News Video Games domain expires (Nintendo still doesn’t own it long after announcement) [UPDATED]

UPDATE February 19, 2013: According to DNW, Nintendo has filed a cybersquatting complaint with World Intellectual Property Forum over the domain name:

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  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 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, has been replaced with a parking page indicating the name has expired. domain 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, 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 and  In 2011, Nintendo secured rights to the domain 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.

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

Sony doesn’t own, and Microsoft, whose next console’s name hasn’t officially been decided, doesn’t own (Whois) or (Whois).

Talking about this story: GameZone

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)