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January 27, 2023

Deloitte Just Lost a Quiet Cybersquatting Dispute With a Privacy-Focused Crypto Company

Have you heard of DYKC? We haven’t. It’s not like it’s our job to know what giant accounting firms are doing across the globe at any given moment. Apparently Penultimate Media Systems hadn’t heard of Deloitte’s “Know Your Customer” services either when they registered DontKYC.com in August 2021. Deloitte decided to stomp that out lest anyone confuse crypto privacy offered by DontKYC.com for anti-money laundering professional services offered by Deloitte Luxembourg. The firm lost their argument.

From Domain Name Wire:

A cryptocurrency company has successfully defended its domain name in a cybersquatting case brought by Deloitte Tax & Consulting.

Deloitte offers a Know Your Customer service branded as DKYC.

Penultimate Media Systems registered DontKYC.com for the opposite use: cryptocurrency services that promise anonymity.

Deloitte seemed to be upset that the domain owner abbreviated its service as DKYC on its website.

World Intellectual Property Organization Panelist Adam Taylor determined that Deloitte failed to show that the domain owner registered and used the domain in bad faith. The domain owner said it wasn’t aware of Deloitte’s trademark and was not targeting them. This makes sense, given its use of the domain name.

Deloitte contends a few things in the complaint:

  • The Complainant’s group is internationally well-known.
  • The Complainant exploits the DKYC trade mark widely.
  • The disputed domain name is highly similar to the Complainant’s trade mark as it includes the four letters in the Complainant’s mark in the same order.

So basically the argument is they just should have known that Deloitte Know Your Customer exists and picked a different acronym for decentralized finance and anonymous spending. Which they are. A message at the top of the DontKYC.com site says they are rebranding to Shadow Fi.

The full WIPO complaint is embedded below for your reading pleasure.

Deloitte DYKC by Adrienne Gonzalez on Scribd

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