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Username: erikdw
Date/Time: Wed, December 19, 2001 at 7:55 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows NT 4.0
Subject: Misuse of INFO shadow database to cover up fraudulent trademarks


As you may know Afilias has opened a shadow database of the Whois system where registrars can add trademark information that they inadvertently left out during Sunrise. Afilias hopes to use this to avoid challenging domain names that do have proper trademark rights.

In at least one case this possibility is being used by a person trying to avoid challenging by Afilias by making his registrations "facially valid". He has been able to make the following changes:
1) The original Whois shows his supposed trademarks to be US trademarks. This has now been changed to Liechtenstein trademarks (a tiny country that very conveniently does not have an online trademark database).
2) And the trademark date first was 1 oct 2001. This is the last possible date for a legal Sunrise registration, but it being a Sunday it also is a clear give-away for fraudulent registrations. In the shadow database these dates have now been set back a few months.

Altogether this has been a very obvious attempt to cover up fraudulent registrations to make them 'facially valid', hoping to escape Afilias' challenging.

The case has been reported to Afilias, who says they'll have a look at it.



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