Microsoft seizes foreign Bing typo

Microsoft has won a fight with a cybersquatter who registered a misspelling of Bing.com aimed at non-English speakers.

The contested domain name, xn--bng-jua.com, is a so-called Internationalised Domain Name, which translates to bıng.com in Punycode-compatible browsers. Notice the letter 'i' in bıng is not an ASCII i.

A US National Arbitration Forum panel has now found that the domain was sufficiently similar to Microsoft's brand to warrant action, and that it had been registered in bad faith. Unless you can prove you have the right to the domain, that's enough to get the registration yanked under ICANN's Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy.

It doesn't appear to have been an especially difficult decision; the domain was registered on the eve of Microsoft's unveiling of its new search engine last May and quickly filled with advertising. The squatter, who was American, didn't even bother fighting the case.

IDNs were introduced to make it easier for non-English speakers, particular those who use non-Latin scripts, to use the Internet. But they also increased headaches for large Western companies, already forced to defend their brands against typosquatters on a regular basis.