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BMW Goes After BMW.cat

In one of the first (if not the first) UDRP cases for .cat, the auto giant BMW appears to have filed a WIPO case over the BMW.cat domain name.

Other prospective new TLD operators have tried to suggest in ICANN meetings that these new TLDs do not cause problems with cybersquatting or defensive registrations. Maredudd ap Gwyndam of dot-cym stated during Thursday’s ICANN meeting:

The way we work is similar to dot cat for the Catalan language and culture. And as I’m sure you know, in ICANN they haven’t had any challenges yet. They have had no problem with defensive registrations, with cyber squatting and they are no threat whatsoever to any other TLDs.

Obviously, given the above WIPO case, that statement is false. ICANN should be very careful in approving any new TLDs, in my opinion. The externalities imposed on others via defensive registrations, cybersquatting, consumer confusion, phishing, spam and other abusive practices will often outweigh any benefits from a new TLD.

A cost-benefit analysis should be performed for each and every prospective new TLD, to determine whether it actually adds true value to the internet. Many times, that analysis will demonstrate that the only “value” being added is to the bank accounts of registry operators and registrars, at the expense of nearly everyone else. In these cases, the new TLDs should be denied.

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

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George Kirikos  –  Aug 20, 2007 2:21 PM

Just to followup, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the auto company, was successful in its UDRP case, according to the WIPO decision.

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