Domain squatters are pesky folks who strive to nab up as many domain names as they can that take advantage of another entity’s trademark for the purpose of profiting from it. For example, Facebook scored a victory against domain squatters on May 1, and certainly isn’t the first company to do so. Now that the next-generation Xbox One has been revealed, Microsoft has submitted a dispute over two domain names using its trademark.
Domain name registrations made before a product is launched can be used to find out the name of the product, in this case the Xbox One, a title Microsoft kept top secret. For this reason, companies avoid filing domains that will reveal the product’s name, and after its launch then move in to register whatever domains it would like involving its trademark.
There is always speculation about what an anticipated product will be named, however, and domain squatters will register multiple domains with different variants of the trademark based on either name rumors or the probability of the product matching the guessed name. Such seems to have been the case with the two domains in question, both of which are registered to an unknown individual in the United Kingdom: XboxOne.com and XboxOne.net.
A WHOIS search on the domains does not reveal a name, but does show that both were registered in December, with the XboxOne.com domain in particular having been created in December and set to expire in 2016. One could be tempted to say the individual who registered the names didn’t do so for the purpose of domain squatting because the domains were registered years before Microsoft announced the gaming console.
A quick trip to both URLs show that they’re parked, however, displaying a stock GoDaddy listing with no content on either site. Neither appear to have ever hosted any content, Xbox-related or otherwise. Regardless, Microsoft is holder of the trademark, and as such likely has a legal leg to stand on in its dispute, which was filed with the National Arbitration Forum and posted online today.