Dell sues alleged cybersquatters

Firm claims others are profiting from Dell name

Dell claims that organizations doling out domain names have deployed a network of shell businesses that profit from fat-fingered people who make typos while entering URLs.

The company's federal suit, filed in October with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, names three registrars -- BelgiumDomains, CapitolDomains, and DomainDoorman -- and claims they have set up a string of Caribbean-based shell corporations that gain rights to typo domain names and take in the pay-per-click revenues, according to The Washington Post.

People making the typing errors wind up on sites crammed with advertising, and the advertisers pay the shell companies for the hits, according to the Post's account of the lawsuit.

Because the typo sites' names are similar to those of legitimate, trademarked Dell sites, Dell claims the dummy corporations are illegally profiting from the company's assets.

Not only did the accused businesses engage in this typo-squatting, they managed to dodge paying anything for the typo URLs, the suit says. They would sign up a URL, use it on a free trial for five days and return it. Then another of the dozen or so shell companies would immediately scoop it up for another free trial.

By passing URLs around among themselves, the companies could avoid paying anything, at least until they decided whether it was worth the US$6 it costs to register the name for a full year.

Dell's attorney claims the accused companies sampled 30 million to 60 million sites per month, paying for a full year's rights for 50,000 to 200,000 of them, according to the Post story.

If found guilty, the companies could be fined US$1,000 to US$100,000 per infringed domain name under federal cybersquatting laws. Dell is trying an unproved tactic: charging the defendant companies with counterfeiting. If that sticks, the potential penalties soar to US$1 million per infraction, the Post says.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Greene

Network World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?