Overheard: Word of the Day

Dec 29 2008   12:23PM GMT

Overheard – Cybersquatting back in the news

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

43.jpg The George W. Bush Library Foundation has retrieved its domain name. A small Internet company had bought www.georgewbushlibrary.com for less than $10 after it expired and then sold it back it to the library for $35,000.

Christopher Beam, answering the question Is Cybersquatting Against the Law?

I thought for sure that cybersquatting was an old dot.com relic, but apparently it’s not. MarkMonitor, a company that specializes in helping companies protect their brands on the Internet, reports that there were 428,617 instances of cybersquatting in the second quarter of 2008. That’s a 38% increase from 2007.

In the largest cybersquatting judgment ever, a federal court in the Northern District of California awarded Verizon $33.15 million. It seems that OnlineNIC had registered 663 domain names that were either identical or similar to Verizon trademarks.

According to the NY Times: OnlineNic registered more than 900,000 domain names similar to some of the world’s biggest companies, including Google, Adidas, the News Corporation’s MySpace, Wal-Mart Stores and Yahoo, Verizon said in court papers. Verizon accused OnlineNic of using an automated process to register the addresses and employing “numerous means to conceal its true identity.”

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