Every month, probably millions of users would be searching Google to know about when the next smartphone from Apple, touted as iPhone 5, may land. Many of these queries may end up redirected on the domain www.iPhone5.com. The domain isn’t currently owned by Apple and now, the company has filed a claim with the World Intellectual Property Organization to gain control of it.
It is interesting to note that Apple may not have any plans of naming the next iPhone as iPhone 5. That is because Apple has a knack of surprising the world with rather unexpected names for its devices. Still, the company wishes to get hold of www.iPhone5.com which currently hosts a forum discussing iPhone 5 and comprising of a mere 300 to 400 members. On the forum, it has been specifically mentioned that the forum is “not endorsed, sponsored, nor otherwise affiliated with Apple” and that is has been created only “for the sole purpose of entertainment and knowledge.”
However, the WIPO filing by Apple has resulted in a retaliation by forum members who are actively demanding that they have every right to discuss iPhone 5 related news on the forum and that Apple has no right to shut them down.
Apple has, in the past too, filed similar cases regarding related domain names such as iPhone4S.com and others. And in nearly all the cases, the company has been able to pocket the said domain names. While Apple doesn’t have a specific advantage in owning these domains, it often indulges in the practice to bag these domains so that users are not mistakenly redirected to them by considering them as Apple-owned domains.