Twitter has filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization against an alleged cybersquatter who owns the domain “twiter.com” (note the single “t” that would probably scoop up a fair number of speed typers who make a mistake when trying to reach Twitter.com). This complaint cites trademark infringement, and although the “twiter.com” domain was registered in 2004 (two years before Twitter launched), they may still have a solid case.
According to The Register, Twitter has filed a cybersquatting complaint against “twiter.com” seven years after it was registered, and only five years after Twitter itself was founded.
Rather than taking it through the courts, Twitter has filed its complaint using the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy through ICANN’s World Intellectual Property Organization. This complaint costs about $1,500 to file, and is designed to give brands the opportunity to retrieve domain names that infringe upon their trademarks.
If you visit “twiter.com” right now, you’ll see a website that looks like following (after being redirected):
And, as you might have expected, this survey actually costs money to participate in, and it is in no way affiliated with Twitter.
To win its case, Twitter will have to prove that “twiter.com” was registered in bad faith and infringes upon their trademark. On the surface, this appears as an impossible task, as “twiter.com” was registered a full two years before Twitter even launched.
However, the domain has apparently changed ownership a few times in the last seven years, most recently in April of this year.
This fact, coupled with the design of the “twiter.com” website which clearly tries to emulate Twitter.com, might be enough for Twitter to win its case and seize the offending domain.
Via The Register
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