Let us take you back to 2001, back in the day when a tablet was something that you could swallow and social networking actually involved leaving the house. Back then Apple had just launched the iPod, and sales were going well for them.
Anyway, six months after its October launch someone enterprising fellow registered ipods.com and redirected the domain to a dodgy mp3 download site. Fast forward nine years and Apple decided that it really should be the company that controls the ipods.com domain.
So, in May 2010 Apple filed an intellectual property complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an arm of the United Nations that is “dedicated to developing a balanced and accessible international intellectual property (IP) system, which rewards creativity, stimulates innovation and contributes to economic development while safeguarding the public interest.”
On Friday the UN body decided in Apple’s favour and ordered that the domain be transferred to the iPod maker (although that has not happened just yet). There is no official word as to why the decision to transfer the domain has been made, although Apple’s ownership of the iPod trademark and the fact that the domain resolved to an MP3 website which Comodo Security lists as unsafe might have something to do with it.
This is good news for Apple, but according to Fusible, who broke the story, the company has a sloppy history with registering domains for its products. To date the company doesn’t own some of the most obvious domains associated with its brands; for example ipad.com. Although, even with that, it is a bit odd that Apple would go after ipods.com rather than ipad.com; according to Compete ipods.com has averaged about 80 unique visitors per month over the past year. By contrast ipad.com has averaged 38,000 monthly impressions over the past year.
The UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization Domain Name Dispute Resolution services have frequently been called upon by large organisations attempting to protect their intellectual property. In November 2010 Groupon filed a case with the organization to get groupon.ie transferred into its ownership while the WordPress.org, in July, won the transfer of several domains which mimicked its own.