Looks like Microsoft is going after some domain squatters who purchased a series of domains related to possible new products from the worlds largest software maker. The domains Xbox8.org, XboxCompanion.com, XboxTablet.com and XboxLiveTV.com, are all owned by a Chinese resident named Cheng Juan and Case# 1445083 has been filed with the National Arbitration Forum.
According to UDRP rules, if more than one domain being disputed is held by the same respondent, all of the names may be included in the same complaint and so we may find that Microsoft only actually wants one or two of these names but made the decision to take them all because they can. In the past Microsoft has allowed fansites and website owners to use domains containing their trademarks so long as the domains were used in comliance with trademark laws.
For example our own site ZuneMAX.com was an original Zune blog and online forums discussing the Zune music players and the future of Microsoft gaming and entertainment. We were invited to the Zune launch and participated in Zune MVP events and programs with their open permission to use the domain.
The case for Cheng Juan and these Xbox domains is very different as the owner attempted to sell the domains for their supposed value in the trademarks alone. This type of clear trademark infringement is where Microsoft is most likely concerned. I do find it pretty funny that Microsoft is still facing these domain issues with new products after all the issues they had with Zune.com. ZuneMarketPlace.com and even ZuneHD.com. It’s been five years now and Microsoft is still slow to grab the domain names related to new projects, products and services. It would seem like it’s just cheaper to buy the domains in advance rather than to sue for them later but maybe Microsoft knows something we don’t about trademarks and lawyers and the $8 wholesale price of domain names.
We recently launched a new website for the Xbox Tablet that we hope will become a new community for tablet users and owners to share updates, tips and advice on using the new tablet game players from Microsoft if and when they arrive. Do you think Microsoft is going to go after all Xbox tablet domains?