Return to New TLD Agreements Forum - Message Thread - FAQ

Username: Helveticus
Date/Time: Sun, September 2, 2001 at 3:48 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.0 using Windows 98
Subject: P.: The man who owns Switzerland!

Message:
 

 
        I have been following the postings for the past week, but it is the first time I post anything. I was motivated to join the Forum after seeing by myself the incredible number of obviously fraudulent registrations.      
First, I would like - as everybody - to congratulate Bhavin and the other people (like theinternetchallenge.com) for the splendid work they have been doing and continue to do in exposing the fraud. Thank you!
A small remark regarding Plankenstein: I live in Switzerland and I became aware of his case when I discovered that he had registered DOZENS of places around Switzerland! (Actually more than those listed with Bhavin, I think - compare with the newest list posted on theinternetchallenge.com) This means that, if that guy remains unchallenged, MOST Swiss cities (except for a few ones who were careful enough to enter registration during the Sunrise period) will be deprived forever of their .info name, or will have to pay substantial amounts of money to Mr. Plankenstein for getting it back. Of course, Swiss cities and towns should be have people who are computer-literate and should have taken advantage of the Sunrise period. But, notwithstanding this lack of interest, it is interesting to observe that Mr. Plankenstein claims to own for all those Swiss cities and towns TMs registered in Austria on... December 31, 1899! Since there is no free access to the Austrian TM registry online, it seems, I could not check: but it sounds highly unlikely to me that some ancestor of Mr. Plankenstein just registered the names of most Swiss cities and towns of some importance 102 years ago without making any use of them up to now!!!
It seems that Mr. Plankenstein just worked with a geographical map in front of him, grabbing city after city, town after town. I had no time to check hundreds of places, but it seems that he missed few - if any - Swiss town larger than 10,000 inhabitants...
Now let's come to the issues under discussion. I think there are two different cases, which have not been well enough distinguished in our discussions: there are those cases which were just obviously not qualifying for the Sunrise period: I mean dates past October 2, 2000, name not corresponding to claimed TM, etc. Such cases should just be erased from the registry by Afilias without any further procedure, I do not think that Afilias even needs to challenge them before WIPO. If the illegitimate holder then wants to protest against that measure, it will be up to him or to her, but obviously no person knowing he or she does not own a legitimate TM would take the risk to protest. By the way, I agree entirely with those who commented that the registrars who accepted such obviously defective registrations bear a serious responsability. Actually, it amazes that there was apparently no rule stating that it would be the responsability of registrars to screen applications for such formal defects, and turn down those obviously in a wrong format (it is clear that a registrar could not check if a TM was valid or not, but certainly it was possible to see that date was past October 2, etc.). I think this should be a rule for future Sunrise periods, if there are any for some other name in the future.
Then, there is the problem of those applications apparently with valid TMs, but which seem dubious: for instance, Plankenstein and his December 1899 TMs - or some of you may also have noticed a suspect number of registrations with TMs dated October 1, 2001... This cannot be the responsability of the registrars, this belongs properly to the challenge. And due to the number of names to be checked, I admit that it is likely that some will go through with bogus TMs. However, I suggest to Afilias a simple method, in order at least to fight against the massive fraudsters: when some applicant will have been found with ONE bogus TM, then all his or her TMs should be systematically checked. Thus those people who attempted to register dozens of bogus TMs would lose at the end.
Thank you for your attention - and thank you for your efforts!
Helveticus
     

 


Message Thread: