iPhone.com: $1,000,000 for the Domain Name
In July 2007, Apple paid a seven-digit sum, more than $1,000,000, to Michael Kovatch for the rights to the domain name iphone.com, which he had registered in 1993. The exact sum of the deal has never been revealed, but “a seven-digit sum” was quoted after the transaction had been completed.
Michael Kovatch bought the domain name long before Apple had begun developing their smartphones. The entrepreneur wanted the name for a phone company he intended to set up to place calls over the internet. However, he never had time to work on the idea.
In 2007, when Apple realized that the domain name iphone.com was taken, the electronic giant decided to buy it from Mr. Kovatch. In fact, eBay and other websites were flooded with domains containing the iPhone element long time before the first Apple smartphone was launched. However, none of these domain names can be compared to iphone.com, the most concise, simple, elegant, and the easiest domain name to remember. It is no surprise that the value of the name skyrocketed along with the interest that people were showing in the iPhone in 2007.
They say that Michael Kovatch thought of dropping negotiations with Apple. He found great potential in the domain name he owned and was hesitant to keep the name. He eventually decided that it was worth it to sell it to Apple.
Today if you type iphone.com on your keyboard, you’ll be redirected to the Apple Inc. official website.
CAN I USE IPHONE IN MY DOMAIN NAME?
Sometimes people wonder if they can use the word iPhone in their domain name. For example, if they purchase domain names containing such words as iPhone6s or iPhone8c. Do these names, or similar names, have copyright protection?
It might seem that it is safe to register domain names using the word iPhone. For example, you could register the buyiphonenowonline or iphonerealreviewshelpyou names. However, we doubt these sites, if developed, will last if they are successful. You can try anything, but if you build a site that directly references a trademark like that in its domain name, expect the possibility of a cease and desist letter from the trademark holder’s lawyers. You would then face the possible lawsuits from a company which has the means to protect its copyrighted name. You could perhaps try a so-called non-commercial fair use, but if Apple chose to fight the issue, you would unlikely win your case. So, what we can suggest is simple: come up with an original name and be praised rather than be tarnished.