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Does the iPhone Keep dotMobi Awake at Night?

We've had a number of questions (and seen plenty of commentary) regarding the recent launch of the iPhone and how it might affect us and the mobile web in general. ...the iPhone changes the way that tastemakers think about their online existence. Interacting with the web, clearly, is no longer a solitary, sedentary and constrained activity.Now I've personally believed this for a while, so arguably it's no big deal -- the long-term evolution of the web to become a largely mobile (and, by the way, subtly different) medium is inevitable. more

Google Sued in Domainer Lawsuit: Vulcan Golf v. Google

Domainer litigation is heating up, and this lawsuit may be the most ambitious anti-domainer lawsuit to date. First, it is a putative class action lawsuit. Second, in addition to naming four leading domainer firms, the plaintiffs provocatively go after Google for providing ads to domainer sites. I believe this is the first lawsuit against Google for its domainer relationships. The complaint itself is a 121 page, 638 paragraph (with one paragraph enumerating 47 defined terms), 4.3MB behemoth alleging trademark infringement and dilution, ACPA violations, RICO and other claims. more

Google’s Top-10 Search Terms Dominated By Trademarks

According to Google's 2006 Year-End Review, dubbed Zeitgeist, or the cultural climate of an era, a majority of the top-ten search terms for 2006 were trademarks. Topping the list is the registered BEBO mark which is held by Bebo.com LLC, a California company that runs a social networking website. Second on the list was MYSPACE, the registered mark associated with Newscorp's $580 million social-networking giant. Next, as a result of a majority of the world catching soccer fever over the summer, "world cup" ranked as the third most searched term... more

Will Splogs Kill .INFO Domains?

An article in the September issue of Wired explores search spam and the role of .info domain names. The article, titled "Spam + Blogs = Trouble" is a good overview of the problems of search spam, blog spam, and other various forms of web activity designed to take advantage of search engines. (The article will be online September 5, but you can read it on page 104 of the print edition that is available to subscribers now). For those not versed in search spam, it's basically creating multiple websites, typically auto-generated by computers, to get good search rankings and then monetize the resulting search traffic through AdSense or affiliate programs. The article focuses much of its attention to splogs, or auto-generated blogs... more

When Will Google™ Become Generic?

Today, there are hundreds of once highly protected famous name brands, which were backed by multi-million dollar promotional budgets, now commonly used in daily lingo as generic names, as it was their huge popularity that made them lose their trademark protection. So why is the use of famous trademarked names as 'verbs' in our daily language feared by the attorneys representing that mark? Now this calls for a closer look... more

Internet Governance: An Antispam Perspective

All those Internet Governance pundits who track ICANN the way paparazzi track Paris Hilton are barking up the wrong tree. They've mistaken the Department of Street Signs for the whole of the state. The real action involves words like rbldnsd, content filtering, and webs of trust. Welcome to the Internet! What's on the menu today? Spam, with some phish on the side! We've got email spam, Usenet spam, IRC spam, IM spam, Jabber spam, Web spam, blogs spam, and spam splogs. And next week we'll have some brand new VoIP spam for you. Now that we're a few years into the Cambrian explosion of messaging protocols, I'd like to present a few observations around a theme and offer some suggestions. more

Google Sued for Trademark Infringement Based on Third-Level Subdomain

It's no surprise that Google has been sued again for trademark infringement, but the basis of this lawsuit is surprising. Rather than another lawsuit over the sale of trademarked keywords to deliver ads (along the lines of the GEICO, American Blinds, Rescuecom and JTH Tax cases, or the dozens of international lawsuits), this lawsuit is based on a Blogspot blog URL. Because of its comparative novelty, this lawsuit raises some complex and unsettled legal issues. more

What Legal Framework for Online Identity?

Have you ever thought of how reputation is created in cyberspace? Beth Noveck wrote an article, 'Trademark Law and the Social Construction of Trust: Creating the Legal Framework for On-Line Identity' in which she argues that, to determine what rules should govern on-line identity, we should look to trademark law, which has the best set of rules to deal with the way reputation is created in cyberspace. more

The Power of Google

The other night I was chatting with my wife about things and I mentioned a TV show that I saw back in the 1980's about a home-brew nuclear device in which the bomb-squad person who cuts the cliche red or green wire makes the wrong choice. So I went to Google to find the movie. I had a hard time finding it. (I eventually did - it was the 1983 show Special Bulletin.) But along the way I more than once wondered whether my memory was playing games on me. The meta-thought that came about was this... more

Live Nude Domain Names

ICANN announced recently that it has begun negotiations with an applicant for another 'sponsored' (non-open) top level domain, .XXX. There has been a fair amount of coverage, for and against. My initial reaction is (with the proviso that the public information to assess these things is always insufficient): .XXX seems plausible for what it is but it isn't what many probably think it is. ...that's the key to understanding this. This TLD is intended to be a trade association and is not a form of regulation. more