As consumers increase their use of online shopping sites, the number of domain disputes is expected to rise with major brands seeking to prevent unrelated companies registering domains that infringe intellectual property.
In one current case, Gucci is insisting that it, rather than an anonymous e-commerce company, should have control of the guccishoponline.org domain name.
These “cybersquatters” register the names of web domains linked to famous brands or people so they can either sell counterfeit goods or demand money from the brand owner before they relinquish ownership.
Famous brands that have taken up cases in the past 12 months include Swarovski, Armani, Burberry, Cartier and Dior. The World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo), which acts as the final adjudicator in arguments over who should be given control of a web domain, decided on nearly 3,000 cases in the 12 months to July 2012, the highest figure since 2007, according to the legal information provider Sweet & Maxwell.
This problem is not just confined to brands or famous people as business owners often don’t take sufficient care with their acquisition of domain names losing control to ex-business partners or entrusting unreliable individuals.
The choice and purchase of domain names is an important business decision and the right domain name influences a website’s Google ranking and revenue generation. See our earlier blog post for advice on choosing a domain name and details of our domain name and hosting offer.
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