GoDaddy Gives Certified Appraisals for Cybersquatting Domain Names

The Domains Blog gives a report on how GoDaddy is not only selling domain names that clearly infringe on trademark rights, but selling certified appraisals of those domains. The Domains Blog, a domainer-industry source is deeply disturbed at this turn of events and proposes a domain parking code of conduct:

A. Parking companies must refuse to park any domain that infringes on a trademark. If parking companies need to hire a full time person to police this, then that’s the cost of doing business. If trademark domain holders (I will not call these people domainers) can’t make money on parking trademarked domains, the incentive for registering and holding them is gone.

B. Google and Yahoo have to block trademark domains from their system. Not all domains go through parking companies. Many go to Google directly through ad sense pages. Neither Google nor Yahoo can make money on trademark domains anymore. Game over.

C. Auction companies must not allow trademark domains to be sold on their platform. If a trademark domain holder cannot sell their domains on any of the auction platforms, then their incentive to register and hold such domains is greatly diminished.

D. Domain registrars have to peel off domains that violate trademarks and not allow them to be dropped and auctioned off. Registrars now regularly peel off the best expired domains for their own benefit, so they can remove the trademark domains at the same time for the benefit of the industry.

E. Registries upon releasing a new extension must allow all trademark holders to apply for their trademark domains for free (see out post of last week) and in any event not allow trademarked domains to be auctioned off. We all see what an embarrassment the industry suffered that the highest selling .me domain was a trademark infringing domain. This cannot be allowed to continue or be repeated when new extensions are released.


8 Responses to GoDaddy Gives Certified Appraisals for Cybersquatting Domain Names

  1. Anonymous says:

    How can a domain name, per se, infringe on a trademark? Don’t you have to know what is being displayed at the website?

    For example, how about Is that an infringement of the APPLE trademark? What if it’s for a website that sells apples by phone?

  2. You can’t know per se. Nevertheless, the example used at the original source was

    Your example is cute, but something that only Diane Cabell or David Sorkin would buy. Lets get real. There are some domains that, on their face, would only have use as trademark infringements. There are others that may need interpretation.

    I think that the original source is inspiring – as it shows someone in the domain business acting responsibly. Sooner or later, the scam artists will shake out of the domaining buinsess and it will likely take its place among legitimate business pursuits. However, until the scam artists are flushed out of the business, that respect will continue to elude it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What about fair use? Suppose I own, and operate it as a criticism site for that product? Is that automatically an infringement, or not an infringement at all? or something in between that a court or UDRP panel must decide? My point is that even the obvious “infringements” may not be so obvious after all.

    What if I own, and have no website at all at that address?

    Looking at the other side of the coin, let’s assume you are protecting only US registered trademarks. Suppose for example, it’s a 2f registration for a descriptive WORD. Should be automatically considered an infringement? What if it’s being used in its descriptive sense for a wholly different product or service.

    The problem with your approach is it is wholly unrealistic and undiscriminating. You cited a UDRP decision a while back that said just because one owns a trademark doesn’t mean that one is entitled to the corresponding domain name. Wasn’t the mark FIRED? How does that case fit into your scheme?

    In short, the Domain Blog proposal makes no sense because its premised on what you have acknowledged is a false premise: ownership of a trademark automatically means ownership of the corresponding domain name.

  4. Yes, if you own and use it to criticize that product, you *probably* will be okay. UDRP panels are unpredictable on that — just look at the case. In that one, the domain owner was criticizing a separate company! However, under the ACPA, you would be fine.

    If you own and have no website at that address, then it would seem likely that you registered the name to prevent the mark owner from registering it — bad faith.

    If it is a descriptive word and you are using the domain in its descriptive sense, then you seem to be in the right.

    You’re right about the FIRED case. In that case, Prof. Wilson made a great statement that a TM doesn’t entitle you to a domain name. However, there are a lot of “no brainer” scenarios out there. I think that is what Domain Blog was getting at.

  5. hank says:

    If I buy a domain name through GoDaddy and they sell it to me, eventhough there is a company that has trademark for that name then it’s GoDaddy’s fault not mine biatch! I’m surprised they are still in business if this was that serious! As far as domain names and trademarks: Who gives a crap? If it’s available, buy it through any ICANN registered company and don’t worry about it. It’s all about making money! Big companies f**k everyone to make a profit so it’s time to f**k them as well. You want your f**king domain name, it’ll cost you a**hole! First come first serve!Bring it b**ches!

  6. Catherine Healey says:

    Here’s another twist. I was looking at availability for a number of URLs on I didn’t buy my URL and a few days later I found it had been purchased by…. a godaddy employee.

    There’s absolutely no reason anyone would want this URL. It’s a family name and hard to spell. It doesn’t have any value except that I was looking at it. I know (or strongly suspect) an employee of godaddy bought it because I wrote their support raving about the incredible support this person had given my and I wanted to send their boss a compliment. Sure enough they wrote back on how I could send Chad some kudos. I’ll be writing kudos and commenting in as many godaddy related sites as I can find. I can use a different URL and hopefully Chad will get fired.

    My husband has used well known forums to hold hardware companies accountable. After trying to work with the company and not getting anywhere, he got results quickly by posting.

    Does anyone know what forum gets a response from godaddy?

  7. devashishbiswas says:

    Domian parking is the best option to make money while you sleep. You can park your domains at very good rates then why to go elsewhere like and At sedo you can make more money than godaddy and others.
    Try this


%d bloggers like this: