[bc-gnso] Finding Common Ground Between Markholders and Legitimate Domain Registrants

martinsutton at hsbc.com martinsutton at hsbc.com
Tue Jul 7 09:48:39 UTC 2009

I would agree with Rick on this one.  Simply acquiring thousands of 
domains is not the answer, irrespective of any cost reductions, 
Considering all the variations that can be registered against a TM (and 
there's always more...), imagine what that could be like with hundreds of 
new gTLDs and the wider use of IDNs. Personally, I begrudge lining the 
coffers of registries, registrars and ICANN, while the underlying problem 
remains unresolved. 

I would prefer to look at prevention rather than cures, so that sufficient 
deterrents are in place to minimise the opportunities of abuse and 
infringements in the first place.  Realistically, this will not be a 
single solution but a multiple set of policies and tools, not all of which 
may sit neatly within ICANN's remit. 

Kind regards,


Martin C SUTTON 
Manager, Group Fraud Risk & Intelligence 
Global Security & Fraud Risk
8 Canada Square,Canary Wharf,London,E14 5HQ,United Kingdom

Phone.   +44 (0)207 991 8074
Fax.   +44 (0)207 992 4669
Mobile.   +44 (0)777 4556680
Email.   martinsutton at hsbc.com
Internet.   www.hsbc.com

"Rick Anderson" <RAnderson at interborder.ca> 
Sent by: owner-bc-gnso at icann.org
Jul 07 2009 06:43

Mail Size: 11321

<icann at leap.com>, <bc-gnso at icann.org>

Re: [bc-gnso] Finding Common Ground Between Markholders and Legitimate 
Domain Registrants

   HSBC Holdings plc - GMO

I know that in our firm it is not really the $7 registration fees which 
are the issue, even though x hundreds of registrations it adds up.  The 
more serious cost is the tens of thousands of dollars in lost time while 
people sort these things out (usually in the legal department, an 
expensive resource), without even getting into the thousands more 
occasionally required for a UDRP or for the legal threats and wrangling 
preceding one. It is this lost time and trouble which I believe most 
people find the most aggravating and wasteful, moreso than the 
registration fees per se, and regarding which the thought of mutiplying it 
xfold for new TLDs is anathema. 

It sound like you are applying your creative juices in the right 
direction, if you can develop a method which fairly preserves the 
(bonafide) rights of TMholders with minimal hassle, then you may well 
significantly lessen the reflexive antagonism re new TLDs. 


Rick Anderson
EVP, InterBorder Holdings Ltd
email: randerson at interborder.ca
cell: (403) 830-1798
office: (403) 750-5535

----- Original Message -----
From: owner-bc-gnso at icann.org <owner-bc-gnso at icann.org>
To: BC gnso <bc-gnso at icann.org>
Sent: Mon Jul 06 23:03:03 2009
Subject: Re: [bc-gnso] Finding Common Ground Between Markholders and 
Legitimate Domain Registrants

Hi Rick,

On Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 11:00 PM, Rick Anderson wrote:
> What I see wrong in this notion - at least as described here - is that 
it probably encourages tasting, squatting, speculation as much as it 
assists TMholders.  The unintended effect of subsidizing these activities 
is not a great plan.

Thanks for the feedback. One method to refine the concept further is
to truly limit things to defensive registrations (as opposed to
speculative registrations at lower cost) through a link to an active
"base" domain name (one that does resolve). For example, the domain
typo generator at DomainTools.com spits out a number of matches for


Let's say that the "base" domain name is declared to be Verizon.com.
Then if Verizon wanted to own verizoln.com or verizom.com, but the
traffic from those domains wasn't worth $7/yr to Verizon (i.e. it
doesn't "pay" for them resolve), they could pay say $3/yr to register
them but have no nameservers, at the same time linking it to
Verizon.com. They could do the same for domains in other TLDs,
declaring them "defensive registrations" that all link to one base
domain that does resolve.

One could develop an algorithm to test whether a domain that is
declared as "defensive" is similar enough to that base domain name to
qualify (e.g. a certain number of common characters, common typos like
wwwdomain.com, etc.). An algorithm probably wouldn't capture 100% of
defensive registrations, but it could probably reduce costs for a
healthy fraction of them.

There could also be a function to list all defensive registrations
(with no nameservers) for a given base domain, to make abusers easier
to bring to justice. For example, let's say someone other than Disney
did own wwwdisney.com and used that as their active "base" domain for
speculative but low traffic domains (which didn't generate $7/yr worth
of traffic) such as wwwdisney.org. A markholder would be able to more
easily capture the entire set of typos that didn't resolve (and thus
were registered under the lower cost system) in one action because of
that linkage.

> As well, what actually makes sense with these secondary TM registrations 
is to point them at the primary site (rather than to leave them to 
non-resolve).  That's a better user experience, and if the holder has to 
go to the effort of registering them (a bigger cost really than the reg 
cost), whatever traffic they may generate may as well find its 

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If the domain doesn't generate $7/yr
worth of traffic, a markholder might still keep the domain registered
in order to avoid facing the UDRP and legal costs of $5,000+ if the
domain is abused by someone else. If these marginal names could face
lower carrying costs (say $3/yr instead of $7/yr), that cost savings
could be dramatic, thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars per

Registry operators might not be happy by the loss of "fully priced"
defensive registration fees that they're used to currently, but that's
not a suitable business model to begin with. Depending on the
elasticity of demand, ironically registries might even actually
increase the number and total revenues from defensive registrations,
as the lower price for domains deemed "defensive" would actually
increase the total number registered and possibly the total
profitability for the registry.


George Kirikos

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