Microsoft Expands Global Effort to Combat Cybersquatting

Company initiates further enforcement actions in the United Kingdom and

United States and reaches settlement with U.K.-based Dyslexic Domain

Company Limited.



Mar 14, 2007, 01:00 ET from Microsoft Corp.

    LONDON, and REDMOND, Wash., March 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --
 Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:   MSFT) today announced new legal actions against
 cybersquatters in the United Kingdom and the United States, which include
 expansion of a lawsuit filed in Seattle in August and the filing of a new
 federal lawsuit against the U.S. company Maltuzi LLC for trademark
 infringement. In addition to these new actions, Microsoft revealed it has
 settled a domain infringement settlement with the Dyslexic Domain Company
 Limited from the United Kingdom and two U.S. civil lawsuits filed against
 defendants in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles.
     (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO )
     Cybersquatters register Internet domain names (such as
 winowslivemessenger.com and www.micr0soft.co.uk) containing not only widely
 recognized trademarked names and brands but also misspelled variations of
 them, which often result in tricking unsuspecting computer users and
 illegally profiting from them through online ad networks. Screens filled
 with pay-per- click advertisements greet visitors to these Web sites, which
 can generate revenue for the registered domain owner and the online ad
 network. Microsoft has reclaimed more than 1,100 infringing domain names
 worldwide in the past six months with the help of Microsoft researchers led
 by Yi-Min Wang, who has played a major role in the company's efforts to
 combat cybersquatting.
     "These sites confuse visitors who are trying to reach genuine company
 Web sites, which can negatively affect corporate brands and reputations as
 well as impair the end-users' experience online," said Aaron Kornblum,
 senior attorney with Microsoft. "With every ad hyperlink clicked, a
 registrant or ad network harvests cash at the trademark owner's expense,
 while derailing legitimate efforts by computer users who are trying to go
 to a specific Web site."
     Microsoft is also investigating potential violations of intellectual
 property law in other nations. "We hope that our stance and activity on
 this issue will help motivate and empower other companies whose brands are
 abused to take action," Kornblum said.
     U.S.: New and Amended Actions
     Microsoft has filed or amended four civil suits in the United States:
 
     -- Microsoft Corp. v. Maltuzi LLC, Case No. C07-1419 (N.D. California).
        Microsoft alleges that the California company has profited from domain
        names that infringe on Microsoft(R) trademarks. Microsoft further
        alleges that Maltuzi is a large-scale "domain taster" that registers
        large blocks of domain names, some of which infringe on Microsoft's
        intellectual property rights, that it either retains or "drops."
     -- Microsoft Corp. v. Sule Garba, Darin Grabowski and Yi Ning, Case No.
        06-1192RSM (W.D. Wash.). Microsoft has amended a civil lawsuit filed in
        August 2006 in federal district court in Seattle against the owners of
        217 infringing domain names who masked their true registration
        information behind privacy protection shields. In the lawsuit,
        Microsoft originally named John Doe defendants 1-217 (a legal technique
        that permits further investigation to uncover actual identities), and
        has now successfully identified the owners of all 217 domains. Today,
        Microsoft is amending that complaint to name three defendants who
        collectively are alleged to have owned at least 135 infringing domain
        names.
     -- Microsoft Corp. v. John Does 1-54, Case No. 07-2-08568-8 SEA (King
        County Superior Court, Washington). Microsoft has filed a civil lawsuit
        in state court in Seattle against John Doe defendants 1-54 to unmask
        defendants hiding their identities.
     -- Microsoft Corp. v. John Does 1-105, Case No. C06-1766JLR (W.D.
        Washington). In December 2006, Microsoft filed a civil lawsuit in
        federal district court in Seattle to identify defendants who have
        allegedly registered infringing domain names and "parked" them by
        associating them with online ad network monetization services. The case
        is pending.
 
     New and Settled Actions in the United Kingdom
     Microsoft has conducted five new legal actions in the U.K. against
 companies allegedly having registered domain names infringing on
 Microsoft's trademark and other statutory and common-law rights. In
 addition to these actions, Microsoft reached a settlement with U.K.-based
 Dyslexic Domain Company Limited, which Microsoft alleged had registered
 more than 6,000 domains. In addition to a monetary payment to Microsoft,
 Dyslexic Domain Company Limited agreed to other confidential settlement
 terms.
     U.S.: Civil Lawsuits in Utah and California
     Microsoft has also settled two federal civil lawsuits filed in August
 2006 against five named defendants who allegedly profited from domain names
 that infringed on Microsoft trademarks:
     -- Microsoft Corp. v. Cox et al: Case No. 2:06cv00692 TS. Microsoft filed
        this case in Salt Lake City, alleging that the defendants and their
        businesses had registered 324 domain names targeting Microsoft. The
        settlement ends the litigation with a stipulated order for permanent
        injunction against all defendants, a $2 million judgment as to
        defendants Jason Cox of New Mexico and Newtonarch LLC, the Utah-based
        business of the remaining individual defendants, and other confidential
        terms.
     -- Microsoft Corp. v. Brown: Case No. cv06-5247R. Microsoft filed this
        case in Los Angeles, alleging that the defendant had registered 85
        domain names targeting Microsoft. The settlement ends the litigation
        with a stipulated order for permanent injunction and a $1 million
        judgment as to defendant Dan Brown of California dba Partner IV
        Holdings, and other confidential terms.
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software,
 services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full
 potential.
     Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United
 States and/or other countries.
     The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
 trademarks of their respective owners.
 
 

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

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