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[council] Brandjacking report from MarkMonitor

  • To: "BC List" <bclist@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, "GNSO Council" <council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [council] Brandjacking report from MarkMonitor
  • From: "Mike Rodenbaugh" <mxr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2007 13:34:54 -0700
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  • Thread-topic: Brandjacking report from MarkMonitor

Here is a brief summary from National Arbitration Forum, along with
links to this useful information from MarkMonitor.  This info is
relevant to the debates around Domain Tasting and Protecting the Rights
of Others.


Report Shows Cybersquatting is Increasing Substantially


MarkMonitor <http://markmonitor.com/> , a San Francisco-based company
providing online brand and Internet fraud protection
<http://markmonitor.com/about/> , released its first quarterly
brandjacking report on April 30, 2007. The report
-2007.pdf>  details the increasing amount of cybersquatting - the term
for the registration of a domain name that infringes upon or otherwise
violates the rights of a trademark holder - and other brand use
violations. MarkMonitor and some others in the industry are specifically
referring to this as "brandjacking
BC> ," in which Internet users infringe upon the registered trademarks
of businesses in order to advertise their own products. The concern of
most trademark holders is that these violations potentially lead to
brand dilution of the products and services that they market under their


The report, based on an examination of twenty-five
ssue=20070430>  of the world's strongest brands over a four-week period,
indicates that cybersquatting increased by 248% in 2006
-2007.pdf> . MarkMonitor's study "found more than 286,000 instances of
cybersquatting for the 25 brands it studied
<http://www.newsfactor.com/story.xhtml?story_id=0010003B3T19&page=1> ,"
averaging 11,400 instances per brand. Well-trafficked media websites,
which constituted 31% of the reported instances
BC> , as well as financial services
websites, appear to be the most attractive targets of cybersquatters.


Similar results were found when looking at other types of violations,
including phishing, tasting (also known as kiting), and pay-per-clicks.
Financial institutions
ageNumber=1&imageid=&cap=&sz=13&WTModLoc=NewsArt-C1-ArticlePage1>  are
significantly impacted by both phishing and kiting; they represent 41%
of all phishing instances
-2007.pdf>  and constitute the majority
-2007.pdf>  of all documented tastings. The report indicated that
pay-per-click sites alone have provided about $125 million in profits to
"cyber crooks."


The increase in domain name disputes handled by alternative dispute
resolution institutions such as WIPO
<http://www.wipo.int/portal/index.html.en>  and the National Arbitration
Forum <http://www.adrforum.com/>  ("FORUM") also support MarkMonitor's
findings. In 2006, the FORUM's domain name dispute caseload increased by
21% <http://domains.adrforum.com/newsroom.aspx?itemID=1176> .


The results of MarkMonitor's report indicate a real concern for
businesses trying to protect their trademarks on the Internet.
Specifically, these cybersquatting, phishing, tasting, and pay-per-click
practices are leading to losses of revenue and advertising costs, and
false association
-2007.pdf>  of brand names and products. As an initial defense, Internet
browsers Firefox and Internet Explorer have attempted to block phishing
attempts by inhibiting Internet users from accessing these sites. While
the global efforts being made by Mozilla and Microsoft are laudable,
businesses are ultimately encouraged to pursue individualized methods of
protection, such as careful domain name monitoring
<http://markmonitor.com/resources/docs/wp-domainmanagement-US.pdf> , or
contacting a specialist IT outsourcer
<http://www.ihotdesk.com/article.asp?ID=18141125>  for further



Mike Rodenbaugh

Sr. Legal Director

Yahoo! Inc.


NOTICE:  This communication is confidential and may be protected by
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