–Dan Kelly, Attorney

On a regular basis, we receive inquiries from clients about IP-related solicitations that they receive from third parties relating to things like renewing trademark registrations and domain names.  Typical solicitations are one-pagers with a patina of legitimacy, referencing a particular IP asset, the owner, then usually ending with the punch line of requesting a fee or payment for “registration” or some other official-sounding service.  (Example here.)

The Domain Name Strategy Blog (which you can now access at both domainnamestrategy.com and domainstrategy.com) wrote recently about a solicitation that they received from a company calling itself WIPD, an acronym for “World Intellectual Property Database.”  Some of you may know that there is a rather large organization in Europe called WIPO, or “World Intellectual Property Organization,” which is a U.N. organization that facilitates (or attempts to facilitate) an international IP system.  WIPO is a well-known and generally trusted organization in IP circles.

Below is a partial screen shot of the header on WIPO’s home page.  WIPO is the genuine article, the real deal.

Now here is a partial screen shot of the header from a WIPD solicitation:

The WIPD website is only a slightly less egregious ripoff of WIPO’s website.  Hit the jump to see those side-by-side.

Continue Reading The World is Full of Scam Artists

–Dan Kelly, Attorney

In the past on these pages, I have been hard on Apple Inc. for apparent missteps in securing trademark rights to some of its more well-known products (iPhone, iPad).  Last week, Apple landed a victory on the domain name front, winning a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Procedure (“UDRP”)

A recent domain name decision under ICANN’s Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP Policy), captioned Bin Shabib & Associates (BSA) LLP v. Hebei IT Shanghai ltd c/o Domain Administrator, found reverse domain name hijacking, under some rather interesting, if not questionable circumstances. The Rules that govern the UDRP Policy define Reverse Domain Name HiJacking