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iREIT Drops TM-Typo Domains?

As faithful CircleID readers will know, iREIT (Internet REIT, Inc.), a Texas domain name portfolio investment corporation, has been sued by Verizon and by Vulcan Golf for cybersquatting.

It appears iREIT is taking steps to clean up its portfolio by deleting obvious typos of famous trademarks. For example, they recently deleted the domain name mantbank.com, which is a fairly obvious typo of mandtbank.com (the typo is missing the ‘d’), a bank in the USA.

According to the cached historical WHOIS for mantbank.com (available via DomainTools.com, Silver Membership required), the registrant as of July 9, 2007 was:

Domain: mantbank.com
Cache Date: 2007-07-09

Domain: mantbank.com
Registration provider: ItsYourDomain.com

Domain Administrator
Internet REIT, Inc.
[email protected]
1707 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 215
Houston, TX 77056 US

Whereas the new WHOIS as of August 29, 2007 is:


Blair Russell ([email protected])
18151 NE 31ST CT, PH115
Tel. +1.7868971306

Creation Date: 22-Aug-2007
Expiration Date: 22-Aug-2008

The name was recently caught via SnapNames, after it went through the deletion cycle, as indicated by the above creation date. Since the new registrant is in the USA, the ACPA, with its $100,000 statutory damages, could be applicable if the TM owner decided to file suit in a US court and is successful in proving its case. Suing in court would allow for monetary damages, whereas filing a UDRP would not.

Given that the typo domain name appears to have a high amount of type-in traffic (an Overture score of 5668 with the .com is very high, and might indicate several hundred, if not thousands, of daily visitors, and of course financial traffic monetizes very well with pay-per-click parking ads), it would be interesting to see whether the TM holder goes after iREIT (and prior registrants) or even Google, for the historic pay-per-click parking revenues that the domain name generated, and perhaps damages on top of this.

If you have seen other questionable domains that iREIT has deleted, feel free to post them in the comments. I expect that every domain name they delete will be picked up by others. The discovery process in the Verizon and Vulcan Golf lawsuits should reveal the historic extent of their behavior, if the cases do not get settled, as one would expect that the litigants would have demanded a complete historic inventory of all of iREIT’s domain names, including ones they’ve deleted.

This situation also highlights the need for ICANN-mandated archives of all past WHOIS changes (DomainTools only caches records when its users look up WHOIS through their site), just like a land registry. The use in cybersquatting cases, and also to help domain name registrants research the provenance of domain names, to detect and recover stolen domain names, are just two obvious uses. Law enforcement and others would find such a database of immense value.

By George Kirikos, President, Leap of Faith Financial Services Inc.

Filed Under


George Kirikos  –  Aug 29, 2007 5:55 PM

To clear up any uncertainty, this was not a simple expiry of the domain name, as the domain was set to expire in 2009 when iREIT was the registrant, as noted in the cached WHOIS history linked to from above:

Record created on February 05, 2002
Record last updated on June 07, 2007
Record expires on February 05, 2009

Domain Name Servers:

So, someone did hit the big red “Delete” button.

Jered Solow  –  Nov 9, 2007 11:23 AM

Our domain was stolen by REIT.  We have the LLC for the Selftestonline.com and they have not taken it out of their holdings.  How do I get it back?

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