After filing a dispute with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) earlier this month over the iPhone5.com domain name, the domain has now been terminated and handed over to a brand protection agency hired by Apple.
As TheNextWeb notes, the domain appears to have been surrendered willingly without WIPO having to make a decision on the matter. The site has previously hosted a small independent discussion forum.\
While some may speculate that Apple’s decision to take ownership of the domain suggests that they will use the “iPhone 5” name for their next device, that may not be an accurate assumption. Apple often takes ownership of domain names that contain their trademarked terms regardless of how it is used. For instance, they filed a claim for ApplePrinters.com earlier this year.
They’ve also filed claims against domains that use Apple marketing terms for purposes Apple does not approve of, as in their domain dispute against several pornographic websites late last year. Usually when Apple claims a domain, they do so only to protect their trademark, and the domains are rarely used afterword – most of them now point to blank pages or redirect to Apple.com.