To make things a bit more interesting, Valve has registered the domain name SteamStatic.com.
The name was privately registered through Network Solutions earlier this month, but the WHOIS record clearly shows Valve Corporation as the registrant. The only information that is marked private is contact information like the email address.
SteamStatic.com also switched domain servers to VALVESOFTWARE.com in the past 24 hours, however, it does not resolve to a website at the time of this story.
Valve has made no official announcement, so for now, Steam Static will remain a mystery.
Both domains just changed registrants to Microsoft, c/o The Richard Law Group, a law firm that often represents Microsoft in domain disputes. Last year, the firm helped secure XboxPhone.com and XboxTablet.com. Those names are among a long list of names recovered at NAF by Microsoft.
The victory makes Microsoft the first company to secure the matching dotcom domain of its next-generation video game console.
Sony doesn’t own PlayStation4.com nor has it filed any type of public complaint. Playstation4.com re-directs visitors to PSX Extreme, a video game website that covers PlayStation news. Playstation4.com is currently owned by Poise Media Inc., according to WHOIS records.
The official ruling by NAF has yet to be published on its website, but should appear any day now.
Here’s a look at the WHOIS record for XboxOne.com, showing the updated record:
UPDATE 3 July 24, 2013: In a separate but related case, Microsoft took ownership of Xbox1.com (WHOIS). The company filed a dispute over the domain in early June, and like XboxOne.com, the dispute was withdrawn from NAF before a ruling was issued.
UPDATE 2 July 19, 2013: Both domains have switched over to Microsoft’s domain servers, but instead of directing users to the official Xbox website, they redirect users to its Bing search engine.
UPDATE 1 July 17, 2013: The case with NAF was withdrawn according to an update posted on its website today. While it’s unknown exactly why the case was withdrawn, chances are the previous owner decided to hand over the names to Microsoft’s lawyers instead of waiting for a ruling by a panel.
In February, Nintendo of America filed a cybersquatting complaint against the owner of WiiU.com with the World Intellectual Property Organization, in what seemed like a slam dunk case for the video game company.
The domain, which matches the name of Nintendo’s latest video game console the “Wii U”, will stay with its current owner.
Now, if the company wants to own WiiU.com (WHOIS), it may have to write a big check in order to acquire it.
What’s interesting is days before Nintendo originally filed its complaint back in February, WiiU.com was set for auction on the domain name auction marketplace SnapNames. However, once the case was filed with WIPO, the auction listing was removed.
If Nintendo opted to take the auction route, it may have paid the same price as the UDRP fees, had it beat out other bidders for the name. It’s possible it may have even paid less, as other bidders may have avoided the name fearing it would be turned over in a dispute.
Today, WiiU.com is parked at SmartName and displays sponsored ads, many of which are for Nintendo’s products, as you can see in the screenshot below.
In related news, Sony doesn’t own Playstation4.com (WHOIS) nor has the company filed any kind of dispute.
In 2006, Nintendo reportedly paid a substantial amount of money for Wii.com. Because of a non-disclosure agreement, the price was never publicly disclosed, but some put the price tag anywhere between $5,000 – $250,000 and over $3 million.
UPDATE 1: Details of the decision by the three-member panel have now been published online. While the panel found that the domain is “identical or confusingly similar” to Nintendo’s WII U trademark, it also concluded that Nintendo failed to prove that the respondent had no rights to the name. The respondent provided evidence the name was registered in January 2004 in order to establish a website for a “We Invest in You” business venture. (You can read the full decision here.)
UPDATE 2: Nintendo told Eurogamer.net it is looking at other legal options. “Nintendo has a strong history of protecting against infringement of our intellectual property rights and we are continuing to review our legal options. This decision does not impact Nintendo’s ability to enforce against violations concerning intellectual property.”
A little over a week ago, Microsoft filed a complaint with the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) over the domain names XboxOne.com and XboxOne.net. The company, it seems, held off on registering or acquiring any Xbox One related domains until after the announcement of its next-generation Xbox, so as not to reveal the name of the new system.
Now, with the news in from Microsoft, the company is having to go the legal route to get domain names related to the Xbox One.
A new dispute (Case Number: 1501169) has been brought against the owner of Xbox1.com (WHOIS).
It’s unknown whether Microsoft offered cash and was turned down, or, if the company demanded the names before filing complaints.
While nothing is guaranteed in a domain dispute, Microsoft has a good track record with Xbox names and has won dozens of disputes ranging from Xbox Gold to Xbox Fitness. In fact, it appears the company has never lost a complaint. Either the domain names have been ordered transferred by a panel or the complaints were withdrawn after the names were handed over before a decision.
Microsoft isn’t the only video game console maker that doesn’t own the matching domain to its system.
In February, Nintendo filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization over the domain name Wiiu.com. No ruling has been issued yet.
UPDATE 2 July 23, 2013: Microsoft has taken ownership of Xbox1.com, according to the latest WHOIS records. The case was withdrawn from NAF.
UPDATE 1 June 5, 2013: Microsoft filed another complaint (Case Number: 1503080) over the domains xboxone.co, xboxone.me, xboxoneforum.net, xboxonewiki.com, xboxonehelp.com, xboxonecheat.com and xboxoneblog.com.
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.
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).