NameKing.com Suspends Domain Tasting

Domain-name registrar NameKing.com has suspended “domain tasting” in the wake of a federal lawsuit by Microsoft Corp. accusing NameKing customer Maltuzi LLC of cyber-squatting, trademark infringement and unfair competition.

With NameKing’s consent, Maltuzi, based in Mountain View, Calif., has been one of the most prolific domain tasters. To taste a name is to register it for a maximum of five days and evaluate how much traffic it gets and how much revenue it generates from paid-search ads. If the name generates more revenue than the annual cost to register it, the taster keeps it. Tasting exploits a rule that allows registrars to return to VeriSign within a five-day grace period any .com or .net name that was registered for a customer by mistake, and to recoup the $6 wholesale price.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft accused Maltuzi of registering more than 450 Web addresses corresponding to its trademarks as part of domain-tasting binges.

“Upon review, NameKing has suspended domain tasting for all customers while we assess best practices surrounding this activity,” the registrar, owned by Los Angeles-based Oversee.net, says on its FAQ page. “We will likely re-open tasting only to registrants that have demonstrated sufficient rules and procedures to significantly reduce the occurrence of trademark violations.”

Last fall, NameKing customer Chesterton Holdings was sued by Wilmington Trust for trademark infringement in connection with tasting. Wilmington Trust dropped the suit after Chesterton Holdings agreed to transfer the names to the financial-services company. An employee of Oversee.net was a manager at Chesterton Holdings, according to Josh Armstrong, general counsel for Oversee.net.

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11 Responses to “NameKing.com Suspends Domain Tasting”


  1. 1 Andrew March 19, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Good research. Incidentally, Chesterton Holdings has been accused of “domain sniffing”:

    http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1991365,00.asp

  2. 2 bananasfk March 21, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    I’ve also come across them (Maltuzi) to for re-registering a spammers domain name. Seemed dumb but then i have to assume them to be dumb fraudsters who with the approval of the registrar would appear that they where also pro spam with the adverts on the site which they benefited from.

    Not the wisest thing to do.

  3. 3 Tutivillus March 31, 2007 at 1:47 am

    I wouldn’t be very surprised if many Nameking.com customers, including Maltuzi LLC , were actually controlled by Oversee.net, and/or owners of Oversee.net were also beneficial owners of these Nameking.com customers.

  4. 4 Test April 11, 2007 at 8:05 am

    Now, someone should go after Moniker. The domains they dont register for tasters, they register for bulk spammers ..

  5. 5 rawalex September 22, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    From what I can see, it looks like domains owned by this company are also used as trackers for bit torrent and file trading, or they are leasing domains out to people who do this stuff.

  6. 6 Watching the Watchers December 4, 2007 at 2:07 am

    Took a random name, never registered. Whois’d it. Next day, Nameking registered it.

    Coincidence? Hardly.

  7. 8 marky marky May 23, 2008 at 9:57 am

    Godaddy.com is the best

  8. 9 MyLinkStore June 17, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    The game of Domain should be open to all!!!
    It is like free Speech.

  9. 10 Nosaint February 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I searched for a domain and found it available on Go Daddy. I never bought a domain before and so I nwent back after a couple of hours and it was gone. Did a Whois search and found it registered to Nameking! I am very upset. I thought very carefully about the name for my site and it was very unfair for these jerks to do this.


  1. 1 Domain Name Wire » News » NameKing Still King of Domain Tasting - The Domain Industry's News Source Trackback on January 8, 2009 at 10:36 am

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