UDRP Reform Is Underway, And Trademark Holders Will Endeavor To Rob You Deaf, Dumb and Blind!
It amazing me how people who own trademarks do not take the time to register domains associated with the trademark. Even if the trademark is a long-tail domain name, why not spend the extra $10 or $20 to register the domain name. After all, the trademark holder just shelled out, at minimum, $275 for the damned trademark application process, with no guarantee of getting a trademark approved! At least the domain is a sure thing, if it’s available.
Let’s be honest, if I was going to get a trademark or slogan mark, and I do have one, then I would, at the very least, buy the .com TLD that corresponds with it. In the case of my one, lonely little trademark, I did that. I use the slogan mark in commerce, on a regular basis, and the trademark remains active, after nearly two years. The slogan mark, itself, is not a strong search term, but the mark is a clever phrase, well deserving of protection, in my humble opinion. It seemed quite reasonable to me that I should have the domain name, for $9.99 per year, after spending my $300 to get the damned slogan mark!
This begs the question of why trademark owners don’t go buy their slogan marks and trademarks, as domain names, when they initiate the application process. For one, it strengthens the application; for another, it does stop someone from acting in bad faith to register the slogan mark or trademark.
This brings us to defensive registrations. About one-third (I would have to do a new inventory this morning, as I just bought four more a few minutes ago) of all domains owned by Rodan Media Group are defensive registrations. They are designed to prevent someone from registering our name underneath us. This is perfectly reasonable to us; for some reason, to those who like to use the UDRP system to reverse-hijack domain names, it is not.
The Trademark Lobby, cited in Andrew Alleman’s Domain Name Wire, is poised to rip the guts out of domain owners’ rights, in favor of trademark and slogan mark holders; and some of the problem does lay with domain owners, who have been quite happy to register obvious trademarks in an effort to squat on legitimate trademarks. This wrests from the trademark holders a disdain for the investors who are the composition of this industry.
But there are also registrars who are at fault, and GoDaddy.com is among the worst, using their TDNAM service, and other questionable aftermarket tactics, to purvey obvious trademarks, on the aftermarket, when the registrations expire and are ready to drop. Lest I libel myself, I shall leave that diatribe to rest, as is, but GoDaddy.com’s activities have been well documented in the past.
Meanwhile, trademark cry babies will still grab a rattle, or a legal saber, and try to make as much noise and draw as much blood from the domain investment community as possible, all because they failed to act, by registering their own domain names. They will cite the cybersquatting incidents that have been most blatant, to justify the need for greater oversight and regulation, and rather than demand enforcement of the ACPA, as it should be done, they will craft new rules in the UDRP, use the Justice Department and even the Homeland Security Department, and lobby their way to legalization of blatant, unmitigated and horrific reverse domain hijacking.
But you’ll be alright.