Microsoft files dispute over XboxOne.com and XboxOne.net domain names

Xbox One

Microsoft has filed a complaint (Case Number 1501205) with the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) over the domain names XboxOne.com and XboxOne.net.

The filing appeared online today, just two days after the company announced its next-generation console the Xbox One.

For months speculation, often based on domain registrations by the company, was rampant as to what Microsoft would call the next Xbox.

The company kept the name a secret, and kept away from registering “Xbox One” domains that would have tipped their hand.

XboxOne.com (WHOIS) and XboxOne.net (WHOIS) are registered to a resident of the United Kingdom.

Both domains are parked at Go Daddy today, but at one point, XboxOne.com was a website dedicated to Xbox-related news.  Here’s a screenshot of the XboxOne.com website from the early 2000s, courtesy of Screenshots.com.

Xbox One Website

As I’ve written before, Microsoft has had a lot of success with its domain disputes, so its latest case will almost certainly go in its favor.

XboxSmartglass.com was ordered transferred to Microsoft, as was XboxPhone.com and XboxFitness.com.   The list of victories in domain disputes for Microsoft goes on and on.  In 2012, Microsoft took ownership of several names such as XboxMusic.com, XboxSports.com, and XboxVideo.com just to name a few.

It appears only a single complaint was filed for both domains. According to UDRP rules, if more than one domain being disputed is held by the same respondent, all of the names may be included in the same complaint. Rule 3(b)(vi).

Talking about this story: Neowin, Kotaku, Joystiq, CNET, TechFlash, Shacknews, GamePolitics, 3DNews, SlashGear, Computerandvideogames.com, Herald Sun, GameSpot, IGN, VG247, Gameplanet, PC Magazine, Eurogamer, Game Informer, Gizmodo En Espanol, Kotaku Australia, NEWS.com.au, iTech Post, Den of Geek, SpieleRadar, Softpedia, WinFuture, Tech2, GameZone, GameDynamo, ITProPortal, Gamenguide, GamerZona, KultureGeek, melty.fr, JVN.com, GMA NewsGameFocus and PC Games

(Image of Xbox One via Microsoft.com)

12 comments
StephenPage
StephenPage

Nice, another MS fiasco, yet again walking all over the little guy, the owner had the domain for TEN years before Microsoft comes along and steals it. If he wasn't properly remunerated I would sue their ass for everything they've got. If they don't like it they can as a previous poster suggested move to North Korea, we live in a MARKET economy.

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AlexanderDisner
AlexanderDisner

Why they didn't register the name in the first place? think domains as real estate. If you don't buy it, its not yours, and you need to buy it if you want it. No crying, no excuses. The domain registrant saw the opportunity and took it. Capitalism. Don't like it? move to North Korea, China, Venezuela, Cuba or Argentina ASAP.

Dave Z
Dave Z

@AlexanderDisner - for the most part, domain names are indeed still first come first serve. It's just that there are more defined and established "rules" of what one can and can't do with domain names, just like any other commodity.

Ideally, it's great if we can just register any domain name we see fit without consequence. In the real world, unfortunately, registering domain names bearing trademarks tends to infringe established legal (and material) rights of others.

But, you can still move to China or similar if you can afford to. :)

MarekG
MarekG

@AlexanderDisner 

Have you been in those countries? You think you live in paradise and the rest is shit, right? You would be surprised, but I am sure people living in those countries want you to stay where you are...

TDPStudios
TDPStudios

@AlexanderDisner That isn't how how domains work... Ever since they were first introduced and regulated, Domain Squatting has been punished. and unless you can prove you have a legitimate reason for having it they can take it back.

joeblackis
joeblackis

@TDPStudios @AlexanderDisner have it back?? they never had it to begin with. Simply buy it from the owner. And the owner doesn't even have to sell it. It is his.  Dunno where MS gets off thinking they somehow have a right to every single domain in the world.. if they happen to name a product and want that domain to go along with it.  totally ridiculous. Pay for it, or gtfo.

Dave Z
Dave Z

@joeblackis - actually, Microsoft knows they don't have rights to every domain name resembling their trademarks after losing a few times. They're no stranger to enforcing their TM rights, having consistently done so for the past couple of years.

It so happens that Microsoft established rights for what I call uniquely famous trademarks, those consisting of made-up strings of words or phrases that have achieved commercial fame. They're so unique and famous (like XBox) that many people (not including you if you can tell the difference, which is good) virtually associate any domain name bearing those marks with their sources.

Speaking of which, that's precisely what trademarks do: identify distinctively the source of that good or service (i.e. service mark) in commerce. Obviously Microsoft released Xbox and built it into the commercial success it now enjoys.

Here's a question (although it's fine if you don't answer): if you see Xbox, do you honestly and automatically think of Microsoft? Or think of any similar trademark (e.g. Google, Zappos, Pfizer), and you can probably imagine the reaction of the market at large.

Icebice
Icebice

@joeblackis @TDPStudios @AlexanderDisner 

Couldn't agree more. The user had no idea what the next xbox console was going to be named, for all I know maybe it's a domain that he bought for the first xbox console?
Legally this guy has all the rights to keep this domain and if Microsoft actually wins this one, the system is even more fucked than I could imagine.

MarekG
MarekG

By any way I cannot imagine how Microsoft wants to prove that such domain names were reqistered in bad faith in regards to Microsoft marks. Unless they can prove that registrant can see a future...

michaelfjs
michaelfjs

@MarekG They weren't registered in bad faith. That much is clear.

What is likely to happen is the current owner would refuse to sell, or offer sale at an over inflated price. Which in that case could be attributed to cybersquatting, which there are rules around.

Contrary to what other people say, internet domains are not like real estate.

Dave Z
Dave Z

"Contrary to what other people say, internet domains are not like real estate."

@michaelfjs - hehe, I know lots of people who will gladly disagree with that statement. Sometimes domain names are compared to physical real estate to simply understand the ideas behind registering and selling them at higher prices based on certain factors, albeit lots of people (obviously) hate that also.

Microsoft can easily prove their claims against the owner of the domain names, even by just pointing out the two names were registered years after Xbox became a trademark (and a unique and famous one at that). Unique and famous trademarks generally enjoy the strongest protection because, well, they're unique and famous.

It'll take a real darn stroke of luck for the domain owner to possibly win against Microsoft. Well, anything can happen, after all