We received an email recently with the subject ‘Domain Dispute and Registration’. They introduce themselves as a domain registration service in Asia (a phone number in China is given). The email message goes on to say that they’ve received a formal application from someone who wants to use ‘domain-name’ (fill this in with your own business or product name) as a ‘keyword’ to register the Internet brand with the suffix .cn, .com.cn, etc. — domain-name.cn, for example.
Then comes the bit that’s supposed to make you panic. It says that after their initial examination they’ve found that the domain name applied for is ‘…the same as your domain name and trademark….’ and that because this may produce a possible dispute they’ve put the registration on hold. They go on to say you have five days to reply or they will approve the application.
Being my usual suspicious self, I did a quick search on the Internet and found exactly what I was expecting at www.scamwarners.com. It’s yet another scam to free you of your hard-earned cash. The premise being that you’ll pay them for those domains rather than letting someone else register them. What this really comes down to is Cybersquatting — registering domain names then offering to ‘sell the domain to the person or company who owns a trademark contained within the name at an inflated price’.
There is nothing to stop anyone registering a domain name, however you do have some recourse. You can find information on this and other issues relating to owning a website at Website-law.co.uk. If you’re just about to register a domain for your freelance or small business, then you may find a visit to Nominet useful — forewarned is forearmed. We recommend 123-reg.co.uk for domain registration.
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