Less than two weeks ago, Apple filed a dispute claim with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) over the iPhone5.com domain name. The move has been deemed an obvious attempt at keeping those pesky traffic-hungry web masters at bay ahead of a forthcoming sixth-generation iPhone introduction.
It appears Apple has won this dispute, as indicated on the WIPO’s website and WHOIS search, which now lists the iPhone5.com domain as ‘Terminated’, a tell-tale indication that the original owner has relinquished ownership…
As explained by The Next Web, the domain is now in the hands of brand protection agency Corporation Service Company.
The domain was registered in 2008 and operated as a online bulletin board. Its owners stated that it was “not endorsed, sponsored, nor otherwise affiliated with Apple” and was “for the sole purpose of entertainment and knowledge.”
All registrars must follow ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy which mandates that trademark-based domain name disputes be resolved by agreement, court action or arbitration before a registrar will cancel, suspend or transfer a domain name.
According to ICANN:
Disputes alleged to arise from abusive registrations of domain names (for example, cybersquatting) may be addressed by expedited administrative proceedings that the holder of trademark rights initiates by filing a complaint with an approved dispute-resolution service provider.
To invoke the policy, a trademark owner should either (a) file a complaint in a court of proper jurisdiction against the domain-name holder (or where appropriate an in-rem action concerning the domain name) or (b) in cases of abusive registration submit a complaint to an approved dispute-resolution service provider (see below for a list and links).
Apple, like other big companies, secures certain domain names through brand protection agencies. The company owns a lot of domains that simply forward to certain sections of their official website, thus preventing shady website owners from banking on the popularity of Apple’s brand names.
For example, Apple owns such domains as applesales.com, appleproductsonline.com, appleipods.com and ipods.com, all of which forward to appropriate sections of the Apple.com website.
The company also secured ownership of the iPhone4.com and WhiteiPhone.com domains that used to forward to pornography sites.
The iPhone5.com domain no longer shows a forum dedicated to discussion of the iPhone 5, as seen in a screenshot below, which was taken ten days ago.
Be that as it may, Apple owning the iPhone5.com domain doesn’t necessarily mean that the next iPhone will be called the iPhone 5, though it’s interesting how Apple recognized that the moniker has already gained enough traction to draw significant amount of traffic on the web.
Fancy sharing an iPhone 5-related domain name that could be used to make a quick buck?