4 essential tips for protecting your brand protection online

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Every week new gTLDs are being released. They have two launch phases before general release when they become available to everyone on a first come, first served basis. Jargon, mumbo jumbo, gobbledegook! Basically, if you’re a brand owner you have to protect your name. If you don't, others can grab it and do untold damage. Take a look at four essential tips for protecting your brand online...

1... Be ready to choose your domain names

Knowing when the new domain extensions are available for pre-order and registration means you can plan which are of interest and how best to use them.

2... Register to promote and protect your brand

Registering domains that sell your brand is vital but it’s equally important to protect your brand from malicious intent. Brandname.pizza is a positive message. Brandnamepizza.sucks – meh, not so good. Defensive registration is an option but it can be expensive.

Register your brand with the Trademark Clearinghouse, ICANN’s database of protected trademarks, to protect your brand and gain exclusive access to registration during the opening Sunrise period of every new domain. Registration with the TMCH also means you can protect your trademark when used in terms/phrases with the DPML or Domains Protected Marks List.

3... Don’t forget SEO, there are keywords before and after the dot now

We're still waiting to see how Google treat the new domains with regard to keywords and page ranking. But, ignore the potential of these new domains and it will be too late.

You’ve registered brand .CLOTHING for your business. Do you also offer .SHOES, and are you an exclusive .BOUTIQUE? What words do your customers use when searching for you? These are keywords and key to your business being found online.

4... Understand the law - it’s on your side

Oops, you didn’t register with the TMCH and DPML and now someone has registered your trademark in their domain name. All is not lost but there is a cost.

It’s quick and relatively easy to file a Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) complaint against a blatant case of infringement. According to the procedure, if the complaint is upheld the offending domain name/website will be taken down. The URS system is a lighter version of the UDRP below.

All registrars must follow the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) which was designed to protect recognised brands and trademarks from infringement. If a dispute arises over trademark infringement, trademark owners must be able to provide evidence and to then present it in court. The UDRP allows domain names to be transferred, whilst with a URS the domain name remains the property of the owner, although they are not allowed to use it for the entirety of its registration.

At EuroDNS we have teams of experts able to help with all your brand protection needs, please get in touch if you'd like a chat or need advice on the complicated legal stuff.

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