Safenames Blog
Stay current on important topics that impact your domain portfolio and brands online

On why Safenames features brand and online trademark protection services within its comprehensive suite of web-based products and services. https://www.hostingadvice.com/blog/manage-your-online-portfolio-with-safenames/

Micah Ogilvie, our Head of Legal and Business Affairs has been appointed as a Nominet DRS Expert.

Nominet established the DRS in 2001 to offer an efficient, transparent method of resolving disputes relating to .UK domain names and seeks to settle disputes through mediation and, where this is not possible, through an independent expert decision.

Micah Ogilvie, Head Head of Legal and Business Affairs

Micah is an expert in domain management and brand protection and has represented global and small businesses in over 150 disputes through various international arbitration bodies.  Read his full interview with Nominet https://www.nominet.uk/meet-our-new-drs-experts-micah-ogilvie/

AdultBlock is the new method to protect your brand against. Have you ensured that your brand is registered against term all four TLDs .adult .porn .sex and .xxx.

BenefitsFeatures
Protects your brand from
abuse and cyber squatting
Block trademark labels across all 4 TLDs (.adult, .sex, .porn, .xxx)
Covers available names and future registrations will be
automatically blocked
Block premium domain names
Cost-effective brand protection blocks look-alike variations similar to the trademark termBlock variant Labels in your SMD File and Sunrise B .xxx names.
Saves you money – block across all four extensions at an economical priceBlock Unicode variant names – homographic protection in 24 languages (e.g. Bank, BÄΝΚ, ßank)

It is essential to understand that the more well-known your name, the more valuable it is, the more likely it will be attacked, and therefore the greater the importance of protecting it.

Act now- Protect your brand 01908 200 022

Introducing the new top-level .bond is now available.


.bond is a popular choice for you to create and reinforce safe, trustworthy and credible interactions with your clients.
.bond is ideal for financial service providers, advisors and investors

To learn more, call:
UK: +44 (0)1908 200022 | US: +1.703.574.5313
Email: [email protected]

Caroline Valle, Legal Adviser


The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, commonly known as the UDRP, was first introduced on October 24, 1999, by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The UDRP is incorporated by reference into Registration Agreements for all generic top-level domain names (gTLDs) and some country-code top-level domain names (ccTLDs).

The Policy sets out the legal framework for resolving disputes between a domain name registrant and a third party over the registration and use of a specific domain name. Over the last twenty years, the number of registered domain names has dramatically increased, reaching over 354 million registrations this year. The UDRP has become the primary route to resolve domain names disputes.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is one of the main providers for domain disputes and has processed over 45,000 cases to date. Besides gTLDs which all fall under the UDRP, WIPO provides domain dispute resolution services for 76 ccTLDs. In total, six accredited providers administer UDRP complaints, the Forum being the second-largest provider.

The Evolution of the UDRP

The purpose of the UDRP is to combat cybersquatting, which, according to the US Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) is defined as,


registering, trafficking in, or using an Internet domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else”.

Since the very first case under the UDRP, World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. v. Michael Bosman, WIPO Case No. D99-0001, which was decided by Panelist M. Scott Donahey, the UDRP has dealt with many complex issues involving a significant number of domain names. Indeed, WIPO has administered over 45,000 cases involving over 83,000 domain names since the UDRP’s creation. The top 2 industry sectors in terms of Complainant activity are retail, and the banking and finance industry, which respectively amounts to 10.36% and 10.05%.

The UDRP has also seen Complainants and Respondents coming from countries all around the world. Complainants in the United States account for almost 35% of cases filed, followed by France (12.48%) and the United Kingdom (8.10%). However, while domain registrants primarily reside in the United States with over 30% of cases filed, People’s Republic of China is the second-ranked country where registrants are based, amounting to 11.22% of cases filed since 1999.

When filing UDRP cases, Complainants need to rely on UDRP jurisprudence to build their cases. Although Panelists are under no obligation to follow past decisions, case precedents form a significant part of the UDRP which have helped the Policy to develop over the years. With the high number of decisions decided each year, the growing need to identify consensus in UDRP jurisprudence became even more vital.

WIPO Overviews and the UDRP Jurisprudence

Since the creation of the UDRP, law practitioners have always expressed the need for a document summarising consensus views among the UDRP Panelists. Based on this request, WIPO introduced Version 1.0 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions in 2005. In 2011, WIPO Overview 2.0 launched, which examined 46 issues in UDRP decisions. WIPO Overview 2.0 was in use for six years, and it was only on May 23rd, 2017 that WIPO launched the third version (WIPO Overview 3.0). This version discussed 64 issues with more than 1,000 decisions cited.

Key changes took place between the two versions. Between 2011 and 2017, the emergence of new gTLDs impacted the importance of the domain suffix. TLDs such as “.clothing” or “.tech” for example, now have more weight when assessing bad faith. One of the pioneer cases which discussed this issue is Canyon Bicycles GmbH v. Domains By Proxy, LLC/ Rob van Eck, WIPO Case No. D2014-0206, where the Panel held that,


given the advent of multiple new gTLD domain names, panels may determine that it is appropriate to include consideration of the top-level suffix of a domain name for the purpose of the assessment of identity or similarity in a given case, and indeed, there is nothing in the wording of the Policy that would preclude such an approach”.  

As a result, the use of new gTLDs which imply a link to the trademark owner can add to Internet user confusion, and for this reason, is considered under the first element, as well as the third element when assessing bad faith. Internationalised domain names (IDN) are also becoming more popular in recent years, with Internet users registering non-Latin or symbolic domain names. UDRP Panelists have adapted to this change and now consider translations or transliterations of domain names in their deliberations.

Through the years, the UDRP has tackled various issues, but some decisions are cited more than others. The case of Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003 remains the most cited case, with a frequency of 8,088 times. This decision, the fourth case ever decided by a UDRP Panel, tackled the issue of inactive domain names. The decision set out conditions by which the passive holding of a domain name still amounted to bad faith use. Since the decision in Telstra, trademark owners continue to rely on the principles outlined in this case when addressing a domain name that fails to resolve to active content. Though passive holding of a domain name can amount to bad faith use, trademark owners must not forget that they still have the burden to prove registration in bad faith.

The second most popular UDRP decision is, without a doubt, the case of Oki Data Americas, Inc. v. ASD, Inc., WIPO Case No. D20001-0903. Here, the Panelist David H. Bernstein raised the difficult question of whether an authorised sales or service agent of trademarked goods could use the trademark at issue in its domain name. In his decision, the Panel held that specific conditions must be met by the reseller to justify a legitimate interest in using a domain name containing the trademark’s owner brand. Though this decision was published in the early stages of the UDRP in 2001, reseller cases still apply the Oki Data decision when assessing if a reseller can justify a legitimate interest in its domain name.

Following this decision, uncertainty arose over whether this case also applied to unauthorised resellers. The decision, Volvo Trademark Holding AB v. Auto Shivuk, WIPO Case No. D2005-0447 clarified this, finding that the Oki Data decision could apply to both authorised and unauthorised resellers.

The two decisions cited above are among the most popular cases used in UDRP disputes, but several more Panel decisions have helped shape UDRP jurisprudence. This includes, among others, the issue of proving common law or unregistered trademark rights, which led to several well-known decisions, such as Uitgerverij Crux v. W. Frederic Isler, WIPO Case No. D2000-0575 (discussing this for the first time), and the case of Israel Harold Asper v. Communication X Inc., WIPO Case No. D2001-0540, which clarified that rights in a personal name are recognised under the UDRP if the name has been used in a commercial manner, which the complaining party, a Canadian businessman and lawyer, had failed to establish.

For trademark owners and legal practitioners, WIPO Overview 3.0 remains the ultimate resource when filing domain disputes. With more than 1,000 cases listed, Panelists always advise trademark owners to use the cases cited in the Overview.

Following the guidelines provided can also help to prevent trademark owners from being found guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (“RDNH”).

RDNH is when a trademark owner attempts to use the UDRP to deprive a registered domain name holder of a domain name. 2016 saw a record number of RDNH in UDRP cases with 37 complainants found to have abused the UDRP Policy. This surpassed the previous record with 31 RDNH decisions issued in 2015. Complainants are found guilty of RDNH for various reasons. One reason often found is that the Complainant knew or clearly should have known at the time that it filed the complaint that it could not prove one the essential elements required by the UDRP, perhaps because the domain name was registered many years before it acquired rights in a mark. This has led many Respondent to claim that such cases be barred based on the doctrine of laches.

Doctrine of Laches – Time to Reconsider?

Traditionally, the question of timing was a factor to consider when assessing whether a complaining party had a legitimate right to bring a claim against another entity on the grounds of trademark infringement. Under the US doctrine of laches, a trademark claim is barred if a defendant can show that a prolonged period has passed between the registration of the plaintiff’s trademark and the alleged infringement. That said, when it comes to domain names, the doctrine does not apply. WIPO Overview 3.0, Guideline 4.17 states that:


“Panels have widely recognized that mere delay between the registration of a domain name and the filing of a complaint neither bars a complainant from filing such case, nor from potentially prevailing on the merits”

Panels noted that the UDRP remedy is injunctive and the principal concern is to avoid future abuse/damage, and not provide equitable relief. Panels have also recognised that trademark owners cannot reasonably be expected to monitor every instance of potential trademark abuse or to enforce each instance as they arise. For these reasons, Panels have declined to adopt the doctrine of laches or its equivalent in UDRP cases.

Even so, some Panels have taken account of the delay of a Complainant to bring a complaint under the UDRP when making their decision. In the case of Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas v. FanMail.com, LLC, WIPO Case No. D2009-1139, the doctrine of laches was discussed at great length. Though the decision rejected the use of laches, the Panel held that


the delay and lack of explanation for it strengthen Respondent’s cases for a right or legitimate interest in the Domain Name and negate Complainant’s case that the Domain Name has been used in bad faith. That is so because the unchallenged evidence is that Complainant by inactivity encouraged Respondent to continue to use the Domain Name in the way in which Complainant knew it was being used”.

Still, finding for the Respondent based on laches alone is not possible under the UDRP, and Panels would only deny complaints if Complainants have failed to establish the substantive grounds required under the Policy. For example, in the recent case of The Pennsylvania State University v. Mark Lauer/ Keystone Alternatives, NAF Claim FA1847529, July 29, 2019, the Panel denied the complaint as the trademark owner failed to prove that the registrant had no legitimate interest in the domain name, and consequently, did not act in bad faith. The Respondent, in this case, relied on the doctrine of laches and asked for the complaint to be denied on those grounds, but the Panel held that it was unnecessary to decide whether the proceeding would or should have been denied on the ground of laches alone.

20 years after the creation of the UDRP, Panels will see more and more cases brought with domain names registered 15 to 20 years ago, and the delay in bringing a complaint by a trademark holder may have more significance to a Respondent than ever before.

Another significant event already having a tremendous effect on the UDRP is the implementation of the new European data protection law in 2018.

GDPR and its effect on the UDRP

Since the new European data protection law (General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679) came into force on May 25th, 2018, the number of UDRP disputes has increased. Indeed, with GDPR coming into effect last year, law practitioners have seen changes in the disclosure of WHOIS details. Before GDPR, the WHOIS Registry was publically accessible, and trademark owners and their representatives could identify a domain name owner before filing a dispute. Now, however, GDPR has made it more challenging to engage with domain registrants. With most information unavailable, it seems that more practitioners now file cases in an attempt to disclose registrant information. Once revealed, Complainants have the opportunity to amend the dispute to reflect the Respondent’s correct details.

Furthermore, GDPR has made UDRP consolidations even more challenging. The UDRP allows trademark owners to include multiple domain names in a single complaint. The limitations placed on WHOIS information prevent trademark owners from identifying additional domain names owned by the same cybersquatter. This is likely to lead to trademark owners needing to file more single complaints, which is more expensive and time-consuming.

The UDRP element most affected by the GDPR is the third circumstance that deals with bad faith. Showing an abusive pattern of conduct has become more complex, and trademark owners have more of a difficult task of finding past cybersquatting activity. The tools previously available to investigators to analyse a registrants’ previous dispute record or portfolio have become less effective with the arrival of GDPR. While an investigator’s job has become more challenging, the UDRP remains one of the most effective tools to combat cybersquatting in the Internet world.

What is next for the UDRP?

A lot has changed since the creation of the UDRP, and with new issues arising, the Policy has evolved to be in line with the fast-pacing change of the Internet. The new generation of TLDs contributed to the rise of UDRP filings but “.com” domain names still amount to 79% of cases filed. The ccTLD “.co” assigned to Colombia is the most popular ccTLD using the UDRP with 56 cases filed this year.

Nevertheless, despite the increase in filings, after two decades, some practitioners/groups believe that some essential elements of the UDRP are due for reform. In 2015, ICANN issued a Preliminary Issue Report to review all Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) in all gTLDs followed up by a working group which was established to review and possibly reform RPMs, including the UDRP, which is yet to be reviewed.

In the meantime, the UDRP continues — 20 years after its creation — to be the most effective tool to combat cybersquatting, saving time and money to trademark owners.

______________________________________________________________________________

On October 21, 2019, WIPO organises a conference to commemorate this milestone. This event, where over 100 UDRP Panelists will attend, will look back at the UDRP jurisprudence, and look ahead on the future of the UDRP, Internet developments and other topical items. As one of the top-ranking filers of domain name disputes with WIPO, Safenames’ Legal Department will be attending this event, which will be held at WIPO’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Safenames specialises in all dispute resolution policies including the UDRP. Since 1999, We have filed over 200 cases and recovered over 500 domain names through the UDRP alone.

September 22, 2019

You’ve spent years cultivating your brand. You have a name that your customers recognise. The time spent cultivating your image over the years has paid off. When people see your trademark, they think “integrity” and a quality product. This is a great thing. However, as it has been said, with great visibility comes great risk. The more well-known your brand, and the greater your reputation, the higher the likelihood that someone may attempt to take advantage of this image.

A tremendous amount of money is made, every year due to criminals taking advantage of public confusion. If cybercriminals believe they can gain by illicitly using your name, they will. While in the past one only needed to worry about the *.com, *.net, *.org, and associated country-level TLDs, with the creation of hundreds of new global top-level domains (gTLDs) it is now becoming easier and easier for someone to purchase a domain that is either the same as your trademark, or similar enough to cause confusion to the public.

As a business, it is in your interest to make sure that you are not impersonated. Fraud is not only bad for your customers who may get swindled, but also for your company in lost revenue and reputation. Whether or not it is technically “your fault” that someone used your name for nefarious purposes, it comes across to many people as unprofessional that you would allow this to occur (yes, I know it’s not fair, but any of us who is an adult know that’s just the way it goes), and your brand can suffer a hit to its reputation.

What is Domain Blocking?

Luckily, a new method of protecting your brand has arisen, known as “Domain Blocking.” Domain Blocking is a new form of brand protection which involves registering dormant domain names in order to prevent anyone else from registering or using them. Domain Blocking is a defensive measure which businesses can use to protect a trademark from abuse. Domain blocking itself is a very simple concept.

Theoretically, you could do something similar manually by registering a copy of your trademark, or variation of your trademark across each gTLD, however many services exist which will handle most of the process for you at the moment you register your brand. Domain blocking is slightly different than registering a domain, as it will not resolve to a site, but instead will simply block anyone else from registering it, thereby protecting against its fraudulent use.

Why Domain Blocking Exists In 2011, ICANN approved the use of the .xxx gTLD for the adult entertainment industry. The goal of this was to create a clear sanctioned area where such sites could exist but not intrude upon traffic designed for broader audiences. However, an immediate concern arose, as it became apparent that it could be possible to register any brand with this extension.

Many companies were concerned that pornographic websites could attempt to register well-known brand names to gain traffic but resulting in a deleterious impact on the integrity of these trademarks. Simply registering these domains themselves was also not considered ideal because many companies really did not want to have ownership in anything related to the adult entertainment business. To provide a service to prevent popular brands from having (likely fraudulent) sites crop up with well-established trademarks, the ICM registry allowed owners of trademarks to opt out having one of these TLDs. The need for this soon spread beyond the original .xxx gTLD.

The growth of new gTLDs with a large variety of extensions created a wide new frontier for abuse. There are now more than 1500 different domain extensions available. These range from the well known .com and .net domains, to .biz, .ninja, .guitar, to .lol. The need to make sure that these domains do not get registered by nefarious operators is complex and great. Cybercriminals have and will take advantage of these gTLDs to their own advantage. Each month, over 150 different brands are hijacked through phishing attacks. As a result, beyond ICM, many registry operators (RO) such as Uniregistry and Donuts now provide new methods and mechanisms to help companies prevent criminals to take advantage of these vulnerabilities, and will now provide this or a similar service for a wide range of different TLDs. By registering a domain with one TLD, a company can place a block on any new registrations for a period of time with that same trademark.

Cost of Cybercrime

The pervasiveness and sophistication of cybercrime has grown exponentially in recent years. The global cost of cybercrime has now reached as much as $600 billion annually. While in the past most phishing attempts may have seemed laughable in their amateurism, this is no longer the case. Individuals and businesses are being taken advantage of at a record pace, and the nature of these phishing attempts are getting harder to detect, even for professionals.

The pervasiveness and sophistication of cybercrime has grown exponentially in recent years. The global cost of cybercrime has now reached as much as $600 billion annually. While in the past most phishing attempts may have seemed laughable in their amateurism, this is no longer the case. Individuals and businesses are being taken advantage of at a record pace, and the nature of these phishing attempts are getting harder to detect, even for professionals.

Spoofing legitimate domains used to be protectable by registering the .net and .org and maybe a few other TLDs, however, it has gotten considerably more complicated. ICANN has recently introduced over 1500 new gTLDs, while this is a huge boon for many businesses looking to carve out a niche, this unfortunately also creates a wide-open playing field for cybercriminals to register domains that look just like your meticulously built brand.

Cybercriminals are becoming more and more sophisticated

Cybercrime is the only criminal enterprise with a ‘help desk!’ Because everyone is using the same playing field, we all have access to the same tools. If we have a problem, we can simply contact our ISP to solve it. Unfortunately, so can a criminal. On top of it, there are a number of organisations that cater specifically to criminal operations. With more sophisticated phishing attacks, even experienced professionals are being taken in. Due to the open nature of HTML and CSS, it is easy for criminals to create sites and emails that not only look similar to official sites but that look identical, even including legitimate links. It has now even become common for fraudulent sites to hold legitimate security certificates.

Providers such as Let’s Encrypt make it possible to get SSL certificates for no cost. This is a huge benefit for small businesses who wish to be able to participate online and to provide secure experiences to their customers However the downside is that sites like this have no mechanism to check if certificates are legitimate or should be given.

The result is that we may not even necessarily be sure that a site which is fully set up with SSL, and where everything matches the certificate, is actually a legitimate site. Hackers have misused Let’s Encrypt certificates to help hide malicious websites to make them appear as if they are affiliated with legitimate companies such as Apple, Google, and PayPal. In fact, recent research has shown that up to half of all phishing sites now have the “secure lock” symbol that people associate with a safe site.

Homoglyphs, homograph attacks, and confusable characters. Further complicating this problem is the introduction of Internationalised Domain Names, or IDNs. IDNs can serve the positive purpose of making a brand accessible in non-standard character sets. While we may be used to using a standard western (Latin) library, many of the characters we use are not easily accessible to users who use a different alphabet. For this reason, a need was addressed by allowing characters from non-western libraries to be used as domain names.

However, many letters in different alphabets may look similar but are not, in fact, the same character at the encoding level. While we have trained ourselves to be able to identify phishing scams with numbers replaced as letters (O and 0), it can be very difficult to identify differences in some alphabets. In many cases, the symbol appears virtually identical to letters we already expecting to see. Let’s take apple.com as an example. We see the letter “a” as part of this domain, and of course, we believe that by looking at this on a page, or in a link in an email we are going to be taken to Apple’s website.

However, while this character has a Unicode entry for U+0061 in the Latin alphabet, if someone chooses to replace this character with the identical symbol in the Cyrillic alphabet, it has a Unicode entry for U+0430. Clicking on a link for this would bring you to an entirely different location. This is only one example, and there are a ton of substitutions that could be made that would be invisible to the naked eye. Due to the creation of IDNs, it is now possible to register domains in pretty much any character set that exists. You can see the problem here: if a cybercriminal were to register a domain which looks similar, or in some cases identical, even if we are being careful, it could be very easy to fall for a phishing attack

Alternatives to Domain Blocking

There are a few other approaches one could take instead of adopting domain blocking services; however, each comes with its own drawbacks. One could theoretically do nothing. After all, at least within most western countries, there are agreements regarding trademarks. Unfortunately, enforcement after the fact can be extremely problematic. Entering UDRP and URS proceedings each time a trademark is violated can be costly and time-consuming. Also, due to the nature of the way that brands work, and are registered in people’s minds, the damage could have already been done by the time the problem has been resolved.

We can think of many examples of companies that ran into trouble at one time, and though they fixed the problems, in the public mind this company is forever associated with these negative experiences (I won’t go into examples here out of respect for these businesses).

In general, it is far better to put the expense and protection before a problem arises. Another approach, as we have mentioned before, is that it is always possible to manually register all TLDs that are associated with your brand or trademark. However, this can have the drawback of being both painstakingly difficult, costly and inefficient.

If one were to factor in the expense of purchasing each domain at retail price and the amount of time it would take, the cost begins to weigh heavily on the benefit. Also, by using this approach it is very easy to miss variants or “lookalike” characters from other alphabets. Add to this fact that with the next round of ICANN’s new gTLD programs, you would need to anticipate gTLDs that don’t even exist yet, which is, of course, a virtual impossibility.

By choosing Domain Blocking as a service, all of this is handled for you. A name is registered, and any attempts to duplicate this across different TLDs get blocked, including many variants. Domain name blocking can be used for any brand or trademark owners.

The process simplifies and consolidates blocks of names and similar names, to make it easier to understand and purchase. Whether we like it or not, most new TLDs have open registration policies, meaning that anyone can register a domain without proof of ownership. By choosing Domain Blocking, brand owners can be prepared and can adopt strategies for dealing with the growing TLD landscape.

So how do you respond?

This problem is not going to go away, and as new tools become available for criminals they will be used. Companies and brands are now starting to take a holistic approach to mitigate the risks associated with domain name infringement, and are now innovating to provide protection for consumers at the forefront of those their plans for maintaining customer trust and loyalty. It can be difficult for companies to navigate the landscape of possible domains and parameters to consider. Before getting too deep into details, it’s often helpful to take a high-level approach to begin to create a strategy.

Here are a few questions that brands can/should consider

  • What is the best way to maximise the impact and reach of your domain portfolio? Do you want to consider international factors?
  • Of the new gTLDs available, which are worth registering? Which are most relevant to your brand? Think about which target markets might be interested in your products. Remember, if you don’t anticipate this, someone else might step in and use your name for their own purposes.
  • Similarly, using the same logic, which TLDs may have the greatest potential risk for abuse?
  • Is there a way you can think of these as categories, or groupings of areas of interest? You may wish to consolidate your portfolio to ensure it meets your objectives in an effective way, both for market reach and for the expense
  • How can you meet each of these objectives while staying within budget? If you can identify these areas, bulk domain purchasing/blocking may be an ideal solution.

Who should use Domain Blocking?

Trademarks are extremely valuable brand assets. When making purchases or doing business, we have associations with specific brands as being reliable or trustworthy. Maintaining control of that image is absolutely crucial for any business with any sort of brand recognition. Losing control of this can be disastrous.

While we can think of may examples of brand names that are synonymous with a product, beyond its original ownership (e.g. Coke, Kleenex, Xerox, Aspirin), we can also think of names that are synonymous with poor quality or disasters (e.g. Edsel). While of course some of this is controlled only by public opinion, much of this association is controlled by the company itself. For this reason, it is extremely important to make sure that our trademarks do not get into the hands of those who do not have our best interests at heart.

While we may think of this as obvious for official brands, this can expand beyond the commercial realm. Well-known people, celebrities, and politicians all trade heavily off their names. Once one gets into the public eye, it’s easy for one’s name to become smeared. Often a trademark may be limited to one particular country – if someone gets ahold of it in a country that does not adhere to the same rules of commerce, this can cause problems for those who have a legitimate right to the name. Copyright is something else that may need enforcement.

This can be particularly difficult to manage if this crosses national borders, however the right to credit for written materials, names or other content remains. We also use domain blocking for other important events such as treaties and statutes (remember that cybercriminals will go after just about anything that the public might search for).

Conclusions/Recommendations

Trademark infringement is on the rise. Cybercriminals are reaching levels of sophistication which match many of the businesses and organizations they target. Tools which have been designed to make business easier have unfortunately made it easier for bad actors to take advantage of them.

The features of the web that make it so appealing to you as a business are precisely the same as those that drive bad actors to try and take advantage of your name. However, you are not without the ability to fight back.

To do so requires the adoption of domain blocking strategies, not just as a luxury, but as an absolute necessity. If you have any sort of brand name or trademark or reputation that needs to be maintained, domain blocking should be considered a necessary component of your online strategies.

Guarding your brand is also not just about acting proactively to counter threats, it can be part of your marketing strategy. Being in control over your name breeds an aura of professionalism which will in turn increase customer trust and loyalty.

If you have the right tools in place, including a careful domain blocking strategy which includes all relevant (and possibly non-relevant) gTLDs, recognition and control over homoglyph, lookalike and other possible variations and spellings of your brand, you will be in a much stronger place in maintaining your integrity.

By taking care of this proactively, before any problems occur, you will save both any potential losses as a result of stolen identity and customers (not to mention your customer’s identities!) but will also save money, both in the cost of obtaining these TLDs, as well as any time that could be lost in trying to fix problems after the fact.

Using pioneering technology, you can adopt complex strategies to quickly block domains in the thousands before they are even in the mind of a criminal. By securing these names, you are cutting off the supply chain that cybercriminals would use; you effectively corner the market on your own trademark.

Contact us to protect your brand 01908 200 022

Archives