Businesses must fight ‘domain squatters’ to protect brandsJuly 18, 2013 5:02 pm Leave your thoughts
Building a recognizable website is one of the key steps a business must take toward brand recognition. It's important to use domain names that customers will recognize and search for. However, in an internet that often seems to be teeming with domain squatters, these names can be hard to come by if companies do not act fast.
"Domain squatting"—also known as "cybersquatting"—refers to the practice of registering domain names sought out by businesses that own the trademarked name and are selling them at high prices.
Previously, this blog has discussed the problems Nintendo faced when it failed to register the domain name WiiU.com in time for the release of its Wii U videogame console. Though the company filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to have the name taken away from the current owners, that request was denied.
Other companies have had more luck. According to an article in Mondaq, Viacom recently won a domain name lawsuit in Brazil, allowing it to recover the name www.nick.com.br for its popular Nickelodeon brand.
The Court of Appeals of the State of Mina Gerais ruled that businesses that own a family of trademarks should have special protection from domain squatting, since it is easier for offenders to fool the general public with a well known name.
"[T]he domain name is its digital identity, it is how the business will be known and, more importantly, how it will be recognized in the Internet," wrote the Reporter Judge.
That's why it's important for businesses to work with a Phoenix business attorney to protect their intellectual property from those who would abuse it.
Categorised in: International Business Law
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