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Microsoft Corp. has filed three lawsuits in the U.S. against people and companies it accuses of profiting from the use of Web site addresses containing its trademarked terms.
The suits target cybersquatting or typosquatting, practices that divert Internet users seeking Microsoft Web sites by using similar or slightly misspelled domain names, according to the complaints filed this week in federal courts in New York, Seattle and Fort Wayne, Ind.
"This is a fast-growing issue for all brands on the Internet, and there's a lot of money at stake," Aaron Kornblum, an attorney with Microsoft's Internet safety enforcement team, said in a phone interview.
Microsoft Files More Cybersquatting Lawsuits [seattlepi.nwsource.com]
"This is a fast-growing issue for all brands on the Internet ..."
Frankly, I've been amazed that so many (large) corporations are (have been) so lax in enforcing infringements. It's not like these infringing domains are new ... hundreds have been around for over a decade.
(A list of the Microsoft domains involved can be found here [inta.org] [pdf] )
 to add list of domains affected. [/edit]
[edited by: Laker at 4:05 pm (utc) on Sep. 14, 2007]
It feels to me like everyone involved, including the firms that represent the big trademark holders, are a bit dirty. Why persist in going after trademark violations one-by-one when putting the squeeze on the feed providers and parking firms would kill the incentive to register such domains?
Kill the profits and you will kill the practice.
Why not file an action seeking the disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, a RICO action, a joint venture approach, etc.? For every nickel that a typosquatter pockets the parking firms and feed providers make a dime or a quarter - sharing in the profits of the perpetual illicit practice of typosquatting.
It's stunning how many businesses get to profit off this practice: ICANN keeps their $.25, NetSol or the registries keep their $6.00 or whatever, the domain registrars keep their $$, the feedproviders keep their share from the clicks churned by people clicking on ads placed on typosquatted domains, the parking companies take their share, the advertisers - who presumably get a bit of traffic and sales from those clicks profit.
In the end it's likely that they cybersquatter or typosquatter of famous marks is the small fish in a slime pond of fish feeding off the practice. Amazing.
That is so true, the main one that could make a LOT of it stop would be Google Adsense as there is EXTREME incentive to register domains with misspellings and park them with a page load of Google Adsense on it and rack in the bucks. Something like microsft.com could make some lucky scum-sucker/bottom-feeder a tidy little living. I am here to state that IF Google really wants to be a good steward of the community (and not be evil, LOL), they would not allow this practice to keep on. Of course, Yahoo and others should follow suit as well to make it fair. I type a little too fast at time (pecking, mind you) and when I type in a site and it goes to a page like that I just cringe. I am with Microsoft on this one, they have a legitimate complaint here. The basic problem is the scum-suckers and bottom-feeders will always try to take the easy way out and leech off of others...and they DO have an incentive to do this and it IS encouraged my massive corporations, like Google and others...UNTIL it happens to them, then waaaaaa. Google knows damn well that this is wrong and they know damn well they are encouraging it. Someone has to win a major lawsuit on these issues or it will simply keep on and on.
I am not trying to pick on Google, don't get me wrong, but it is well known that Google can produce the biggest money, the fastest, for these bottom-feeders so MOST use Adsense. Some use other means, but not likely that they use PPA.
It's their synchronization software for their mobile products:
The .com is not owned by MS.
I'm looking at the list now and its interesting that you see a lot of the same names. Don't these people learn?
With a $530 stock price to justify, I doubt Google is going to get rid of AdSense for parked domain names anytime soon.
Can Google really control and monitor where AdSence is going? All you need to do is drop the script in a page and you have it.
[edited by: draggar at 10:48 pm (utc) on Sep. 14, 2007]
They don't even need to go to court, they could have taken all the domains with one or two $2000-$3000 UDRP's. But there would not be any publicity if they did that and some poor lawyer would have to buy a BMW instead of a Mercedes with the fewer billable hours.
If only this much effort and publicity was done against spammers.
The human and machine resources expended daily against spam is massive and overwhelms every small business, everywhere. There needs to be at least one spammer thrown in prison, every day, every week, every month, every year until it stops.
Here is a question.
If the courts rule in their favor, MS will own these domains. That I get.
Say when the registration is up, they let the domains drop, either though a paperwork error, they're tight for cash, or they just don't care. Someone else picks them up. Could MS go after that person, even though they let the domain drop (thus proving that they have no interest in it?).
(Although I think it's pretty stupid that MS didn't register a lot of these beforehand, they were just inviting squatters to move in).
There is a nickname of an industry that my wife and I are involved in. It's well known with the insiders of the industry but may not be too well known outside of the industry.
I found a combination adjectivenickname domain that is available BUT if just parked, it might have been included in this lawsuit since it could be considered a typo-squatter domain.
If I registered the domain(s) and devoloped them to relevant to the industry (mind you, this industry is completely unrelated to the close domain) mainly as an informational site (no selling, information, stories, etc.. maybe just some adsense or a Google search bar) do you think these companies, who have a lot more money to pay off lawyers than I do, would try to go after me in similar suits?
IMO - it would be petty of them to go after a site like the one I am planning, but then again, I'm sure there are people who have had legit sites like this but have been pushed around by corporate America.