Twitter VS. Twiter – Typo Leading To a Fraud Site

I would like to discuss an interesting legal case that has been resolved lately as an example of scams and frauds online. This is the case of the familiar social networking site Twitter against Twiter (without double “t”)…

Chain Of Events

Apparently, the domain Twiter(dot)com, that is now owned by Geigo Inc, has been already registered in May 7th 2004, about two years before the micro blogging social network Twitter was launched (the domain was registered since January 2000).

It is important to understand that the domain Twiter(dot)com is receiving big amount of traffic mostly due to users typing error and it was estimated to drive something like 100,000 visitors every month! And Geigo Inc (who owned the domain) used it for malicious purposes…

Geigo Inc was leading the Twiter(dot)com visitors (that most likely entered the site by accident) to a fraud survey site- The visitors have been asked to answer few questions for the chance of winning prizes. What it actually did is attempting to gather private information of the users like phone numbers or email addresses. Twiter(dot)com resembled to Twitter not just by its name, but also by its look:

Twiter Fraud Site

In July, Twitter filed a complaint (Case D2011-1210) against Geigo Inc at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), claiming that Twiter(dot)com is violating its trademark and using it “in bad faith”. On November 2nd, WIPO held a panel discussing and deciding the case.

The WIPO Panel Decision

The panel agreed with Twitter complaints and ordered Geigo Inc to transfer the domain to Twitter. You can read in the following link of WIPO panel full details.