Nov 2019

Don’t Register Domains With the Words ‘Facebook’ or ‘Instagram’

Last week, Facebook’s Platform Enforcement and Litigation division announced that it filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against domain name registrar, OnlineNIC (“Defendant OnlineNIC”) and its privacy/proxy service ID Shield (“Defendant ID Shield”) for allegedly registering domain names, or web addresses that pretended to be affiliated with Facebook.


The High Cost of ‘Cybersquatting’ –And Yes, It’s a Federal Crime

The basis for Facebook’s lawsuit against OnlineNIC and ID Shield involves the companies continuous, ongoing behavior of “cybersquatting.”
“Cybersquatting” is the intentional act of registering web addresses that are extremely similar to an existing popular, recognized trademark that rightfully belongs to that particular trademark holder. In plain English, it’s basically phishing, but
Under Section 43(d) of the Lanham Act, or the Anti-Cybersquatting Piracy Act (ACPA), trademark holders have a cause of action available to them against anyone who, with a bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of another’s trademark, registers, traffics in, or uses a domain name that is identical to, or confusingly similar to a distinctive mark, or dilutive of a famous mark, without regard to the goods or services of the parties.
According to the Complaint, the Defendants “registered, used, or trafficked in, at least the following 20 domain names (“Infringing Domain Names”) that are identical or confusingly similar” to Facebook and Instagram’s trademarks, respectively:

  • Facebook-fans-buy.com
  • Facebook-mails.com
  • Facebook-pass.com
  • Facebook-pw.com
  • Facebookphysician.com
  • Facebookvideodownload.net
  • Findfacebookid.com
  • Hackingfacebook.net
  • Hacksomeonesfacebook.com
  • 1amsocialfacebook.net
  • Trollfacebook.com
  • www-facebook-login.com
  • www-facebook-pages.com
  • buyinstagramfans.com
  • instaface.org
  • instagram01.com
  • iiinstagram.com
  • login-1instargram.com
  • m-facebook-login.com
  • singin-Instargram.com

Defendant ID Shield is the registrant for each of the Infringing Domain Names, according to the complaint, whereby Defendant OnlineNIC controls certain business operations of Defendant ID Shield, including sharing the same technical support staff and technical support services being provided by the same person(s).


Should There Be Penalties for a ‘Reckless Disregard’ for the Intellectual Property of Others?br/>

Having reviewed the attached Exhibits, this is nothing short of a group of black-hatters that care only for deceiving and (hopefully) obtaining the personal information of users by capitalizing off the value that is Facebook and Instagram’s name, image, likeness, and overall registered intellectual property.
Even more concerning about these registered domain names are that to the average consumer, some of these appear legitimate enough to click on from a search engine or even an online advertisement. And therein lies the problem.
Simply visiting any of these websites directly, should trigger a warning from your ad-blocker or virus-scanner that the site is potentially harmful—and no shit, look at the efforts the Defendants’ have gone through.

In connection with these registered domain names, the complaint further alleges that in some instances, the Infringing Domain Names have been used for “malicious activity, including to host websites directing visitors to other commercial sites, phishing, selling purported tools for hacking.” The complaint sets forth several exhibits and attachments of those websites.


In connection with these phishing scams, the complaint identified the following domain name email servers that were configured to facilitate email:

  • facebook-mails.com
  • facebook-pass.com
  • facebook-pw.com
  • facebookvideodownload.net
  • findfacebookid.com
  • hackinfacebook.net
  • hacksomeonesfacebook.com
  • login-Instargram.com
  • m-facebook-login.com
  • singin-Instargram.com
  • trollfacebook.com

According to the complaint, Defendant ID Shield failed to disclose the identity or any contact information of the licensee when presented with reasonable evidence of actionable harm by Facebook or their authorized representatives with respect to the infringement and cybersquatting claims—and get this, Defendant ID Shield never responded to notices Facebook sent to cease and desist.
By and through counsel, Tucker Ellis LLP, Facebook and Instagram have demanded a jury trial to decide all the issues identified and plead in the complaint.

 source
Domain squatting or cybersquatting
Domain squatting or cybersquatting
China Uses Blockchain Technology as Evidence for Copyright Infringement
China Uses Blockchain Technology as Evidence for Copyright Infringement

Comments

Post a comment