analysis AirBnB and Taylor Swift - Famous Names and TM Make Top Domain Trends List

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Should Verisign Include TM and Famous Names on Top 10 List

  • This poll is still running and the standings may change.
  • This poll is still running and the standings may change.

Have they always posted TM names in the Top Tens? Seems like it confirms and builds the perception domain name registrants may be a bunch of cyber sq***ters.

AirBnB and Taylor Swift - Famous Names and TM Make Top Domains List

Verisign published their monthly domain report. AirBnB and Taylor Swift jumped out at me because I think in retrospect, - to quote those few of you who remember the I Love Lucy show - someone may have some "splaining to do".

Full Article Here

Now I think within fair use domains should be able to use TM words if they are not trying to confuse the public, or using under fair use. Very few domain name investors make use of their domain names so domainer WIPO cases may not be the best way to set a standard.

I'm not sure we have got to the point where a registry operator might say or publicize that a trademark term or famous name term is being widely registered, and furthermore in the top registered names. Or if you really understand whats underlying these numbers, its not the highest 10 words, just 10 sample words that have shown growth. More in that tomorrow.

But it makes a tough case to say the registry is not aware a lot of trademark and famous names are being registered. My hope is it gets us closer to allowable fair use, not that i want to build websites but I do want to make a market in domain names that can be bought by others to build fair use websites.

But then, Taylor Swift and AirBNB may have a lot of uses in other non trademarked industry groups, or a lot of personal website owners have their pets named Taylor Swift.

I'm guessing this blog post looks different next week.

Here are the Top 10 in .com


And the Top 10 in .Net

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It might be me but I can't comprehend the purpose of your article.
Well i'm trying to share that myself and most of us buy names with generic words. And for the past 5 or more blogs Verisign has shown popular words. Not the most popular, because i think they have usually omitted Famous names and Trademarks.

I spend a lot of time deflecting the common thought that domain investors buy other people name, and i think WIPO and the industry has cleaned up the public perception quite a bit.

So for me, it was a surprise to see Verisign knowingly list and publicize how many people (unless that are all Taylor Swift or AirBNB) register these names.

I think they may have included Trump one time, because he seemingly doesnt deserve protection.

Thanks for the note.

Page Howe
I could not believe they included Airbnb especially and tweeted that with them tagged a number of hours ago. I can't believe that got through their moderated blog. In the strongest way I believe that it is wrong for Verisign to promote. Will be interesting to see if they withdraw the post or modify it.

Not the most popular, because i think they have usually omitted Famous names and Trademarks.

July 2018 TESLA
May 2018 APPLE
April 2018 REALTOR

May 2018 AMAZON
April 2017 OATH (Coincide with Yahoo rebrand..?)


i think WIPO and the industry has cleaned up the public perception quite a bit.

Does WIPO or it's work ever appear or even exist in the mind of normal general public?

Maybe @GeorgeK can weigh in what he thinks about WIPO too, they removed one of the UDRP decisions from their "Case law" reference webpage.

Have anyone read this?

I don't see many domain investors participating nor know if anyone even follows the ICANN’s RPM group.
After many months of reading confusing emails from the ICANN RPM working group, I am not impressed.

There seems to be a lot of time consuming back and forth, lacking leadership without consensus about trademarks being debated right now as you mention this. Some of you might at least observe or better yet get involved, since @GeorgeK is unable to do so. Perhaps he can interpret all about the Trademark reference fireworks and barrage of activity just this past few days. I deleted all the emails as imho, a huge mess. This working group which seems more like an "Argument group".

Reliance on Deloitte, TMCH, etc. are currently being debated.

But it seems to go round and round in circles, this being one of the latest brilliant observations.

Statement made "In response to the WG’s question as to how many device or image marks have been validated, Deloitte’s response was that: As there is no unilateral international definition of different types of trademarks and the TMCH was designed as a global trademark database covering all jurisdictions the TMCH cannot make a distinction in types of marks and therefor no data is collected on the types of marks submitted in the TMDB. "
thats nice work on the prior months, I need to increase my sample size.

Im still hoping this opens up some fair use, or it would be interesting if tesla ever went after their dealers - ir they need to pre-impose rules like realtor.

Of course AirBNB is just a go between, they don't own or operate the properties.... so owners are independent contractors, guess ive got some WIPO cases searching to see how some companies trat their dealers.

Thanks for the research on prior months.

I discovered a way to actually see how many domain names were registered, since Verisign only indicate that the rate of registrations are up in the term without giving any numbers.

There were 317 .com registrations including the term Airbnb in August, 2019, learned using the advance search feature on Dofo. I describe how to do it, and the controversy about whether such terms should be listed in the Verisign blog posts, in this post I just published at NameTalent. The post also gives a link to look at a list of the names on Dofo if you want to see whether you think they are trademark infringing.

Dofo advanced search is such an amazing tool! Thank you @Macit !

Take this with a grain of salt and my personal opinion. I'll preface this also by saying I am strongly against registering trademarks and trying to make money from anyone's brand etc.
I take this list published for as long as I can remember by Verisign as to quote an old tv show "just the facts". I don't think they are endorsing it. I'm not sure there is an easy way for them or anyone else to pre-qualify the correct registrants for a domain. The practicalities of that would be pretty messy, again in my opinion. You don't know who is registering a particular domain, their connection to the trademark or their plans for it etc etc.
I do think they should put the top keywords out there for all to see, but just leave it as a fact. This is what we saw registered last week.
As for your point about this giving the domain investing community a bad name. I agree with that. I think that people should not buy domains that are trademarks and I feel very strongly about this. That being said, I don't think most domain investors do this. I really think it's a small minority of bad actors and they should stop but I am not sure what kind of sway we have over them. The vast majority of domain investors I know would not knowingly buy a trademark or even something that might be a possible trademark.

And as a side note, Taylor Swift certainly comes across to me as someone you don't want to mess with :) So buyer beware if you wind up in court with her. Good luck to both her on her new album and AirBNB on their new plans. I wish them both lots of success.
I don't think they are endorsing it. I'm not sure there is an easy way for them or anyone else to pre-qualify the correct registrants for a domain. The practicalities of that would be pretty messy, again in my opinion. You don't know who is registering a particular domain, their connection to the trademark or their plans for it etc
You make a good point @Joe Styler and I totally agree with you that it would be next to impossible to control at the point of registration. I also agree that they are in essence simply reporting what is registered, and pointing out that it reflects modern interests and trends. I think the problem is that they are Verisign, the caretaker of the most important extension by far in the world. By pointing out that many people are registering probably TM issues, without even a statement that warns against TM registrations, it seems to me that they come too close to if not endorsing at least accepting. They massage the lists taking out non-English terms even if they had trended. I would have also taken out problematic TM ones, or if leaving them in had a caveat about them.
I'm not a lawyer and don't even play one on tv. There have to be some IP attorneys on this forum that might want to weigh in. But I think that doing what you are suggesting has the potential to open them up to more liability and lawsuits not less. They've got a lot of lawyers on staff and I bet they looked over this before it was released. I don't want to get myself into trouble for commenting on legal issues so I will not elaborate, this is just my 2 cents.
Here is a really entertaining and extreme of trademark squatting example I ran across: Said domainer who got slapped with a UDRP that registered over 600 domain names with the words of Google+keyword, not sure if all were on Godaddy. Lol. etc. was there several years. Nameservers show it all.

“On March 19, 2012, Godaddy.Com, LLC confirmed by e-mail to the National Arbitration Forum that the disputed domain names are registered with Godaddy.Com, LLC and that Respondent is the current registrant of the names. Godaddy.Com, LLC has verified that Respondent is bound by the Godaddy.Com, LLC registration agreement and has thereby agreed to resolve domain disputes brought by third parties in accordance with ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the “Policy”).”
I think that people should not buy domains that are trademarks and I feel very strongly about this.

Right now, GD protects itself so the registration front end software is available. You can attempt at Godaddy to register a name that has Godaddy+keyword, and your front end software refuses to register it. Great, excellent. So, why not additional trademarks that are very clear? For example, you can type in Google + Keyword, and if available- but it can be registered. Why should someone falsely be mislead into believing they can legitimately buy a "Counterfeit" name (For lack of a better term) in all actuality it's IP infringing and like counterfeiting if later used to impersonate Google products. Right?

A $500 Billion problem according to the OECD.

What does this agreement do anyway?

Coincidently, I ran across this right here today! registered at Godaddy Sept 2, 2019- an obvious infringing domain name, that Godaddy took this uninformed persons $18, no problem. Is that good PR? Is that good for business? Today, some new person here on the forum posted to sell, it was caught by @Amanda (Thanks Amanda!) sale was shut down, then OP in their arrogance, opened a second thread that was also shut down.

General Question: so maybe GD can lead by example to have a at least a "famous brand name" keyword prevention look up table, now? Sure there are ambiguous names that cannot be screened out like "Virgin" or "Apple" that might not infringe they must be allowed and URS or UDRP handled since it's a generic word. But certain obvious words like Twitter, Kleenex, Windex, Google, Lipitor, Cialis, etc. are very much unique.

This would serve a leadership position in the protection against IP infringement, counterfeit goods, etc.

Lesser need for CSC.

what makes you to believe the report by VeriSign is true ?

Probably just a bad marketing stunt...
Encouraging people to do what they shouldn't do:oops:
I agree with your points, i was trying to say i still believe there is room for fair use.

ie if i want to have an ebook, how to run a good airbnb rental

i should be able to registered and use

just like in a book store you may see airbnbfordummies

im not confusing the public i should disclaim airbnb is a trademark of --------

“Lego” is more popular than other brands, for exploitation.

And here is the crux of the problem. While ICANN working groups ponder and argue about the URS right now and trademarks, the past 5 years those New Gtld registrars get income from bad faith registrations.

Their example is, probably a cheap $0.89 giveaway, that Lego Corp has to fight for $1500. + internal atty fees. Costs passed on to Consumers ultimately. And why should these Corporations be forced to protect themselves from infinging registrants anyway? The new Gtld operators should self police such obvious registrations and disallow them in the first place. But no, it’s a money grab with taking $10-20. from idiot infringers with their less than ethical standards adopted by all the New Gtld promoters in of theIr respective Registry and Registrars. This seems to be complete nonsense that 5 or 6 years ago it wasn’t resolved within ICANN.

The irony is some Registrars refuse to allow vulgar adult names or “offensive” ones to be registered at all, yet infringing ones there is no issue at all!

Why should Corporations have to protect themselves by wasting money on registering 100’s of their brand names?

“But the launch of so many new gTLDs could be costly for brand owners, who will have to contend with even more "bad faith" registrations by cybersquatters and fraudsters. When a company fails to register its own trademarks — along with many subtle variations of those trademarks — under each new gTLD, there is a risk that someone else will, and these opportunities are often abused to acquire some of the traffic that would otherwise have gone to the brand owner's own websites. ”
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