2 Apr
2014

Increase in cybersquatting using new gTLDs

Hunton Andrews Kurth

Co-published

Cybersquatters who have registered new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) threaten many of the world’s most valuable companies, according to new research from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). The TMCH reports that third parties attempted to pre-register 98% of the world’s most valuable brand names under the '.web' gTLD and 96% under the '.online' gTLD.

It has been reported that as early as January 2014, third parties with no relationship to the respective brands registered names such as 'Adidas.clothing' and 'Burberry.clothing'. With the potential release of 1,000 new gTLDs in 2014, opportunities abound for cybersquatting and brand owners are now seeing new risks and challenges when protecting their intellectual property on the Internet.

While the launch of the new gTLDs has also come with new mechanisms to speed up the process of dealing with cybersquatters, they add another layer to the complexity of policing a brand. Moreover, these mechanisms may offer a less than satisfactory solution for handling cybersquatters who have registered names under hidden identities or with false contact information.

To combat this new cybersquatting threat, brands must diligently police their trademarks online to protect against a diverse spectrum of issues, from run-of-the-mill trademark infringement to phishing scams that target unwary consumers. Working with a trusted partner which not only understands cybersquatting, but also can help with creating a holistic approach to online brand protection can simplify these new challenges for brand owners.

For further information please contact:

Michelle Mancino Marsh
Hunton Andrews Kurth

This is a co-published article whose content has not been commissioned or written by the IAM editorial team, but which has been proofed and edited to run in accordance with the IAM style guide.