Domain Name Cornucopia of Riches: A $30 Million Voice
MicroStrategy, an analytics and software services company headquartered in Fairfax County, Virginia, recently announced the sale of one of its domain names, “Voice.com,” for use as a blockchain-based social media app. The sales price was $30,000,000.00 in an all-cash transaction. (That’s correct – Thirty Million Dollars!) Block.one purchased this domain name and has commenced using it to drive views and potential customers to its website and social media application.
MicroStrategy also indicated its desire to sell other domain names to third parties. These include the following .coms: Wisdom, Alert, Glory, Strategy, Hope, iDream, Usher, Speaker, Courage, as well as first names, such as William.com.
TAKE-AWAYS/LESSONS LEARNED: There is obviously “gold in them thar hills!” A cash transaction of this magnitude may presage a host of domain names being brokered and sold to innovative companies, particularly those companies with a desire to expand their Internet and Social Media presence/platforms.
Dispute Resolution: After searching for potential conflicts and filing for a specific domain name through one of the various domain name registration companies (known as “Registrars”) such as GoDaddy, if an objection is raised or confusing/conflicting name is discovered, resolution of the controversy is handled through the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN has specific rules and protocols in place which must be observed to secure domestic United States as well as world-wide formal registration and protection of domain names. One of ICANN’s seminal requirements is that the domain name, once registered, be used in commerce (similar to a trademark usage requirement), and not just warehoused for any lengthy period of time. ICANN also has an Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) protocol which allows domain names to be formed and used by employing characters in different scripts/fonts and languages, using approved encoding techniques. ICANN will also stop any squatters or trademark infringers who do not have a legitimate reason for trying to register their particular domain name(s). An example of ICANN’s involvement was its cancellation of the bogus registration and use of Ford.com by a non-Ford Company pretender.
Creation and registration/protection of domain names is obviously a sophisticated area and readers would be wise to hire competent, experienced expert(s) and counsel to protect their Intellectual Property and domain names.
DISCLAIMER: The author did not represent any parties in this transaction or ICANN registration
Pellegrin’s BriefCase SM/©
Volume 3, Issue #5, June 2019
Author’s Background: ADVERTISING MATERIAL. John Pellegrin, Esq. maintains a robust business law and management consulting practice. Areas of expertise include Intellectual Property/Internet Technology (IP/IT), business transactional and succession planning, communications, representation of clients before various government agencies (FCC, FTC, USPTO, Copyright Office, Small Business Administration, U.S. International Trade Commission, FDA, and EPA). He also has an active wills/trusts/estates practice. John is a graduate of Georgetown University (B.S.B.A. – Management) and Fordham University School of Law (Juris Doctoris). He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, and in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and New York.
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