UPDATE February 19, 2013: According to DNW, Nintendo has filed a cybersquatting complaint with World Intellectual Property Forum over the domain name: Wiiu.com.
ORIGINAL STORY: Nintendo announced the Wii U more than a year and a half ago at E3 2011. Incredibly, the company made the announcement without owning the domain name WiiU.com. Fast forward months later to the video game console’s launch in November 2012, and people hoping to find more information about the console instead found themselves on a web site with Shopping.com affiliate offers that included links to a variety of entertainment products.
In an interesting turn of events, the domain name, which was likely raking in some decent earnings, expired on January 13, 2013, according to WHOIS records.
As of today, WiiU.com has been replaced with a parking page indicating the name has expired.
The domain, which is privately registered, has attracted a good amount of visitor traffic.
According to a very rough estimate by the analytics site Compete, WiiU.com had nearly 7,000 unique visitors to its website in November 2012, and more than 6,000 visitors in December.
The name is already listed on the domain name auction marketplace SnapNames with a minimum bid of $69. Two people have already placed bids.
At this point, it’s unknown whether the domain’s current owner is intentionally allowing the name to expire or simply forgot. It’s also possible that Nintendo has sent the owner a cease-and-desist letter.
Surprisingly, Nintendo hasn’t filed a domain dispute through UDRP arbitration, which it has done before for names like nintendo-gamecube.com and i-nintendo.com. In 2011, Nintendo secured rights to the domain SuperMario.com after filing a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Before you say, “How does a major company not own the matching domain to one of its products?”
Nintendo isn’t the only company guilty of this.
Talking about this story: GameZone