Intellectual Property refers to the ownership of and rights to ideas and creations of the mind. It comprises the establishment and protection of a wide range of rights, in which domains can be categorised. Most IP requires some form of registration and the validity of the IP may differ depending on the type of right for which protection is sought.
What are domain names?
A domain name is simply a website address. Very often, some domain name traders, known as cyber squatters, register several domain names containing well-known registered trademarks with the intention of selling these to the rightful owner for an inflated profit. Unauthorised and non-descriptive registration and use of a registered trade mark (belonging to another entity) in a domain name or email address amounts to trade mark infringement. There are also cases of a disgruntled employee, business competitor or website developer hijacking your website to take control of your domain name. That is why it is very important to protect your domains.
Protecting your company’s domain name
To avoid issues related to domain names, you can take the following steps to protect your digital property.
- Communicate with your domain name registrar
Regular communications with your registrar is very important. Thus, you must make sure that emails sent by your domain registrar will not be blocked by your spam filter and provide the firm with a permanent email address in case your domain provider needs to contact you. Make sure to protect access to your account with a strong password.
- Lock the transfer of your domain
Several domain name registrars offer domain lock/transfer lock/register lock to prevent your domain name from being deleted, transferred or modified without your prior and explicit authorisation.
- Expiration dates
To ensure that you do not unintentionally forget to renew the registration of your domain name, establish a procedure to monitor its expiration date. Owners with multiple domains must consider consolidating the expiration dates of all of their domain names so that the renewal process is more methodical and easier to remember. One option is to renew our domain name for multiple years rather than annually.
- Register your domain name as a trademark
If your domain name is an identifier for your goods or services, it may be possible to register it as a trademark or service mark. This will prevent other agency from using similar domain names.
- Extensible Provisioning Protocol
This requires that a particular code is provided to a new domain name registrar before a transfer and offers an extra layer of security. Implementing Extensible Provisioning Protocol for your domain name decreases the risk of it being improperly transferred.
- Obtain similar domain names
Domain name holders can consider registering similar domain names as well as domain names with alternative top-level domain names such as .biz, .net and .org.
- Beware of spammers
You must be very careful when returning emails from parties pretending to be the registrar of your domain name since they might be scammers.
Protecting your domain name is very important if you wish to maintain your business’s authenticity. If you are a bit confused about how to proceed with the steps mentioned above, you can contact one of our agents. Our firm is going to provide you with a detailed explanation and will help protect your domain name to avoid any issue.