Microsoft acquires Xbox8.org and other domains in China

Microsoft acquired domain names registered in China, including one that references "Xbox 8," according the National Arbitration Forum.

Microsoft acquired several domain names registered in China, including one that references "Xbox 8," according to a ruling from the National Arbitration Forum.

Microsoft filed a dispute with the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) on May 12th, alleging that the domains in question — xbox8.org, xboxcompanion.com, xboxlivetv.com, xboxphone.com, and xboxtablet.com — were "confusingly similar" to Microsoft's Xbox trademarks, that the registrar had no rights or legitimate interests in the domains and that the domains had been registered in bad faith.

The NAF, an independent organization of lawyers and former judges specializing in dispute resolution, verified that the domains had been registered with GoDaddy.com, which agreed to resolve the dispute via the NAF based on rules established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The NAF also served a written notice of complaint to Chen Juan of China, who had registered the domains, and requested a response.

After Juan failed to respond by the June 11th deadline, Judge Harold Kalina, a retired judge from Minnesota, found that Microsoft's allegations satisfied ICANN policies. For example, the domains for xboxcompanion.com, xboxlivetv.com, and xboxtablet.com resolved to domains that advertised their arability for sale, thus constituting registration in bad faith.

In his ruling, Judge Kalina ordered all domain names to be transferred to Microsoft.

In a separate dispute submitted to the NAF on May 21st regarding the xbox8.us domain, Microsoft alleged that Juan "has been known by a different name" and has engaged in "a pattern of registering infringing domain names." The dispute references "Citigroup, Inc. v. zhang na," which was resolved in favor of Citigroup in December 2011 under similar circumstances.

On June 25th, Bruce E. Meyerson ruled that Juan's registration of xbox8.us violated U.S. Department of Commerce's usTLD Dispute Resolution Policy and ordered it transferred to Microsoft.

Though Microsoft has not announced the name of its next generation Xbox console, it has been referred to as "Xbox 720" colloquially and in some of Microsoft's internal documents. The "Xbox 8" domain, however, matches the branding of Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8, which may provide insight into the yet unnamed successor to the Xbox 360.

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