Harvard Biz School prof Ben Edelman is suing Google over a deal with typosquatters to place ads on those sites. There are some 10,000 cybersquatting domains out there, according to Citizen Hawk. That sounds wildly low. Edelman estimates there are a million or more. And Edelman estimates Google is making up to $50 million (The Standard) from doing these kinds of deals in the gutter. Quoted in the Harvard Crimson, Edelman said:
It’s hard to know the specific amount of revenue Google earns from typosquatting sites. But it’s not hard to identify a large number of typosquatting sites—as many as a million or more. With a million domains, that would be 32 to 50 million dollars of gross revenue for Google.The suit seeks class action status representing any trademark holder abused by the squatters.
We believe class action adjudication is the most efficient way to resolve these companies’ complaints. It would be unreasonably complicated, costly, and time-consuming for all trademark holders to sue separately.