As digital fraudsters are well aware, a brand's website is like a shop window to the world and that is precisely why they try to infringe them.
Our job is to close that window on illegal activities – while keeping it open for legitimate business. One way is to continually monitor domain names registered worldwide – regardless of language or location. We not only keep an eye on some 240 jurisdictions globally, but all major generic top-level domains (gTLDs) too.
Typical domain infringements include:
- Registering domain names containing your brand, and then configuring them to automatically redirect to a third-party website.
- Resellers and distributors registering domain names containing your brand – often in breach of your contractual agreements with them.
- Cybersquatting – a third-party registering a domain name containing your brand with the intent of selling it for a profit to your business.
Get your domain name portfolio in order
As the internet goes through its biggest change since domain names were first released in 1995, it is vital to have a clear strategy for what lies ahead. This should include:
Domain portfolio review. Audit your current domain names, assessing existing procedures at your company. Make sure you are in control of domain names containing your brand that are being used by dealers/distributors. Consult a specialist service provider who can offer advice on how your current domain portfolio can be best utilised.
Optimisation. Create an optimised domain name strategy, identifying which digital assets are working for your organisation and where to make improvements to meet industry standards and compliance, improve your page ranking and customer experience. A full gap analysis of your domain portfolio is a useful exercise, creating a defined strategy for registrations of your key brands, geographies and trademarks. This should include recommendations for domain acquisition and disposals, including guide pricing. Ask your domain name service provider for help.
New gTLD (.shop, .club, .london, etc.) registration strategy. Be aware not only of the opportunities the new gTLD program brings, but also the risks. Consider Trademark Clearinghouse submissions, defensive registrations and domain blocking, together with a clear timeline for action. Failure to secure relevant domain names may have a negative impact on your company’s online presence, customer engagement strategies, SEO investments and marketing campaigns.
Talk to an expert
Without access to the ‘zone files’ that are published on a daily basis by domain name registries (such as .com, co.uk, .fr, .se, etc.), it is difficult to detect domain infringements in good time. Some online infringements can be found by a simple Google search, but by the time a website has been indexed on Google and become visible to your customers, damage and lost business may have already occurred. That is why we urge you to consult a service provider who can apply specialist technology to detect and prioritise domain infringements.