Domain Name Protection
Prepare Your Brand Against Cybersquatting
Protecting your well-established domain name is a part of the responsibilities that fall on you once you have bought one for yourself. Domain squatting is a threat that all brands face and every brand needs to take proactive efforts to keep their Domain name safe.
There are many ways in which the threat can be dealt with. Whatever the method adopted, the first step would be to identify the various forms of cybersquatting. This is bound to get you closer to figuring out all the ways in which you can keep your domain name protected. While the threat of cybersquatting does exist all around the world, the inconsistencies in the trademarks overseas make the international threat of domain squatting even more dangerous.
International Threat Of Cybersquatting
Taking care your brand is a huge responsibility that will need your 100% efforts on all fronts. Ensuring the portfolio of your brand is protected is an additional effort that you’ll have to put in. In countries like the US, the laws against cybersquatting are laid beyond the rules of the trademark. The rules are stringent and even take into consideration if the domain was registered in bad faith.
Cybersquatting cases in the US require you to prove certain facts before the case can be taken forward. Here are a few to mention.
- Trademark rights need to be in your name
- The cybersquatter has no legal right on the trademark.
- The registration was made in bad faith.
On the other hand, countries like China have laws that are more laid back, making it a target for cybersquatting cases. These cases have been gathering a lot of attention as it is the American brands that are being targeted here. This problem has come about since China allows a first come first serve basis for brand domain name rights. Whoever is able to secure the trademark under ‘.cn’ is able to get away with it.
In cases where the cybersquatter has managed to obtain a trademark in another country, the case is difficult to fight overseas. The complaint will go to the court and you will have to incur high legal fees to regain the domain name. Aside from this complication, there are even scenarios where the cybersquatter is difficult to track down as he/she might be operating under an alias.
How You Can Protect Yourself From Cybersquatting
Cybersquatting is when someone registers a domain name that is similar to an already popularized product, brand or company. It is then sold to gain profits from the high SEO rank they manage to stay at. There are many cases where people fall prey to cybersquatting and lose a lot of money in the process.
However high the risk may seem, there are many ways in which precautions can be taken to protect both your reputation and your domain name. Here are a few of the most effective practices that can ensure that you don’t fall prey to domain hijackers.
- Registering Your Trademark
One of the first things you need to do is to register your trademark as it ensures that you have the rights to be the owner. It entitles you to use it first and prove that it has been registered with Trademark Clearinghouse. If you haven’t already done that and have a cybersquatter at hand, you can still get your domain name back.
You need to file a URS (Uniform Rapid Suspension) complaint to prove that this violation has occurred. There is a protocol followed by the registrars for UDRP (Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution) to protect your trademark.
- Registration of Multiple Variations of The Domain Name
One of the most common types of cybersquatting is called typosquatting, where common misspellings of the brand name are used to the cybersquatters advantage. This might even end up costing you if it works. These misspelled domain names are used to trap your brand’s customers, and unleash pop-ups and malware on them.
The best way to deal with this is to register your domain name across multiple spellings. Plural, singular, hyphenated are a few versions that you should not miss. Acronyms are also a common trap that should not be overlooked.
- Registering Several Extensions
There are several extensions that are available out there. Few popular ones like ‘.net’, ‘.org’, ‘.com’ etc, must all be covered for your domain name. This will ensure no one else can register your domain name under a different extension and misuse it. Also, registering your domain name under important country code extensions is another means of defending yourself from global cybersquatting. You can register for an extension at websites like Shopify.
Protect Your Brand From Cybersquatters
Cybersquatting has become a growing concern over the last few years. It is necessary to know all the ways in which your domain name can be poached to take the right preventive measures. You will need to be aware of the best ways to protect your domain name and implement them to avoid being a target.