Letter Strings in Domain Names: Really Random?

What is the intrinsic (as opposed to trademark) value of short string domain names? It depends, of course. Rights holders have been willing to challenge domain name registrants even if they have no actionable claim for cybersquatting.

While consumers instantly recognize the letters “I,” “B,” and “M” are not arbitrary, they will not be faulted for failing to associate “D,” “V,” and “T” with Dynamic Visual Technologies. This issue of acronyms and arbitrary letters has a long history under the UDRP. A non-exhaustive list of short strings (some of which are infringing, others not) includes “adm,” “agcs,” “aro,” “ash,” “bper,” “clh,” “daf,” “dll,” “dkb,” “fxcm,” “jdm,” “ifo,” “irjll,” “iyzi,” “paa,” “snn,” “sog,” “ssx,” “usu,” “xrprf,” and more.

The ultimate question is whether any three, four, or five letter string has become so exclusively associated with the complaining rights holders that knowledge can be inferred. What do recent UDRP cases show?

To find out more about letter strings in domains, click through to this in-depth analysis by Gerald M. Levine at CircleID.