Sunday, November 1, 2009

Expired or Not? The strange case of Dick Smiths

On Friday night Expired Domains was showing the auction on the domain name as finishing then. From Saturday morning it's been showing as finishing in 2 months time.

Looking at the whois for the domain name it shows
domain_dateregistered: 2005-03-27T18:42:14+12:00
domain_datebilleduntil: 2009-11-27T18:42:14+13:00
domain_datelastmodified: 2009-10-30T11:19:13+13:00
domain_datecancelled: 2009-10-29T22:07:53+13:00
Which seems to mean that the registrant renewed the domain, then cancelled it again sufficiently quickly that Expired didn't notice. This has got me curious. I can think of a couple of possible reasons:
  • They've had a cease and desist letter, thought Progressive Enterprises had stopped watching them and discovered they hadn't
  • They are trying to gauge who wants the domain name to negotiate a sale either using expired as their sole marketing method or to keep their heads down so Progressive don't attack
There may, of course, be lots of reasons I haven't thought of.

Another interesting thing is that the domain name was updated a day after being cancelled. I have no idea what that might mean.
I also have no idea who the current registrant is as their name "Progressive Solutions" means nothing to me and I couldn't find who they actually are. There is a Progressive Solutions Ltd, but it's in a different city and has no common address information I could find. Whoever they are they are unlikely to be naifs as the same registration data is also used for some other similar names including Tiketek, nzhearld, Grabaflight, Wisemaps, nursingcouncil and tvonenews.

A friend I've discussed this with checked the IPONZ website and apparently the only relevant trademark for "Dick Smith" was applied for in 2008, so depending on earlier use, the 2005 registration should be OK or at least arguable in a dispute. I suspect that given precedents like the DNC DRS case 256 on the domain name, the trademark registration dates might not be terribly relevant in a DRS claim though as the other names in their portfolio seems to suggest that give the apparent current interpretation of it they would be exposed to a claim of having a "pattern of registrations".

Whatever happens next I'll be watching this play out with some amusement. Go Lemmings Go!

No comments: