Disputes National Arbitration Forum News Video Games

Microsoft wins another case against a fake Halo 4 beta website [UPDATED]

Halo 4 Beta

As buzz picks up about Halo 4, Microsoft has won another domain dispute (Claim Number: FA1203001432610) this past week against a fake Halo 4 beta website, this time

On April 11, 2012, a single member panel with the National Arbitration Forum ordered that the domain name be transferred to Microsoft Corporation after having established all three elements required under the ICANN policy.

The three elements included:

(1) the domain name is 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.

Some of the highlights noted in the decision included that the respondent in the case, “Gerardo Torres / JerryG”, generated revenue from affiliate fees collected when each internet user signed up to receive one of the offers and that the domain was registered less than 10 days after Microsoft officially introduced Halo 4 through a global press release.

In early March, Microsoft Corporation won the rights to, the first Halo 4 beta website to gain notoriety for tricking users into getting a bogus beta code.

343 Industries announced in March that it had no plans for a Halo 4 beta, but scam artists have still been able to cash in.

The full details of the ruling have been released and can be read online here.

Updated May 8, 2012:. Microsoft has taken official control of the domain name (Whois) and now redirects visitors to Bing.

Talking about this story: VG247 and Gameranx

Disputes National Arbitration Forum News Video Games

Microsoft wins dispute over fake Halo 4 beta site, to be transferred

Halo 4 Beta scam

Gamers looking to sign up for Halo 4 Beta, will soon have one less website to be tricked by after Microsoft Corporation won the rights to

A complaint (Case No. 1426106) was officially filed with the National Arbitration Forum back in late January, shortly after David Ellis of 343 Industries warned Halo fans through Twitter to avoid fake Halo 4 Beta sites.

On March 6, 2012, a single-member panel concluded that all three elements required to be proven under the ICANN Policy were established, and that the name is ordered transferred from Edward Lee (the respondent) to Microsoft (the complainant).

On the subject of registration and use in bad faith:

The <> domain name is confusingly similar to Complainant’s HALO trademark.  Respondent registered and uses the domain name in bad faith under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv) in that Respondent attempts to benefit commercially from Internet users’ confusion as to the possibility of Complainant’s affiliation with the domain name.  See Perot Sys. Corp. v., FA 95312 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 29, 2000) (finding bad faith registration and use where the domain name there in question was obviously connected with a complainant’s marks, thus creating a likelihood of confusion for a respondent’s commercial gain); see also Victoria’s Secret Stores Brand Mgmt., Inc. v. Privacy Protect, FA 1404667 (Nat. Arb. Forum Sept. 30, 2011) (finding bad faith registration and use under Policy ¶ 4(b)(iv) where a disputed domain name resolved to a website offering visitors gift cards in exchange for completing surveys and providing personal information).

It is also significant that Respondent registered the <> domain name on June 15, 2011, only days after Complainant had publicly announced that it would be releasing HALO 4.  This strongly suggests that Respondent’s registration and use of the domain name has been done in bad faith within the contemplation of Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii).  See Sota v. Waldron, D2001-0351 (WIPO June 18, 2001) (finding that a respondent’s registration of the domain name <> at the time of the announcement of the Seve Ballesteros Trophy golf tournament “strongly indicates an opportunistic registration”);  see also Thermo Electron Corp. v. Xu, FA 713851 (Nat. Arb. Forum July 12, 2006) (“If there had been any doubt as to bad faith, the fact that registration was on the same day the news leaked about the merger, which was put in evidence, is a compelling indication of bad faith that respondent has to refute and which he has failed to do.  The panel finds a negative inference from this.”).

The full details of the ruling have been released and can be read online here.

For Microsoft Corporation, it’s officially one down, one to go.  Unofficially, it’s likely many more.

As I reported yesterday, Microsoft is going after another phony Halo 4 Beta site.  A complaint was filed (Case Number: 1432610) with the National Arbitration Forum over (screenshot).  The domain name is owned by a resident of Illinois according to Whois records.

Discussion: Joystiq and Myona News

Disputes National Arbitration Forum News

Google goes after YouTube typo domains that it didn’t win in a previous dispute

Google has been going after popular typos of the web address in recent months and it’s been having its share of success in disputes, winning five typo domain names in early January and several more later that month in another case that also involved Google typo domains.

However, in a separate complaint (Case No. 1413915) that reached a decision in late December 2011, Google only batted .740, as reported by Domain Name Wire

In that case, Google won rights to 37 typo domain names, but lost its claim to 13 infringing domain names like because the Panelist found that the 13 domains were registered prior to the trademark filings with the USPTO of January 30, 2006.  As Domain Name Wire pointed out, it appears Google got screwed. “The first use in commerce date on the trademark is April 24, 2005, which predates the 13 additional domain registrations.”

Google hasn’t given up hope on winning those 13 domains.  

According to a new filing (Case No. 1428476) with the National Arbitration Forum this week, Google is once again going after:,,,,,,,,,,,, and

As with all domain disputes, each Panel examines three elements before reaching a decision.

(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 satisfied, then the domain names will finally be ordered transferred to Google.

Each of the typo domains named in Google’s latest complaint, send visitors to an online survey scam (as shown in the picture above of, that asks a series of questions and attempts to gather personal information by promising free gifts like an iPhone 4S or an iPad 2.

Discussion: The Next Web, Marketing Land and

Disputes National Arbitration Forum News

Virgin mogul Richard Branson wins disputed dot-XXX domain name

Richard Branson

Business magnate Richard Branson filed a complaint (Case Number: 1423689) over the domain name with the National Arbitration Forum in January.

Now a single-member panel has ordered the name transferred to Richard Branson, having established all three elements required under the ICANN Policy. 

First, the domain name is identical to the RICHARD BRANSON mark.  Second, the respondent lacked rights and interests in the disputed domain name.  And lastly, the domain name was registered and used in bad faith.

“As an additional independent ground demonstrating bad faith and as discussed above with regard to “rights and interests,” Respondent apparently registered the at-issue domain name even though he does not qualify to register a domain name on the .XXX register,” wrote Paul M. DeCicco, Panelist.

The full details of the ruling have been released and can be read online here.

There are now several UDRP cases involving dot-xxx domain names since the domain went public. 

The list of cases that are active as of today include:,,,,,,,,, and

(Image of Richard Branson via

Disputes National Arbitration Forum News

Baylor University files a complaint over BaylorGirls XXX domain name

Baylor Girls

Several colleges bought up .XXX domain names last year like as a defensive measure to prevent others from registering the names and possibly setting up porn sites.  

Now Baylor University, a school that has filed and won dozens of domain disputes over names like and, has officially filed a complaint (Case No. 1429318) with the National Arbitration Forum over the domain name (which does not resolve to a web page) was first registered on December 10, 2011, by a resident of Massachusetts, according to Whois records, just days after general availability of .XXX domain names began.  

The names can now be registered on a first come, first served basis. 

To date, a dozen disputes, including and, have been filed over .XXX domain names with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the National Arbitration Forum.   Only one ruling has been made so far.  On February 7, 2012, Panelist Darryl Wilson ordered transferred to HEB Grocery Company, L.P.

Baylor doesn’t appear to be the first college-related XXX domain dispute on record.

Last week, it appears The University of Texas System which owns (Whois), filed a complaint (Case No. 1428670) over the domain name

Because the National Arbitration Forum doesn’t publicly identify complainants on its website until a Panel has issued a ruling, the official complainant over isn’t immediately known.

However, given Baylor University’s track record with the National Arbitration Forum, it’s a sure bet that Baylor is the complainant.

[Update 1 on February 18, 2012: It appears Baylor University has got its hands on according to Whois records.  The name was transferred to trademark law firm Pirkey Barber LLP this week.]