What Could It Possibly Mean That Apple Wants The Domain iPhone5.com?

Let the gleeful rumormongering begin! Apple filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization over the domain name iphone5.com, because it doesn’t control it. And it wants it. So bad. Is it because that’s the next iPhone, or just to stop others from taking advantage of the iPhone name?

CNET.com says the WIPO filing suggest that Apple is at least considering calling the future iteration an iPhone 5. However, Apple conjecture has been wrong before — the iPhone 4S, the new iPad just being called new and not the iPad 3, and so on.

The other likelihood is that Apple doesn’t want wannabes all up in its business with a fake iPhone 5 domain name. Right now, that domain is a forum site that was created in February 2008. It states clearly in its copyright that it is “not endorsed, sponsored, nor otherwise affiliated with Apple” and that it was created “for the sole purpose of entertainment and knowledge.”

CNET notes that commenters want the site to stay just how it is, and are worried about Apple’s possible takeover. Some feel they have the right to talk about the iPhone however they want, and pledge, “THEY WIILL NOT SHUT US DOWN!!!!!”

Apple angles for iPhone5.com domain [CNET]

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  1. MutantMonkey says:

    That they are getting out of the phone business, obviously.

  2. Dave B. says:

    “the WIPO filing suggest that Apple is at least considering calling the future iteration an iPhone 5″

    How many college degrees and months of analysis did it take to come to this conclusion?

    • JennQPublic says:

      At the minimum, a Master’s in Obviousness and three years of experience professionally pointing out crap everyone already knows.

  3. Overheal says:

    Fox Studios did this same thing about 12 years ago when some guy bought out 21st Century FOX, 22nd Century FOX, 23rd Century FOX, etc.

  4. Gman says:

    [quickly registers iPhoen 6...waits for the ginormous royalty checks to come in]

    “Muuahahahahahahaha”…[phone rings]….[murmured speack]….[hack] [cough]

    Wait what? I misspelled it?

    Crud.

  5. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Going to WIPO through the UDRP process is a low cost and, based on past UDRP decisions, an easy win for Apple.

    Apple must establish three elements to succeed at UDRP:
    -The domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;
    – The registrant does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name; and
    – The registrant registered the domain name and is using it in “bad faith”.

    Apple owns the iPhone trademark. Someone else adding a number or letter behind it doesn’t avoid a trademark violation.

  6. El_Fez says:

    Wait – Apple might be releasing ANOTHER Iphone? Color me shocked!

  7. dwtomek says:

    Could the argument be made that the 5 was intended to be interpreted as “leet speak”? iPhones seems like a reasonable name for a discussion forum centered around iPhones. That being said, they could just as easily register iPhone5forum5…Meh, I don’t care either way really.

  8. MeowMaximus says:

    It means the CrApple fanbois will have a new useless iToy to wet their pants over.

  9. ThinkingBrian says:

    The person or persons who own iPhone5.com from what I have seen are using the domain name in “Good faith”. So they should continue to be able to own the domain name with no problems. But the two problems here are:

    1. Apple owns the iPhone trademark.
    2. Apple can sue for it. You hope that they would have better things to do other than sue for it, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

    I’ve seen this problem before with corporations and celebrities in that want the domain names matter what and while some of time they have the right to them because they are being used in “bad faith” or it goes against a trademark or copyright, however in this case this is forum that hundreds of readers and comments use regularly and its used in “good faith” and spells it out.

    Best thing for Apple to do is to offer to buy the domain name because they bought it legally and use it within the letter of the law. Hopefully the World Intellectual Property Organization allows the owners to keep it and tells Apple if they want it, they have to buy it.

    Just a note to all forum, blog and fan site owners as well as future owners: Don’t use the companies name in the domain name or anything that might infringe on the trademark or copyright. Its a line in the sand type deal, but its better to be safe then sorry.

    • castlecraver says:

      They’re using affiliate ads though, which could be construed as generating revenue off the back of someone else’s trademark and/or promoting competitors, both generally considered to be “bad faith.”

      Also, it doesn’t appear that this was ever an active forum with any significant membership or content before the recent media attention.

      • ThinkingBrian says:

        There using Google AdSense, there is nothing wrong with that at all. Besides the forum does have several members and has been around since 2008. But I see your point, so the question is, what was the site like one year ago? If it wasn’t much, then yeah Apple could take it, but again it looks to be running in “good faith”. I just hate to see an corporation take a domain name forcefully that someone paid for legally and using legally.

        • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

          But they are not “using it legally”. They are violating trademark and making money off that trademark via Adsense. Based on past WIPO decisions this is a cut and dried case. I’d be surprised if the defendant even makes an effort to submit a written defense.

          • ThinkingBrian says:

            Aside from iPhone5.com, basically all forums, blogs and fan sites that use any type of name such as iPhone, Apple, iTunes, Android, Dell, Windows, Pixar, Dodge, Ford, Chevrolet, Canon, Toshiba and other similar names are violating trademark by using Google AdSense to make any type of money. Keep in mind that their are a lot of forums along that do the very same and have a lot of active members on them.

            Like I said, if your going to build a forum, blog or fan site, its best to use a name that nothing to do with a corporation or brand.

  10. vystral says:

    why is this a point of speculation? did we seriously think that Apple wasn’t going to make another iPhone?

    also, the guy who owns the domain should ask for a small sum of money. I’d ask for $20,000. That’s a lot to me, but pocket change to Apple.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      Offering to sell a trademarked domain to the trademark owner is evidence of registration in bad faith and a mark against you at WIPO.

  11. sparc says:

    This isn’t even an article.

    It’s pretty obvious that Apple is just securing the domain so it can’t be misused. Apple has already made it clear they are getting rid of the number scheme.

    There is no Iphone 5…. it will just be the “New” iphone just like it’s currently the “New” Ipad.

    • jefeloco says:

      …Or the iPhone 6, since it is the sixth generation device (iPhone, 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S make up 1 through 5)…

      It will be called iPhone of Awesome!!!! for all we actually “know”.

  12. CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

    Wait so they think they can hold of registering domains and then sue for it later?? Um. no.
    They should not get to take the domain iphone5, they should have to pay the owner whatever it wants.
    If they wanted iphone 5 to 100000000000, they needed to register it when they registered iphone.com. Anything they did not register is fair game.

  13. Kishi says:

    Am I the only person surprised Apple didn’t already register every variation up to about iphone10, just in case?

  14. Power Imbalance says:

    They put out a new iphone/ipad every month…. Move along, nothing to see here.

  15. ekim says:

    Seems stupid to me that apple doesn’t already own iPhone5.com, along with 6, 7, 8…etc.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      The 1st iPhone came out in 2007 and the iPhone5 was snapped up by a Russian squatter in Jan 2008. Other names (iPhone6…iPhone35…) are also taken. A trademark holder has no obligation to grab every variation of it’s name in every top level and country extension.

  16. TasteyCat says:

    IPHONE6.COM
    is already taken. You can view the WHOIS listing or use Domain Buy Service to get this name

  17. TravelWithDignity says:

    it is doubtful that any other company or group could legitimately claim any domain *iphone* because of the trademark in the domain…. UNLESS it is a protest site, or other fair use site. There simply is no excuse.

    As to why would they do this? Why not. Might as well register the domains for all your product lines, including major / minor revisions.

  18. nocturnaljames says:

    Yeah so I bought the domain iphone6.com purely for entertainment and knowledge, I’m sure apple won’t have any problem with it it’s perfectly innocent.

  19. verbatim613 says:

    The problem with this logic is: what about iphone6.com, iphone7.com, iphone8.com, iphone9.com, iphone10.com and iphoneX.com. There is no end to the number of domains they will demand or the people they will sue to get them.