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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Greene

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?