Apple wins dispute over iPods.com, domain name ordered transferred

iPod Shuffle

Updated August 1, 2011:  The full administrative panel decision has been posted online.

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WIPO Panelist David Cairns has ruled in favor of Apple in a dispute over the domain name ipods.com.

Apple filed the complaint at the end of May with the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Although the company is known for paying millions of dollars for domain names, sometimes months after launching a product, it may be adopting a different approach by following the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the UDRP), which costs thousands not millions when it’s successful for a complainant.  

In the case of iCloud.com which captured technology news headlines, the company reportedly paid $4.5 million in late April for ownership of the domain name (along with others) from Swedish cloud computing company Xcerion, shortly before officially launching the service. 

But the days of Apple purchasing domain names for seven figures, like it did for iPhone.com from businessman Michael Kovatch months after it released the iPhone, might be gone.

Full details of the ruling in case no. D2011-0929 have not been posted yet, which would explain what led Panelist David Cairns to the decision of ordering ipods.com to be transferred to Apple.  

The decision was just issued this past Friday, on July 29, according to WIPO’s website.  When the full decision becomes available online, I will update this post.

Depending on the reasoning, this decision could prompt Apple to file dozens of disputes over web addresses it still doesn’t own such as iPad.com, iPads.com, Macs.com, iPhones.com, iPhone5.com and countless more.

Earlier this month, Apple acquired the domains iPhone4.com and WhiteiPhone.com for an undisclosed amount.

Discussion: Apple Insider, Chron.Com / TechBlog, iPodNN, Neowin.net, 9to5Mac, Network World, The Inquirer, Mashable, Geeky Gadgets, the Sociable and Techmeme

(Photo of iPod Shuffle Second Generation via Wikipedia)

3 comments
Eambo
Eambo

I'm pretty sure UDRP only applies if they can prove they owned copyright before the site was registered - the examples of the multi-million purchases you gave were owned by other people before the products existed - eg iCloud and iPhone. iPods.com has clearly been registered after the iPod range was launched - that's the only reason they have a case. They're not changing policy, just taking the correct route for this scenario.

ZekFoo
ZekFoo

Wow thats messed up dude, the kangaroo courts have clearly been bought and paid for. www.privacy-tools.no.tc

Jamie Zoch
Jamie Zoch

They will have a HARD time winning iPad.com via WIPO/UDRP IMO! They will have to pay up for that one. iPhone5.com yes, I could see them winning that, since it has displayed Apple ads in the past and was recently sold at Sedo.