Tag Archives: trademark

Major Top Level Domain Name Expansion to Include more Generic TLDs

Surfing the WebThe ICANN, (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), board has decided in June 2011 to expand the number of generic top level domain names.

The existent 22 gTLDs that include popular TLDs such as .com, .net, .org, etc… will become limited by only the dictionary, or maybe not even that. ICANN decided to allow any word to become a gTLD, that means that domains such as .microsoft or .google or .pepsi will populate the Internet.

The applications for the new gTLDs will start from 12 January 2012 and end on 12 April 2012. Corporations, cities will most likely be among the first to apply for the new gTLDs.
The new gTLDs will not be cheap, a new gTLD will cost 185,000$, a cost that will make it unaffordable for small companies. There are more obstacles that makes it difficult to buy a gTLD. The very high required standards for the applicant’s IT infrastructure and Legal protection will make it impossible for small and medium companies to get their own gTLD.

To get one of the new gTLDs the applicant has to prove Trademark ownership for the requested domain.
The expansion of the gTLDs means a new era in communication but this will change very little, for most of the domain names owners, at least in the initial phase. ICANN expects to increase the number of gTLDs to hundreds of them. This is very little, but it’s a start.

Double Protection for your business: Trademarks and Patents

Both a patent and a trademark protect a business’ intellectual property in two distinct ways.

According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office a trademark is, by definition “a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.”  The words “trademark” and “brand” are almost synonymous, and you can protect your trademark or brand by acquiring the associated trademark rights.  A registered trademark allows its owner to prevent other businesses from using a confusingly similar trademark.

It is important to keep in mind that trademark law only protects the trademark itself and does not protect any other inherent aspect of the goods or services themselves. For this, patents are necessary.

Patents and patent law are used to protect inventions. For example, a utility patent protects inventions that are useful and non-obvious in light of what has been done before. If a business’s goods or services include an invention, a patent may be used in addition to a trademark. In fact, it is common for businesses to seek both trademark and patent protection for a given product or service.

To accomplish this, both a trademark and patent application need to be filed separately with the US Patent and Trademark Office. If successful, the trademark registration will allow its owner to stop others from using a similar trademark and the patent will allow its owner to stop others from making, using or selling the invention associated with the product or service.

About the author

David Owens and Bruno Tarabichi are experienced trademark attorneys. Visit trademark-sentinel.com for more information about their trademark registration service.

The Domain Name Scam Explained

Domain Name

Protect your Domain Name?

If you are a Domain Name owner and make business on Internet you know that your Domain Name is one of your biggest assets.

You wouldn’t give away any traffic resulted in misspelling of your domain name or traffic generated by similar domain names.
There are actually people on Internet who specialize in stealing traffic from other companies. They do this by using domain names similar to successful companies. However this is less feasible these days because domain name doesn’t carry too much weight in SEO.
If someone would try to register your domain name, what would be your reaction? Your first reaction, of course, would be to protect your domain name. You want to buy that domain so nobody else could use it and steal your traffic. This is a natural reaction; you are trying to protect your asset.
This weakness is exploited by a large number of companies, (mostly Chinese), specialized in this type of scam.
There is nothing wrong to secure that domain name, if you think it makes sense for your business, many companies do this, just don’t buy the domain name from the spammers. Buy that domain from a reputable registrar instead.

How does the Domain Name Scam work?

The spammer collects information from the Domain Name registration which is, in most of the cases, public. This information contains the owner name, the email address, and of course the Domain Name. This information is enough to devise an email which will be sent to the CEO. The email informs the owner that another company is trying to register the domain name in cause but for another TLD or ccTLD.
As the owner of the domain you “get the benefit of being announced of this purchase” and are being offered to buy it yourself.

For instance you own domain.com and someone is trying to register domain.tw and domain.cn, etc… Other country-specific flavors (.asia, .biz, .cc, .cn, .com. cn., .hk, etc.) can be mentioned. You are informed about this and offered to buy the domain or the domains.

Scenarios when Contacted by a Domain Name Scammer

At this point there are a few possible scenarios:

First scenario: You don’t really need the domain names but you fall for the scam and say “yes, please register all of these domains for me”.
This is the worst case. These types of companies are ghost companies that charge you three to ten times the regular price of the domain. Sometimes, if you don’t pay attention to all the registration details the scammers will register themselves as registrant and administrative contacts and they will keep themselves in the loop trying to reap you off more down the road.
Second scenario: You look at the domain names list they sent you, you pick the ones you are interested to protect and register them at a serious registrar for a fair price. See this post about Protecting the Trademark by Registering Domain Names. You might have a Web Marketing strategy that involves buying those domain names. In this case the scammers made you a favor reminding you to buy some domains that you missed.
Third scenario: You simply ignore the email; you don’t care if someone registers the domain domain.cn, these days a domain name doesn’t count that much for the traffic as it used to. The content is king and traffic leaking is almost impossible only using a domain name. Protecting your Trademark is your lawyer’s job and there is no need to buy everything on the market to protect your Trademark. See this article about the defensive domain buying: Protecting your Trademark by buying as many as possible domain names.

The decision is not always simple and it depends on your business needs. You could go with either the second or the third scenario.
You can Buy International Domain Names at fair prices at: Go Daddy Bulk Domain Registration

Regardless of your business needs you will probably want to avoid buying these domains from the scammers.

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