The Rocket Blog

Listicles are all the rage these days, so here's one from your friendly neighborhood RocketFuel geeks. 

11 Reasons Why You Should Go Ahead and Register That Domain Name You've Been Meaning To
By Katie Mars on Feb 12, 2016

If you own a business, you should own your domain name. Probably even several domain names, just to make sure you're covering all your bases. If you don't register it, someone else will. 

The name of the game is cybersquatting - the act of registering the name of a brand, company, or person as a domain in hopes of reselling it back for a large profit. And over the year's it had cost companies and individuals billions of dollars, even though it is very much illegal, depending on the circumstance. 

Here are 11 examples of businesses/people who learned this lesson the hard way. 

1) losangelesrams.com

The St. Louis Rams are moving from St. Louis to Los Angeles and someone forgot to pack a new domain name along for the trip. The domain they wanted was losangelesrams.com, but unfortunately a man named Brian Busch has it registered. Oh and he wants to charge the team $650,000 to transfer it. Good luck with that, man. 

For now, you can visit this new team online at www.therams.com. Sounds like something you'd look up on Web MD if you ask me.

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2) nissan.com

This is a famous cybersquatting case between the big guy and little guy.

Nissan, the car manufacter, used to be called Datson until 1984 when they phased out the Datson name with an extensive rebranding campaign. Meanwhile Uzi Nissan, a small-town entrepreneur, had been operating businesses under his surname since 1980. In the early 90s he founded Nissan Computer Corporation and by 1994 he registered the domain name Nissan.com to help promote this computer hardware and peripherals business and sell his merchandise. Two years after that he registered Nissan.net to use to promote his internet services business.

By this time, Nissan, the car company, were very interested in gobbling up this domain name for themselves. In 1999, the two sides met in hopes of working it out. Mr. Nissan argued he has been using his last name for business for two decades (and before Nissan changed their name), so he had a right to continue using it. Nissan, the car company, argued "lol mmmkay."

By the end of 1999, Nissan (car) was tired of playing games, so got the lawyers involved. They filed a lawsuit against Nissan Computer, arguing that their trademark had been diluted. They also claimed that Mr. Nissan had started to advertise cars on his website, too (which was true). All Nissan wanted was for Mr. Nissan to hand over the domain, stop using the Nissan name for any business, and pay a cool $10 million for all the trouble. Ouch. 

Mr. Nissan decided to put up a fight. After bouncing around in court for a few years, Mr. Nissan came out on top, but with a much lighter wallet. He was allowed to keep the domain name as long as her didn't advertise cars or car parts. However, Nissan (car company) was only ordered to pay $58,000 of Mr. Nissan's court costs, which was nothing compared to his total legal bill. But hey, at least he got to keep his website? 

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3) carlyfiorina.org

You can't write a blog about cybersquatting without diving into political candidates domain registrations (or lack there of). These next few are for all you people out there that love a good "slap your forehead" situation. 

This one's got to hurt. When former Hewlett-Packard. CEO and fresh GOP candidacy dropout Carly Fiorina forgot to register her .org domain, I doubt she thought it would be taken over by 30,000 sad faces. But that's exatly what happened. Definitely doesn't help that those sad faces represent all the people she laid off while at HP. Yikes. 

https://gyazo.com/c8660d71765337ddf7047ae25f6f1af2

4) HillaryClinton.net

Hey that doesn't look like Hilary Clinton! That's because Donald Trump snatched up hilaryclinton.net and has redirected it to his own website. Sneaky, sneaky.

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5) tedcruz.com

Ted Cruz might have been the first Republican to declare his candidacy for the 2016 presidential race, but he was definitely the last to think about registering his domain name first. Unfortunately for him someone else did, and Cruz has probably been banging his head against the wall ever since. 

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6) feelthebern.com

We can't let the Republicans have all the fun - Democrats are missing good domain opportunities too. In Bernie's defense, "feel the bern" is a slogan his supporters have coined, not him. But for a starting bid of just $1,000, it seems like it would make since to snatch this up before someone else (cough cough) does. 

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7) jebbushforpresident.com

In 2008, Oregon couple C.J. Phillips and Charlie Rainwater purchased this domain for $8. And it all started with one conversation.

The two men lived together in Austin, Texas during the time when George Bush was on his way out of office and Barrack Obama was on his way in. The two were talking about the strange state of politics at the time and thought " wouldn't it be funny to use Jeb Bush's name to educate people about LGBT issues?" And so they did by purchasing jebbushforpresident.com that same night. 

Unfortunately for Jeb, www.jebbushforpresident.net is also taken, and neither URL owners are looking to hand over the reins anytime soon. 

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8) appleproducts.com

Surprisingly, there's not much information out there about who owns this domain/what they're trying to accomplish with it. But I'm sure they're making money off it from curious people like me stopping by to visit. 

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9) michellewilliams.com

Poor Michelle can't ever catch a break. The other two former Destiny's Child members Beyonce and Kelly Rowland both own their own domains, but it looks like someone is squatting on Michelle Williams' most obvious domain name choice. 

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10) abba.com

Swedish pop group ABBA were probably pretty bummed out ABBA also stands for the American Bed and Breakfast Association. Imagine if these two groups joined forces. ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES.

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11) mcdonalds.com

This isn't really an example of cybersquatting, but we think it's time to think redesign. Does your website look more like a McDonalds value meal than a fancy steak dinner? Let's talk.

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