Disputes National Arbitration Forum News Trademarks Video Games WIPO

Neither Sony, Nintendo, nor Microsoft own the domains for their next consoles

xbox 720

The console wars are heating up, but there’s just one problem: the three major companies don’t own the matching domains to their next-generation consoles.

Nintendo doesn’t own, Sony doesn’t own, and Microsoft doesn’t own

Will the companies submit a domain dispute, file an anti-cybersquatting lawsuit, or pay a large sum of cash to get the domains?  Well, it’s unknown whether Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo are considering any of these options, but what is known is that owning the domain names couldn’t their hurt online marketing efforts as the console wars heat up.

That being said, how are the domain names being used today?

Today, re-directs to PSX Extreme, a video game website that has been covering Sony Playstation news for years. and are both owned by Poise Media Inc., according to WHOIS records.  The domain was first registered in 1998, but Poise Media didn’t acquire the name until late 2008. is registered to a Jeremiah Germany of New York, who monetizes the domain using Google Adsense for Domains.  Over the years, the domain has been host to a number of different sites ranging from a Les Paul guitars site in 2006 to a Google Custom Search page in 2008.  However, since 2009 it appears the owner of has been earning money using Google Adsense for Domains.

The owner of, who remains hidden behind WHOIS privacy, has the site set up as a affiliate web page.  I wrote about back in June, after Nintendo announced the console at E3 without owning the domain.  In August, Nintendo filed nearly 20 trademark applications (several including images) with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the word Wii U.

All three console companies have used a variety of methods in the past to reclaim trademarked names, and in recent years, they have often filed complaints under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). 

In nearly all the complaints, the domain names have been ordered transferred.  So given the track record to date, it’s likely when the trademark lawyers finally get around to going after these domains, they’ll use the UDRP.

Recently, Nintendo gained the rights to, over 25 years since it had released Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros.  The company filed a complaint with WIPO which it won in late September. 

Microsoft has filed and won dozens of Xbox-related domain disputes going back to 2003.

And though Sony Computer Entertainment has only filed a handful of disputes, it has won all 4 that it did submit.  Those cases involved:,,,,,  and

Sometimes, however when companies want a domain and don’t want to risk losing a dispute or are impatient for the time it takes time for proceedings to complete, they will pay cash — as Microsoft likely did with

I’ve reached out to the owner of each domain name to see if they’ve been contacted by the respective console company, and will update this post if I hear back.

(Concept design of Microsoft’s next-generation console ‘Xbox 720’ by Tai Chiem)

News Trademarks Video Games

Nintendo finally files trademark applications for Wii U in the U.S.

Nintendo Wii U controller

Nintendo has filed nearly 20 trademark applications (several including images) with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the word Wii U.

The goods and services cover a broad range of items from consumer video game machines to trading cards.

Filing trademark applications is one thing, but not owning the domain name is still a problem for Nintendo.   In June, according to a rough estimate provided by the analytics website Compete, traffic to the website was over 3,000 visitors.  Prior to that,, whose owner is hidden behind Whois privacy, registered zero visitors. is currently a affiliate site that displays videogame and console ads.

Here’s an abbreviated look at some of the trademark applications all filed on August 9, 2011 by Nintendo with a priority date of June 3, 2011.

Serial Number: 85393202
Issuance of point cards; advertising and publicity services or providing information therefor; issuance of trading stamps or providing information therefor; implementing promotional prize drawings, quiz programs, raffle tickets, questionnaires and games, or providing information therefor;

Serial Number: 85393204
Telecommunication via electronic bulletin boards or providing information therefor; communication via consumer video game machines; providing information on communication via consumer video game machines;

Serial Number: 85393212
Providing images via communication with hand-held game machines with liquid crystal displays; providing images via communication with arcade video game machines; providing images via communication with consumer video game machines;

Serial Number: 85393213
Clothing for domestic pets; bags and the like; pouches and the like; unfitted vanity cases; umbrellas; walking sticks; bags and luggage, namely, shoulder bags, handbags, purses, carry-on bags, carrying cases, tote bags, backpacks, athletic bags, gym bags, traveling bags, duffel bags, satchels, school bags, school book bags;

Serial Number: 85393218
Clothing; waistbands; belts for clothing; shoes and boots; sportswear; shoes for sports other than horse-riding boots; masquerade costumes; clothing, namely, bandanas, coats, infant wear, jackets, jerseys, mufflers, pajamas, pants, scarves, shirts, shorts, sleepwear, socks, sweatshirts, sweat pants, swimwear, T-shirts, tops, underwear, vests, warm-up suits, wrist bands;

Serial Number: 85393191
Card games and their components; hand-held game machines with liquid crystal displays; protective films for liquid crystal display of hand-held game machines; AC adapters for hand-held game machines with liquid crystal displays; parts and fittings for hand-held game machines with liquid crystal displays; other toys; toys for pets; dolls; Go games; Japanese playing cards, also known as Utagaruta;

Serial Number: 85393180
Note books; mechanical pencils; other stationery and study materials; trading cards; magazines (publication); catalogues; pamphlets; other printed matter including books, booklets, manuals, posters regarding video games, calendars, game cards, greeting cards, trading cards, stickers and sticker albums; photographs; photograph stands, namely photo frames; banners of paper; flags of paper; pre-paid value cards and gift cards

Serial Number: 85393173
Consumer video game machines fitted with a camera function; consumer video game machines; programs for consumer video game machines;

Discussion: Kotaku and Nintendo Everything