Software giant Microsoft has filed three lawsuits against "cybersquatters," in an effort to fight back against a surge of online trademark infringement by people seeking profit from pay-per-click advertising, an Associated Press report said.
The report quoted the software giant as saying that cybersquatters and typosquatters, or people who registered Web addresses either with trademarked terms or with common misspellings in the hopes of luring Web surfers who mistyped addresses into their browsers, were now registering more than 2,000 domains each day targeting Microsoft.
The vast majority of the sites, which had addresses like "microsoftrebate.com," "xbox36com.com" and "msnfinance.com," were bought by professional operations that placed nothing on the pages but pay-per-click ads served by online-ad networks, Microsoft said.
About a quarter of the sites used privacy services to disguise their identities, the firm said.
"Microsoft has witnessed a virtual land rush for Internet domain names with the goal of driving traffic for profit," Aaron Kornblum, the company's Internet safety enforcement attorney. was quoted as saying.
Microsoft argued that the Web sites were forbidden under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, the report said.