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Microsoft Sues Domain Squatters

Microsoft on Monday filed two civil lawsuits in federal court, claiming that four men are profiting from the practice of "cybersquatting" and "typosquatting" using domains similar to ones used by the Redmond, Wash. developer.

Jason Cox of Albuquerque, N.M., Daniel Goggins of Provo, Utah, John Jonas of Springville, Utah, and Dan Brown of Long Beach, Calif. were named in the lawsuits, which alleged that the men had registered a total of 409 domain names that target Microsoft. Papers were filed in federal courts in Utah and California.

"Microsoft hopes to help Web surfers reach their intended Internet destinations," said Aaron Kornblum, a Microsoft attorney in its Internet safety enforcement group, in a statement. "Where you cross the line is when you misuse someone else's intellectual property in your domain name. Microsoft is aggressively targeting those who misuse Microsoft's intellectual property for monetary gain."

Kornblum said the four have violated 1999's Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) by registering domains with addresses similar to Microsoft's own, but misspelled (called "typosquatting") or claiming domain names that infringe on a legitimate trademark ("cybersquatting").

Among the domains listed as registered by the defendants are 1microsoft67.info, halo2player.com, freehotmail.net, genuinewindowsvista.com, and windowshome.info. [Note: Some of these sites were alive and online as of Tuesday morning.]

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