LinkedIn files dispute over typosquatting domain LinkdIn.com that sold for $22K

LinkdIn.com

There have been a lot of disputes filed recently over typosquatting domain names that mislead consumers.  LinkedIn is now the latest company to file a complaint (Case No. 1417534) with the National Arbitration Forum over a popular typo domain – LinkdIn.com (missing the ‘e’).

What makes this case so interesting, and so expensive for one party, is that the current owner paid $22,000 USD to the buy the domain at SnapNames back in July 2010.  

SnapNames, which was founded in 2000 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oversee.net, operates one of the largest auction marketplaces of expired and deleting domain names.  The website also allows domain owners to sell names out of their own portfolio.

Mike Berkens of The Domains wrote about the sale last year on his domain industry news blog saying, “Its amazing in this day and age there are so many people willing to pay this kind of money for a domain that would be taken in a UDRP if a complaint is filed.”

It’s highly probable now with the dispute filed, that the domain will be taken.

Today, people who accidentally enter LinkdIn.com (the incorrect spelling) into their web browser instead of LinkedIn.com (the correct spelling), are redirected to a survey scam that asked a series of questions and attempts to gather personal information by promising free gifts like a $1,000 Walmart gift card, as shown in the screenshot above of the LinkdIn site.

Knowing also that LinkedIn Corporation has several registered LinkedIn trademarks, it should be no surprise that LinkedIn is pretty much guaranteed to win the dispute.

As Mike Berkens wrote over a year ago, “Yes I know the domain has traffic,  but its a bang on typo trademark domain with no other conceivable meaning.”

The panel with the National Arbitration Forum will determine whether the disputed domain meets the following three elements:

(1) is the domain name identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which the complainant has rights
(2) the owner has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name and;
(3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. 

If all three elements are met, the domain will be ordered transferred to LinkedIn Corporation. 

The truth of the matter is, it should be a quick open-and-shut case in favor of LinkedIn.

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