Apple had recently filed with the World International Property Organization (WIPA) in an effort to obtain the iphone5.com domain. The owner of which had obtained the domain in 2008 and was running a small forum. The forum is since gone and the domain has been transferred to Corporate Service Company, a brand protection agency.
The case details show that this particular domain complaint has been ‘terminated’, meaning that the domain owner has agreed to give up the domain. We were unable to determine if this was a ruling in favor of Apple or the owner made the decision based upon fear of an potential legal battle, one that would be costly.
Apple has had a history of protecting their brand and actively pursuing legal roads to acquire domains which are related to their products.
The new iPhone may or may not be called the iPhone 5. In consumers minds, the next iPhone is the iPhone 5. They’ll be searching Google for that term. At some point, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a redirect in place once that new iPhone is announced.
If you own or run any sort of online website that includes Apple’s trademark names, you are always at risk for losing your domain.