of New Jersey.

Both domains were redirecting to ibm.com when I checked a few days ago — showing that the registrant clearly had IBM in mind when he bought the names — but now do not resolve for me.

What’s funny is that the registration date of the domains is January 31. Due to Donuts’ Early Access Program, the registrant will have paid Go Daddy a total of $2,479.98 for the pair.

Now, he stands to lose that investment in a URS case that will set IBM back about the same amount.

Donuts’ Cole said: “When infringement is alleged, we want to see the due process tools developed for new TLDs put to use. Registries are not trademark adjudicators — we implement the objective decisions of others.”

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the price the registrant will have paid for these names.

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Comments (24)

  1. Actually he paid $1,239.99 each as the registration date is the 31st but is after the 16.00 cutoff time.

    Why isn’t IBM registered in trademark clearinghouse?

  2. Vidfie says:

    Greed can blind some folk

  3. Olivia says:

    IBM is registered with the Trademark Clearinghouse, this is why they can launch a URS procedure against the infringing domain. The TMCH registration doesn’t prevent third parties to register brand owners’ domains, it only alerts them when third parties do so…apparently IBM is now registered in the Donuts’ DPML, so they should be protected against cybersquatting for most of the new gtlds.

  4. Olivia says:

    The company is registered with the Trademark Clearinghouse, this is why they can launch a URS procedure against the infringing domain. The TMCH registration doesn’t prevent third parties to register brand owners’ domains, it only alerts them when third parties do so…apparently IBM is now registered in the Donuts’ DPML, so they should be protected against cybersquatting for most of the new gtlds.

    • Reg says:

      My understanding is that, to allege infringement via URS one only needs to be a rights holder (not registered with the TMCH). Is this incorrect? (Can you cite to where the URS says they must be in the TMCH?)

      • Kevin Murphy says:

        That’s also my understanding Reg. Being in the TMCH can serve as your proof of trademark, but it’s not the only way to do it.

  5. Yes, that is what I meant.
    It doesn’t make sense being registered at Trademark ClearingHouse and not buying the Donutsโ€™ DPML.
    It is not cost effective not to buy it.

    A single DPML is cheaper than a URS.

  6. Olivia Mazzucotelli says:

    I’m struggling every day to make my clients understand the risks of cybersquatting and the need to be registered with the TMCH and the DPML but as long as their domains are not cybersquatted, I have to say it’s tough!

  7. Samit says:

    Shouldn’t URS cost $250 per domain? Or did I miss the memo again?

  8. Joe says:

    If the registrant were truly a guru when it comes to IBM products, for instance, would it still be considered to be cybersquatting? Should it be?

    Given that it’s a topical gTLD, should .guru registrations be held to the same RPM standards as those in .com, .org, etc?

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      A better example might be akamai.guru, which seems to belong to an Oracle executive whose LinkedIn profile professes his expertise with Akamai’s services.

  9. Michael Adams says:

    So basically the .guru extension is worthless since any software that you are an expert, guru, or consultant in, means you’ll most likely get a URS from that company. Or am I misunderstanding the logic of this?

  10. Olivia Mazzucotelli says:

    Hello Joe, I understand your skepticism towards most of the gTLDs. As regards the new ones, even if it takes time, I think that some of them will be very successful in a couple of years. I love the .photography for instance ๐Ÿ™‚ The new gTLDs are bringing some fun and creativity to the internet. Apple has registered several new gTLDs, just in case it becomes a big business. I guess the company doesn’t really need them but doesn’t want to risk having an “outdated” image. The important is to always stay one step ahead!

  11. Olivia Mazzucotelli says:

    @ Konstantinos :So why did Apple block certain domains and might redirect others to their main website? I don’t think it’s only about defensive registration otherwise they could just block all domains with Donuts extensions (DPML). My understanding is that it’s also a question of SEO and marketing strategy.
    From what I read in the media, the following domains might redirect customers to their main website :
    – apple.guru
    – iphone.guru
    – ipad.guru
    – mac.guru

  12. @Olivia
    Because some marks have competition and others don’t.

    Anyone with the same trademark can unblock a DPML.

    These domains don’t resolve.

    And redirecting is not using to avoid an outdated image.

  13. Olivia Mazzucotelli says:

    Well, I was just talking about my personal experience: my biggest clients register strategic new gTLDs (especially field related : .technology, .education, etc.) to redirect the new domains to their main website with the objective to remain at the top in terms of online marketing and SEO. But of course, I do not pretend to know what Apple’s strategy is ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Well the problem is that redirecting doesn’t do anything for online marketing and SEO.

    They need to build websites and actively market the new gTLDs to have any benefit.

    If they don’t the most they do is block competitors. But in most cases that may be even worth it.

  15. Olivia Mazzucotelli says:

    I think new gTLDs are going to change the way search engines rank results, in particular the potential “search by extension” feature. Check this article, it’s quite interesting :

    http://searchengineland.com/your-top-5-questions-about-the-new-gtld-domain-extensions-answered-148224

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