In October of 2011, Occupy.com was put up for sale by its owner, and it was brokered by New York based domain name and IP attorney Karen J. Bernstein. I put up a poll at the time asking the value of the domain name, and about 30% of those who responded thought it was worth less than $10,000, although I am quite sure the price was much higher. While the Occupy.com domain name had value due to its descriptive nature, the Occupy movement certainly increased its value tremendously.
At the beginning of this year, it was reported that Occupy.com had sold for an undisclosed sum. According to an article on MRC.org a few weeks ago, “Filmmaker David Sauvage co-founded Occupy.com with film producer Larry Taubman after they purchased the domain “for a large confidential sum” to give voice to Occupy activists.”
As the Occupy movement prepares for its May 1st day of action across the United States, it appears that Occupy.com has launched as a home base online for the Occupy movement. The “Alpha” version of Occupy.com contains quite a bit of information about the movement and its events. The site appears to have launched in early April.
It will be interesting to watch the Occupy.com website evolve.
Domainer Awarded $30k after being Named in Bogus Counterfeiting Lawsuit: Judge says sanctions warranted against plantiffs and lawyer.
Remember domain investor VL Raymer, who found herself wrongly named in an alleged counterfeiting ring of Primp™ products last year?
Well, justice has been served.
Apparently the case didn’t just stink against Raymer, who owns Primp.com. The plaintiffs who own(ed) the Primp™ trademark also allegedly omitted some other important information against other defendants in its lawsuit and when it filed for a temporary restraining order.
The judge ruled that the plaintiff must pay Raymer $25,000 and the plaintiff’s lawyer must pay her $5,000, for a total of $30,000.
One the reasons for the award is that the plaintiffs alleged that Primp ™ trademark was
distinctive at the time the “infringing” domain name primp.com was registered. But, as the court noted:
However, a simple inquiry would have revealed that primp.com was registered to Raymer in 1998, nine years prior to the Primp™ registration in 2007. Absent any allegation that the Primp mark was distinctive in 1998, this allegation is frivolous.
Also, when the plaintiffs asked for a temporary restraining order, they stated “VL Raymer
registered primp.com to facilitate the counterfeiting of the Primp™ clothing . . . and distributed, advertised, offered for sale, and/or sold counterfeit Primp™ clothing bearing the Primp™ and Love Crush™ marks.”
As far as I can tell the domain has only ever been parked.
You’ll note earlier in this story I said the plaintiffs own(ed) the Primp™ trademark. I put the past tense in there because Raymer won a review with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, which canceled the registration.
Raymer was represented by Karen Bernstein, who does legal work for a number of domain owners.
A lot of bogus cybersquatting disputes are filed. This case was obviously over the top, but it’s still good to see justice served.
The organization that governs internet will start accepting applications on Thursday for a batch of new domain names like “.shop” or “.music.” The change means new opportunities and challenges for businesses.
Air Date: 01/11/2012 Length: 02:37
GHARIB: Just when we`ve gotten used to typing names like dot com,
dot net and dot org, a digital curveball may be coming our way. The
organization that governs the Internet will start accepting applications on
Thursday for a batch of new domain names, like dot shop or dot music. As
Sylvia Hall reports, the change spells opportunity for some businesses but
also poses new challenges for businesses trying to protect their brands.
SYLVIA HALL, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: We think of the
Internet as a world of endless possibilities, tailed by a uniform dot com
or dot org or dot net. Right now, web addresses can end only 22 ways.
ICANN, the organization that issues digital domains, will start accepting
applications for more on Thursday in a move that could add hundreds or even
thousands, of new top domains to the Internet.
ROD BECKSTROM, PRESIDENT & CEO, ICANN: This heralds a new era in the
domain name system and a significant new milestone in the history of the
Internet. This will be the largest opening of top-level domains. Those are
names to the right of the dot—in the history of the Internet.
HALL: That means web addresses will open up to new languages and new
characters. Companies and interest groups can also buy their own names.
Critics worry the application process will open an expensive name-grab
where companies and non-profits empty their pockets to protect their
DAN JAFFE, EXEC. VP, GOV`T RELATIONS, ASSOCIATION OF NATIONAL
ADVERTISERS: A lot of companies have said that they feel that they may
have to buy their own name back, basically.
HALL: The Association of National Advertisers has joined the chorus
of those opposed, requesting that ICANN safeguard trademarks.
JAFFE: We have come forward with a proposal to ICANN saying that you
should set up a registry—a do-not sell registry—and that for brand-
holders who do not want to use their brands in a top-level domain, that for
no cost, they should be able to put their name on that registry.
HALL: Jaffe`s still waiting to hear back on those proposals. But
the names aren`t cheap and some say the cost alone will prevent cyber
squatters from grabbing choice domains. It costs one $185,000 just to
apply. Companies who win domains will have to pay $25,000 annually in
fees. Karen Bernstein is helping a client apply for one of the registries.
KAREN BERNSTEIN, ATTORNEY, KAREN BERNSTEIN: It`s $185,000 to apply,
so the chances that someone is going to take, say, dot Coke and pretend
that they are Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) are going to be very limited.
HALL: Bernstein says the new domain names could also open a new
chapter for trademarks. Up until now, the letters on the right side of a
web address have not been subject to trademark laws. She says that could
soon change. Sylvia Hall, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Washington.
“Video: New Internet Domain Names Causing Disputes | Jan 10, 2012.” New Internet Domain Names Causing Disputes. Nightly Business Report, 10 Jan. 2012. ”
“…..Karen J. Bernstein, Law Offices of Karen J. Bernstein, LLC – I predict that in 2012 there will be substantial problems with the majority of Generic, Geographic and IDN gTLD applicants being approved by virtue of the complexities of the applicant proving it has the financial capacity in answering the ICANN gTLD Guidebook Questions 45-50. It is by far the most difficult part of the application process.
The ICANN gTLD Guidebook Questions require extremely detailed predictions and ICANN provides no benchmarks for what is an acceptable financial model going out three years in advance, which is akin to working in the dark. I believe that based on the laborious financial review process the timeline for ICANN to publish approvals of applications will be delayed by virtue of the financial complexities ICANN has created for companies seeking to become a gTLD registry. Brand gTLDs will most likely have little difficulty since their registry is “closed” to the public….”
Silver, Elliott. “Domain Industry: Predictions for 2012.” Ellots Blog: Domain Name Investing News & Tips. Elliot Silver, 1 Jan. 2012. <http://www.elliotsblog.com/domain-industry-predictions-for-2012-2833>.