Businesses usually invest a lot of resources and time to have a website that is appealing to their target audience but what will you do if another business sets up shop with a domain name or brand name that sounds very similar to yours?
Cybersquatting is happening all the time on the web. In order to understand, cybersquatting, let us put it simply. For example, you named your business Widgets are Us and somebody sets a business named Widgets are U and demands money to move elsewhere. Protecting your brand name online is just as important as having an appealing and functional website.
When Google launched its new parent company Alphabet and the abc.xyz web address, more than 20,000 registrations attempted to take advantage by registering names like googlefiber.xyz or googledocs.xyz.
In January eBay managed to win one of the largest cybersquatting cases when it won the ownership of more than 1,000 domains that are using its trademark. According to a World Intellectual Property ruling, motor vehicle manufacturer BMW also managed to win back its domain b.mw that made use of Malawi’s top level domain (TLD) from someone in Japan who was attempting to sell it for a million dollars.
Cybersquatting on the other hand is an issue that is not limited to big brands. One example is a West Yorkshire furniture retailer Interior Goods Direct that was 3 days late with renewal. When it was renewing its website domain name, the business was informed that someone has already attempted to register it. Fortunately, there was an allowance of 30 days to make payment so no harm was done.
There are people who are monitoring domains and when it needs renewing they try their luck. The burden of protecting the brand name can be easier by registering it as a trademark as you gain more rights over your related web addresses.
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