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The long road to internet success, part 3: We veer into fear

Whats Your Name Whats Your Name: Part 3 of the series, “The long road to internet success” Read Part 2 here.  Last week we said that part 3 of this long journey would be about content, but a universal theme kept coming up: fear. Maybe not fear like horror movie jump scares, but something even more terrifying: the fear of failure. […]
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Aftermarket Domains – Your Gateway to a Memorable & Brandable Domain Name

WebNamesCa WebNamesCa: It’s easy to think “all the good names have been taken” and to be honest, most of them have, at least in the major extensions like .COM, .ORG, .BIZ and .NET.  But now you can take a second kick at the domain name can and get an incredible domain on the Webnames.ca Domain Aftermarket.
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Top 5 Domain Name Wire stories in April

Domain Name Wire Domain Name Wire: From domain hijacking to new TLDs, these were the top stories last month. As I do every month, let’s kick May off with a look at the top stories in the domain name business from the past month. These are ranked in the order of pageviews on Domain Name Wire. 1. Wow: Spectrum (Charter) is […]
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Is Startup sentiment changing with regards to .com ?

TheDomains TheDomains: There was an interesting article by Christopher Steiner on Forbes. The article titled, “Most Startups Still Believe They Need A Dot-Com Domain, But That Is Changing.” Steiner seems to be a bit all over the place with both data supporting securing a non com and some reasons why to stick with .com. He also seems […]
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What’s the Secret of Silicon Valley? Hint: It’s Not Just Startups

The Frager Factor The Frager Factor: Chris Sacca on mental health issues in Silicon Valley; Facebook nears two billion monthly users ; The newest version of Windows won’t let you change the default web browser or search engine; The #1 Mistake Fired Professionals Make...And How To Avoid It; SpaceX Just Laid out a Plan to Give Everyone Internet Access; Take Two: Ethereum Domain Registrar Relaunches on Testnet - CoinDesk; Zuckerberg

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A Lesson from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Domain Name Disputes

CircleID CircleID: While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been making news as the result of controversial changes brought about under the new Trump administration — including the planned removal of "several agency websites containing detailed climate data and scientific information” — the EPA also has generated some (lesser-known) domain name news: The agency won a decision under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) for the domain name <noattacks.org>.

Although UDRP complaints filed by governmental entities are not unprecedented, they are not common. Indeed, governments don't even make an appearance on WIPO's list of the types of trademark owners that file UDRP complaints.

That may be because government agencies are not typically thought of as trademark owners. But sometimes, they are.

In the EPA case, the trademark at issue, NO ATTACKS (which the EPA used in connection with anti-asthma campaigns), apparently was not registered. But as the UDRP panel noted, "There is no requirement under the UDRP that a complainant must show registration of a trademark to demonstrate its rights therein. Rights may be shown by persuasive evidence of common law trademark rights in a mark."

Fortunately for the EPA, the UDRP panel agreed that it had established common law trademark rights in NO ATTACKS — as the result of its "public use of such mark over a period of 15 years" and an investment of "$450 million in advertising" related to the mark.

Interestingly, the EPA previously had registered the <noattacks.org> domain name but, like many other domain name registrants that find themselves filing UDRP complaints, the EPA allowed it to lapse "[t]hrough inadvertence." The new registrant used the domain name in connection with a pay-per-click (PPC) website and also offered it for sale for $25,000, according to the UDRP decision. The panel found this sufficient to establish the required bad-faith element.

In many ways, the EPA case is like many other domain name disputes: A domain name owner creates a domain name, invests significant sums of money promoting it, fails to protect it by pursuing a relevant trademark registration, and then lets its expire. The UDRP decision doesn't explain why any of this happened, but it should be a warning to other trademark owners to take domain name management seriously.

(Interestingly, before the UDRP decision for <noattacks.org> was implemented and the domain name transferred back to the EPA, the "No Attacks" website was posted at a different address, which contained this notice: "Due to technical difficulties with the URL www.noattacks.org, this website is temporarily hosted at http://noattacks.scgcorp.com/”. I'm not so sure "technical difficulties" is the most accurate label.)

Perhaps the EPA could have benefited from one of my previous blog posts, such as this one: "New Year's Resolution: Renew Your Domain Name! (And Other Best Practices for Domain Name Management)."
Written by Doug Isenberg, Attorney & Founder of The GigaLaw FirmFollow CircleID on TwitterMore under: Cybersquatting, Domain Names, Law

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