If you haven't thought of it already, now might be a great time to go out and snag the domain name xboxtwo.com. Or not. Microsoft is currently disputing the ownership of two domain names related to its recently announced, next-generation gaming console, the Xbox One.
The names xboxone.com and xboxone.net, are registered to a London-based Krasimir Ivanov, and both registrations were created in late December 2011. Which is to say, the alleged cyber squatter (both sites point to parked domain messages at the time of this article's writing) was able to pull the name of Microsoft's newest console out of a hat years prior to its official announcement.
To Microsoft's credit, Fusible reports that the company purposely avoided buying up a number of Xbox One-themed domain names prior to the console's announcement for the express purpose of not tipping off the name (or potential names) of the console to antsy domain watchers.
Microsoft filed the complaint with the National Arbitration Forum on Thursday, two days after the public debut of the Xbox One. The case (#1501205) is noted as "pending" within the NAF's database, and it's unclear at this point just how long Microsoft might have to wait to gain control of the domains – assuming it's able to prove that: they are "identical" or "confusingly similar" to a trademark that Microsoft owns (easy), that the owner of said domain names doesn't have a right to the trademark (easy again), and that the domain names were themselves registered in "bad faith."
The "bad faith" clause of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers's (ICANN) Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy notes that a domain name registrant would be considered to have used a domain name "in bad faith" if it can be shown that he or she registered the name "primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark..."
In other words, cyber squatting.
Additionally, a registrant could be seen as registering for a domain name in "bad faith" if he or she attempted to confuse site visitors or otherwise direct traffic to an address for which he or she would appear to be affiliated with another company's trademark or service mark. For example, if the owner of xboxone.com attempted to launch a shopping site that appeared to be an official Microsoft online marketplace for purchasing Microsoft gaming consoles.
Microsoft won a similar cyber-squatting victory in July 2012, acquiring a variety of Xbox-themed domain names from a registrant in China as a result of them being confusingly similar" to Microsoft's trademarks.
Check out the results of our comparison between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 controllers.