Archive for February 2015

GoDaddy’s latest patent applications

SATURDAY,28 February 2015   THE DOMAINS

According to the news from Domain.cn 1(1)on February 28th,Company adds to its stack of pending patents.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has just published a handful of patent applications filed by GoDaddy.

Methods and Systems for Recommending Packages of Domain Names for Registration (application 14/500711) is a continuation of patents I wrote about earlier this month. It essentially describes a way to determining which domain names a user will want and presenting them as a package.

Two others are related to submitting an offer for a domain name when it is already registered: System for Communicating an Offer for a Domain Names (application 13/973823) and Method for Communicating an Offer for a Domain Name (application 13/973819). If the domain name you want is already registered, the registrar will ask if you want to submit an offer on the domain name.

The general crux of these two patent applications doesn’t seem novel (at least looking at what registrars have been doing for the past five years or so), but perhaps there are some claims within them that are unique.

40 End User Domain Name Sales

SATURDAY,28 February 2015  DOMAIN NAME WIRE

According to the news from Domain.cn 1(1) on February 28th,40 recent end user domain name sales at Sedo.

During the past week, Sedo’s network sold $900,000 in domain names. The 3 highest sales were Heika.com ($300k), which is a title associated with Japanese emperors; Anker.com ($150k), the German for “anchor”; and HOOQ.com ($50k).

As usual, I’ve compiled a list of 40 domains where an end user can be identified. Most of these come from last week, while others were technically sold during previous weeks but have just emerged from escrow.

ArticlesOfIncorporation.org ($1000) – was purchased by the folks at WikiDownload.com, which stocks documents, eBooks, games, and software.

AquaGym.com (€6000) – belongs to MBG Global, which boasts of selling its branded product line in 58 countries. What product line, you ask? Beverages. Apart from the redirect, their closest connection to this domain appears to be a branded mineral water called “Acqua Morelli”.

Google Paid Developers More than $7 BILLION in 2014 For Apps & Games On Google Play

SATURDAY,28 February 2015   THE DOMAINS

According to the news from Domain.cn 1(1)on February 28th, “Google Play now reaches more than 1 billion people on Android devices in more than 190 countries”

“In the past year, we paid more than $7 billion to developers distributing apps and games on Google Play.”

“App discovery plays a critical role in driving your continued success, and over the past year Google has provided best practices to enhance app discovery and engagement, as well as app promotion tools to get the most out of search and display advertising for developers. ”

“We are always looking for new ways to help you get your apps in front of potential new users. That’s why, in the next few weeks, we will begin piloting sponsored search results on Google Play, bringing our unique expertise in search ads to the store.”

“With more than 100 billion searches every month on Google.com, we’ve seen how search ads shown next to organic search results on Google.com can significantly improve content discovery for users and advertisers, both large and small. ”

“Search ads on Google Play will enable developers to drive more awareness of their apps and provide consumers new ways to discover apps that they otherwise might have missed.”

In the coming weeks, a limited set of users will begin to see ads from a pilot group of advertisers who are already running Google search ads for their apps.

We’ll have more to share in the coming months about the expansion of this program as we look at the results and feedback.

We believe search ads will be a useful addition to Google Play for users and developers alike, and we hope this will bring even more success to our developer community.

Earlier today we reported that  Google paid $25 Million for the rights to operate the domain extension .APP

These numbers published by Google today show how little in the big picture that $25M was.

Meet The Man Who Just Received 100,000 Shares in Jet.com

SATURDAY,28 February 2015   THE DOMAINS

According to the news from Domain.cn 1(1)on February 28th,CNN Money published an article on Eric Martin of York, Pennsylvania, which is a two hour drive away from me. The article title was catchy, “This guy used a get rich quick scheme and got rich” When you read the article it seems Mr. Martin spent some money to get rich quick.

We wrote an article earlier this month about Jet.com, the domain which was sold by legendary domain investor Garry Chernoff, is now looking to take on Amazon in the business of e-commerce.

Jet.com was running an interesting promotion, they were using social media to create a buzz for the company. The idea was to get sign ups for the Jet.com Insider program. The person who signed up the most people would get equity in the company. I saw a few people in my Twitter stream promoting this offer as you had to click the link in their tweet.

Eric Martin got creative and actually spent a good deal of money that many just could not afford. He ended up enrolling 8,000 members in three weeks. He now has 100,000 shares in the company.

From the article:
Last month, Martin read about a new all-the-rage startup retail/tech company called Jet.com, which had been holding a contest to get people to sign their friends up for a preview version of its service. The startup announced that it would give 100,000 shares of the company to the person who signed up the highest number of people.

The 28-year old Martin spent $18,000 advertising on sites like Swagbucks and Gifthulk, which reward people for signing up for stuff online. Martin works in IT, but it was actually some family members who had suggested those sites to him — early attempts to advertise with Facebook and Google didn’t get him very far.

Funny thing about those 100,000 shares: Though Jet.com isn’t even open to the public yet, the company has already secured $220 million in funding, and it’s on the verge of nearly tripling that investment. Though Jet.com is secretive about its finances, 100,000 shares is easily worth millions of dollars (Fusion.com puts the number as high as $20 million).

Google pays $25 million for .App domain

FRIDAY,27 February 2015   Domain Name Wire

According to the news from Domain.cn  on February 27th,Google pays dearly for rights to control .App domain name.

Google has won the rights to operate the .App top level domain name after paying what may be a record-breaking price for a top level domain name.

13 companies applied to run the .app domain name, and 12 of them were still in the running when the ICANN auction started yesterday. The auction was so heated that it continued today, with the final price ending at $25,001,000.

Google beat out other big brands, such as Amazon.com, for the domain name. It also faced off with portfolio new top level domain name applicants such as Minds + Machines, Radix and Famous Four Media.

The company will now be able to offer domain names ending in .app. It’s a natural fit with the company’s Google Play service.

With the domain in hand, it’s possible Google can limit registrations to companies that have an app in Google Play, or use the domains to point directly to app listings in the store. However, its application suggests that it will allow the domain name to be more universally used:

The mission of the proposed gTLD, .app, is to provide a dedicated domain space for application developers. The term “app” is associated with a wide variety of applications, including mobile applications, web- and browser-based applications, cloud-hosted applications and even desktop applications. Charleston Road Registry expects uses of the gTLD will include a wide variety of uses across all of these types of applications, not limited to any specific platform or provider. The proposed gTLD will enhance consumer choice by providing new availability in the second-level domain space in which application developers can deliver new content and offerings. It also creates new layers of organization on the Internet and signals the kind of content available in the domain.

Still, I imagine it will incorporate .app into its products and service.

3 bidders were willing to pay at least $19.4 million for the domain, and two bidders were in the running in the last round that started at $24.3 million.

Google has shown a lot of restraint in top level domain name auctions to date, only winning a handful. It doesn’t surprise me that the company went all out for .app, given that it’s other auction wins are related to its core products (e.g. .drive, .docs).

The highest price paid in a public new TLD auction before today was $6.8 million, but several domain names have reportedly sold for between $10-$20 million in private auctions.

Here Is Our Run Down As New gTLD’s Top 4.5 Million Registrations

FRIDAY,27 February 2015   THE DOMAINS

According to the news from Domain Forum of China on February 27th,.Science added another 14K+ domain names registrations yesterday in its second day of general availability, putting the number of new gTLD registrations over the 4.5 million mark.

New gTLD registrations still have a large percentage of free, almost free, very low cost and related party registrations.

.Science domain names which just launched two days ago, are still being registered for free at Alpnames.com

AlpNames.com now has registered 26,656 of the 27,500 .Science domain names or over 96% of all .Science domain names.

In two days .Science has grow to the 27th most registered new gTLD domain extension.

A Pierre-Eli Normandeau, of Canada who had not registered any new gTLD until .Science came out has now registered almost 7,500 domains.

Of course by offering free domains you get people registering domains like:

123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233343536.science

The total number of new gTLD’s have now topped 4.5 Million according to ntldstats.com

We haven’t looked at the numbers in a while.

Some notable movers.

.XYZ has topped the 800,000 mark and now sits at over 803,000 registrations including those 370,000 or so free .XYZ domain names that were stuffed into Network Solutions account holders. Those domains will not auto renew.

The IDN of .网址 (xn--ses554g) is still the second most registered new gTLD but they are all at the registry level not sold to third parties

.Club is adding hundreds of registrations on a daily basis and is now approaching 190,000 registrations.

.Realtor which has been offered to the 1M+ “realtors” for free has over 91,000 registrations

.Guru has now passed 80,000 registrations sitting at over 82,000 registrations the most successful of any Donuts String.

.Berlin is still sitting in the 4th most registered new gTLD spot but has been pretty inactive for many months in terms of new registrations and actually had a net lost 15 registrations yesterday. Of course around 75,000 of these domains were registered for free we will see how many of those get renewed.

.NYC domains continue to add around 100 domains a day and is now has over 70,000 registrations

Frank Schilling’s North Sound Names is still the largest registrant of new gTLD’s now topping over 160,000 of domain names of Frank Schilling’s Uniregistry new gTLD strings.

Uniregistry has over 275,000 registrations so North Sound Names has registered about 60% of all of Uniregistry domains.

.Link is Uniregistry most registered string with over 63,000 domain names.

Uniregistry is charging a rack rate of around $6.42 for a .link domain name.

Minds + has a winner in .Work which has been increasing on a daily basis since it went live on February 10 with over 3,800 registrations.

.Work is now approaching 10,000 registrations.

Prices for all domain extension vary by registrar but you can register a .work domain for the rack rate of $1.39 at Godaddy.com which has the most .work domains registered.

.Website has been adding 100+ domains a day and is now closing in on 40,000 registrations.

Likewise .Rocks and .Company have been adding 100+ domains a day and are also closing in on 40,000 registrations

Of all the 500+ new gTLD tracked by ntldstats.com, these continue to add 100 or more a day on a pretty constant basis:

.XYZ

.Club

.Link

.Guru

.NYC

.Email

.Today

.Space

.Top

.Website

.Company

.Rocks

.Red

.Click

There is another set of domains that seem to add between 50-100 domains a day on a consistent basis, but there are well over 150 new gTLD’s which add 10 or less per day.

.co.com Hits 1 Year Anniversary & 10K Registrations: It Would Be 83rd Most Registered New gTLD

FRIDAY,27 February 2015   THE DOMAINS

According to the news from Domain.cn 1(1)on February 27th, .co.com announced today that it has hit its one year anniversary since launching and has registered over 10,000 domain names.

You can read the official post here.

The company wrote in part that its 10,000 registrations are “more than most ICANN new gTLDs – and demand is accelerating”

So while  co.com is not a new gTLD, since its anniversary is right around when the first of the new gTLD’s started to launch I thought it would be interesting to see how the numbers stack up to new gTLD registrations.

So with lets call it an even 10,000 registrations, .co.com would be the 83rd most registered new gTLD’s out of the over 500 that ntldstats.com is tracking.

.co.com would come right under .World and right ahead of .Lawyer.

About 175 fully launched new gTLD have less than 1/2 of the registrations of .co.com, less than 5,000 registrations.

Since .co.com is not a new gTLD they didn’t have to pay ICANN $185,000 to apply, nor did they have to beat anyone in an auction to get the domain, as many new gTLD’s registries did.  They also don’t have to pay ICANN the minimum $25,000 annual fee that new gTLD’s have to.

16 Year Old Domain Alessandro.com Saved In UDRP Owned By A Guy Named Alessandro

FRIDAY,27 February 2015   THE DOMAINS

According to the news from Domain.cn on1(1) February 27th,Alessandro International GmbH of Düsseldorf, Germany, just lost its bid to grab the domain name Alessandro.com from a guy named Alessandro

In this case Alessandro Gualandi.

The one member panel of Pablo A. Palazzi however refused to find reverse domain name hijacking which I thought was appropriate under the circumstances

Here are the highlights:

“Complainant is a company dedicated to manicure and pedicure products. The predecessor of Complainant, Alessandro Cosmetics GmbH was founded in 1989 in Langenfeld, Germany and later expanded worldwide.

Respondent is Alessandro Gualandi, an individual with domicile in New York, United States of America.

Complainant states that it has registered the trademark ALESSANDRO in Germany, European Union, the United States and other jurisdictions around the world. According to the complaint, the disputed domain name is identical to Complainants trademarks.

Complainant also states that Respondent provided a list of domain name that were sold for multi-million dollar amounts and that Respondent mentioned that once he “bought a domain name for USD $3,000 from a person who did not know the real value of it and resold it for USD $100,000”.

Respondent showed a similar list to an employee of Complainant in a meeting they had in a New York bar.

According to the Complaint, this is another indication of bad faith, because Respondent is implying that he would be willing to sell the domain name for a million dollar price.

Finally, Complainant states that Respondent has not used the disputed domain name since it was registered in 1998 and that Respondent holds 33 domain names as a natural person, which leads to the conclusion that the domain name  is being registered in bad faith, “at the latest, as soon as the Respondent became aware of Complainant, its business, its trademarks and its several attempts to reach an amicable settlement by purchasing the domain name”.

Respondent states that he is an individual who has no experience in domain name dispute matters. Respondent explained that over a period of several years Complainant or their representatives have contacted him to ask if Respondent would sell to Complainant the disputed domain name.

Respondent states that he has always responded that he was not interested in selling the domain name to them or anyone else.

Respondent asserts that his own Christian name is Alessandro, and that it is the name his parents gave him. He added that it is a name which is fairly common in the Northern part of Italy where he comes from. Respondent stated that he had no idea that a company called “Alessandro International GmbH” even existed, and he has never done anything to confuse his identity with Complainant.

Respondent states that he has registered the disputed domain name because he is proud of his name, and he wanted to set up a personal website at the disputed domain name and also to use it for his email. Respondent adds that he had once a personal website in the disputed domain name, but he took it down because he needed to change web hosting companies. He explains that the website was never used to run a business, and it existed only for Respondent own personal pleasure.

Respondent also adds that the disputed domain name was in use and the Respondent had his personal email at [] for years, and that he had a simple, personal website with photos of Respondent and his friends online until he decided to switch web hosting providers and took it down.

Respondent states that Complainant has actually filed the Complaint in bad faith in an attempt to “Reverse Domain Name Hijack’ his domain name.

In addition Complainant states that Respondent has registered 39 domain names which according to Complainant is very uncommon for a natural person.

Complainant states that before filing the Complaint Respondent had 33 domain names registered and that currently and the time to reply to the Panel Order No. 1 Respondent has 39 domain names.

Respondent now owns three (3) domain names with the term Alessandro (namely alesandro.com, alessandro.ws and alessandro.nyc.

However for personal use, one domain name would be sufficient and the fact that Respondent now owns three (3) respective domain names indicates that he has registered them for the purpose of sale.

Complainant states that some of those registered domain names imply that they are not meant for private non commercial use such as , , , , , , or . The registration of those general terms as domain names indicates that the Respondent is aware of the fact that those domain names may generate good prices in domain market places.

Under the circumstances this Panel finds that Respondent has been using the disputed domain name for a personal use for several years. Complainant alleges that there was a commercial use because Respondent was offering for sale some domain names.

It is true that for a brief period of time, at the same time from posting personal photos, Respondent also used the disputed domain name to offer for sale some other domain names. However, the Panel notes that all these domain names were generic or dictionary words in Italian language (e.g., , , , , ,  or ). In addition it does not seem that this use, if considered commercial, is affecting Complainant’s trademarks since the disputed domain name is clearly a personal website without any reference to the Complainant tradename or trademarks.

In view of the evidence submitted by Respondent, this Panel finds that the disputed domain name clearly reflects Respondent’s given name, and the Panel concludes from the record as a whole that Respondent has rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under paragraph 4(c)(ii).

The use of one’s own first name in a domain name corresponds to a legitimate customary practice and is, as a rule, sufficient evidence of a legitimate right or interest in the disputed domain name

Complainant also argues that the trademark right of a company should prevail over the fact that a non famous individual happens to have the same name as the company and its trademarks. It is the view of this Panel that the Policy was designed to curb cases of abusive registration of domain names (known as cybersquatting).

The requirements are clearly stated in the Policy (including bad faith registration and use as well as lack of legitimate interest or rights over the disputed domain name). Complainant assertion that the trademark of a company should prevail over a personal name of a non famous individual for a domain name disregards the extensive and settled case law decided under the UDRP and cited in the previous paragraph admitting legitimate interest in registering a domain name similar to the registrant personal name.

In light of the above, the Panel finds that Complainant has not met its burden under paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Policy to demonstrate that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests with respect to the disputed domain name.

C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith

Even though the analysis of the third condition relating to the registration and use of the disputed domain name in bad faith would not be required for deciding on the Complaint (because the rejection of the second condition already means that the Complaint should be denied), the Panel finds it necessary in this case to address it in view of the arguments raised by the parties and because of the claim of RDNH which has been raised by Respondent (and which shall be addressed under section D below).

In addition, Complainant contends that Respondent registered the disputed domain name for the purpose of selling it for a price that clearly exceeds the costs paid in connection with its registration. In support of this contention, Complainant indicates that: (i) Respondent ended negotiations because he had not received an offer and accused Complainant of not dealing in good faith; (ii) Respondent also offered to Complainant the domain name  for EUR 25,000; and (iii) finally Respondent provided a list of domain names that were sold for multi-million dollar amounts.

The Panel does not accept this allegation because the offer to purchase the disputed domain name (and the ensuing negotiation) was initiated by Complainant

The fact that the Respondent offer to sale the domain name  is not in itself evidence of bad faith registration or use of the disputed domain name because this case is about the domain name  and not the domain name .

According to the Panel, there is no evidence in the record showing that Respondent knew of Complainant’s trademark when he registered the disputed domain name, especially, when “Alessandro” is Respondent first name and the disputed domain name has been registered for nearly 15 years and used for a brief period to post personal photos. As stated in the previous Section, Respondent, Alessandro Gualandi has a right or legitimate interest to have a domain name with his first name.

Complainant seems to admit this when in its Complaints asserts “… which leads to the conclusion that the domain name  is being registered in bad faith, at the latest, as soon as Respondent became aware of Complainant, its business, its trademarks and its several attempts to reach an amicable settlement by purchasing the domain name”. If this were the case, a registration in good faith by Respondent cannot turn into a bad faith registration later due to a late knowledge of the Complainant.

Complainant argued that the 39 domain names that Respondent has registered are additional evidence of bad faith.

In particular Complainant states that Respondent has registered three (3) domain names with the term “Alessandro” (namely ,  and ).

According to Complainant, the fact that Respondent now owns three (3) respective domain names indicates that he has registered them for the purpose of selling them.

The Panel visited the website using the Wayback Machine and was able to verify that Respondent offered for sale several domain names. The Panel notes that all of those domain names seem to be generic terms or dictionary terms in Italian language. Thus it is not possible to conclude that Respondent was acting in bad faith because Respondent was only offering for sale dictionary terms domain name.

In addition those domain names are not the disputed domain name, and Respondent clearly indicated that it was not on sale.

Finally the fact that Respondent has registered two other domain names with the term “alessandro” is not indicative that the disputed domain name  was registered in bad faith.

First, as already stated, the disputed domain name was registered in the 1997 (according to Respondent) or in the year 1998 (according to the WhoIs record).

There is no evidence on the record that at the time of registering the disputed domain name Respondent knew of Complainant’s trademarks.

The registration of the two other domain names took place later on, but even if at that time Respondent was aware of Complainant trademarks due to the interchange of emails, such new registrations (with knowledge of Complainant) cannot “contaminate” the initial registration of the disputed domain name.

The Panel concludes from the record as a whole that Respondent has not acted in bad faith when he registered and used the disputed domain name.

D. Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

Respondent has requested a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (“RDNH”), which is defined as “using the Policy in bad faith to attempt to deprive a registered domain-name holder of a domain name.” Rules, paragraph 1.

Complainant may plausibly have overestimated the strength of its case after Respondent replied to one of his emails and offered for sale another domain name containing Complainant’s trademark () for EUR 25,000 and also mentioned a list of domain names sold for high amounts in the past.

Accordingly, the Panel does not believe that Complainant acted in bad faith in an attempt of reverse domain name hijacking when it brought the Complaint against Respondent.

Google Wins The new gTLD .APP For $25 Million

FRIDAY,27 February 2015   THE DOMAINS

According to the news from Domain.cn 1(1)on February 27th,the new gTLD .APP sold for $25 Million to Google today in a ICANN Last Resort Auction which I think is very good news for the new gTLD program in general.

This is the highest price paid in an ICANN Last Resort Auction.

It looks like Google was willing to pay over $30 Million based on the info published by ICANN today

The previously high price paid for a new gTLD in an ICANN Last Resort Auction was $6,760,000 which was paid by Radix for .Tech.

Radix was also a bidder for .APP

.APP had the largest number of new gTLD applicants of all new gTLD’s.

There were 13 companies that applied to operate the new gTLD .APP. One applicant withdrew their application months ago leaving 12 applicants.

This is only the 11th new gTLD contention set to be settled at an ICANN Last Resort Auction.

Most of the new gTLD extensions that had more than one applicant were settled in “private” auctions.

While, the results of private auctions are not disclosed, but since some of the participants in these auctions are public company’s there have been some good guesses as to how much the new gTLD’s have sold for in private auctions.

The highest price paid in a private auction has been reported to be around $20-$25 Million.

The proceeds of private auctions are basically split amongst the other applicants or losing bidders while at the ICANN auction all the proceeds go to ICANN (except for auctioneer fees).

ICANN took in almost $35 Million in the ten Last Resort Auctions that took place previous to the auction for .APP

.App had 12 bidders;

APP Registry Inc (Cayman Islands)

Afilias

Amazon

Aquent.com

Donuts

DotApp Inc

Famous Four

Google

Merchant Law Group LLP

Minds + Machines

Radix

Straat.co

Major League Baseball in Trademark Battle over the letter W

WEDSDAY,11 February 2015   THE DOMAINS
According to the news from Domain1(1)on February 11th,not sure what is going on over at the corporate offices of Major League Baseball, The Washington Post published an article on the trademark battle between Wallet Hub and MLB related to marks owned by both the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs. You might ask where is there a W in Chicago or Cubs ? After a victory the Cubs raise a flag with the letter W on it at Wrigley Field.

The logo seems generic enough. The letter W written in white, block type inside of a bright green box. It stands for WalletHub, a Web site run by District-based Evolution Finance where consumers can compare credit cards and find personal finance advice.

There are over 1000 marks registered for just the letter W according to the article. This battle has apparently been going on for two years. Major League Baseball is concerned that you will confuse Wallet Hub with the Washington Nationals and this could complicate things for customers and the businesses.