The Apple iPhone is clearly one of the most successful smartphones on the market, and the next iteration of the device is always hotly anticipated. The most recent model has the name iPhone 4S and there is expectation that the next iteration will be the “iPhone 5”. Of course, this may not be the case, with the 3rd generation iPad named the “New iPad” rather than “iPad 3”.
Whichever way Apple decides to go with the next iPhone name, they are actively seeking to protect their brand. Recently, Apple Computer, Inc. filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in respect of the domain name “iphone5.com”. The case is D2012-0951 and you can find further information here.
Currently the iphone5.com domain hosts a message board or discussion forum. Not surprisingly the forum is presently hosting a discussion on the merits of the challenge by Apple to claim the domain name.
There is much discussion on the internet about “bullying” tactics and a David and Goliath style battle here. However, the reality is that Apple are merely seeking to protect their trade mark rights and reputation.
This serves as a timely reminder to all companies who invest their time, money and reputation to promote their brand. When it comes to domain name disputes, the Domain Name Dispute Resolution procedures of WIPO provide a relatively inexpensive way to secure domain names which may be inappropriately trading on your intellectual property rights and goodwill.