Top 10 Domain Name Stories of January 2011
Despite suffering from Domainer Flu, the .com gTLD of which is now owned by TuCows' YummyNames (thanks Bill Sweetman), we bring you the top 10 cybersquatting/domain name stores of January 2011:
1. Court allows Microsoft's Claims for Contributory Cybersquatting. The Western District of Washington confirmed this month that contributory cybersquatting does, in fact, exist. Microsoft asserted the contributory cybersquatting claim against Digispace Solutions and yMultimedia and alleged that those companies induced third parties to register domain names that contained or consisted of typosquats of Microsoft's trademarks.
2. John Zuccarini loses in court... again. Zuccarini filed a lawsuit against eNom, NameJet, Verisign, and Network Solutions after a court-appointed receiver failed to renew several domain domain names that were formerlly owned by Zuccarini, which included govermentgrants.com, usgoverment.com, and britian.com. These, and several other domain names, were awared to Office Depot after it sued Zuccarini, which in turn assigned them to DS Holdings to sell. As Domain Name Wire reports, the court noted, “Zuccarini has already wasted quite enough of the parties’ and this Court’s time and resources in responding to his frivolous claims."
3. VeriSign announces 4th Quarter Loss, Profits Up. VeriSign announced a 4th quarter loss of $40.5 million, due in part to a $109 million interest payment related to a special dividend. Despite this loss, domain sale and SSL certificate revenue was up 13% to $178.8 million.
4. Demand Media has successful IPO, opens at over $23 a share. Domain industry giant Demand Media's IPO was a successful event. Shares were up 40% before opening at over $23 a share, and the share price remained relatively consistent throughout January. Demand Media owns a large portfolio of domains, domain name registrar eNom, parking company HotKeys, and a part of NameJet. Domain Name Wire has some insight into how this may change the industry and lead to the acquisition of other registrars.
5. Google strikes back at content farms, may allow blocking of domain names. Potentially in response to Demand Media's IPO, Google has been rumored to be working on a new feature set that will allow end-users to block domain names from search results. This feature would be tailored towards the blocking of spam and content farms, such as Demand Media's eHow. For more on Google's algorithm change, read Matt Cutts' blog.
6. Oversee.net Acquires ShopWiki. Oversee.net has acquired ShopWiki, a network of shopping comparison websites. Oversee.net is the parent company of DomainSponsor, SnapNames, and Moniker. Domain Name Wire reports that ShopWiki.com receives over three million unique visitors per month.
7. New York Times buys dealbook.com from Frank Schilling, after it lost a UDRP proceeding for the name. Media giant New York Times has purchased dealbook.com from notable domainer Frank Schilling for an undisclosed price. Frank's Name Administration company won the UDRP on a laches defense--a defense that is very rarely recognized under the UDRP.
8. GoDaddy (and others) begin to heavily market the .co ccTLD. GoDaddy has begun to heavily market the .co ccTLD through an advertizing bliz that included a Super Bowl commercial. Other comanies, such as Overstock.com, have followed suit. Overstock.com has rebranded as O.Co, a domain that cost the company $350,000.
9. NameDrive receives undisclosed investment amount and reorganizes. Domain Name Wire reports that domain parking company NameDrive has received an undisclosed investment from BIP Invesment Partners S.A., which also holds investments in Key-Systems, EuroDNS, and Domain Invest. NameDrive says that it has sold over $10 million in domains through its NDX market since 2008.
10. Over 200 sickened at DomainFest 2011. Media outlets are now reporting that over 200 individuals have been struck by an unknown sickness following their attendance at DomainFest 2011 and the subsequent afterparty sponsored by DomainSponsor, which was held at the Playboy Mansion. The cause is yet to be determined, but some have speculated that it may be Pontiac Fever, a respiratory infection caused by the same Legionalla bacteria responsible for Legionnaires disease. We hope that this incident will not overshadow the otherwise best DomainFest yet, and we hope to see all of our friends and collegues again at DomainFest 2012.