How to Get Your Brand (Domain) Name Back
With the imminent release of hundreds of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) over the course of 2014 and beyond, there are more opportunities than ever for brand growth. Unfortunately, there are also more opportunities than ever for brand abuse, as cybercriminals could use these new domains to distribute malware or phishing. There are also more cybersquatting vulnerabilities with more extensions available to represent a brand or person.
The question is, what can/should a business owner do if they find out their brand name is being used inappropriately? For the answer, we turn to 1&1 Manager Kelly Meeneghan.
"Domain security is very important to the safety as well as brand reputation of a business," said Meeneghan. "For those with a public domain but have encountered someone using their brand name maliciously, it is suggested to make a formal case with ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). At this point, they can then follow the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP). This policy states that most types of trademark based domain disputes must be resolved by agreement, court action, or arbitration before the domain registrar has the ability to cancel, suspend or transfer the name. For more details, they can visit: http://www.icann.org/en/help/dndr/udrp.
"If someone has a private domain name registered whereas the businesses contact details remain confidential via Whois, the business owner should contact the domain registrar with a formal complaint. At this point, it is then up to the registrar and the internal processes they have in place in order to resolve the issue – it differs for each registrar."
With a bit of research, solutions also turned up that offer domain name abuse detection and mitigation. NameSentry is one such portal that allows companies to monitor the overall health and reputation of its TLDs or domain portfolios near real-time. With drill-down features that enable Internet professionals to view domain abuse by category and details by domain, they can see which sites within their TLD or portfolio are hacked or infected. The NameSentry solution seems quite robust, and might prove beneficial to check out its features.
CSC's NameProtect domain monitoring focuses more on the domain name itself. It monitors new registrations for potential infringements against a business's trademarks. NameProtect states on its website that it overcomes the technical and legal complexities involved in searching more than 700 extensions for new registrations that match a brand's trademarks (including close matches and typosquatting). The service identifies, categorizes and prioritizes results based on domain and Web category, website activity, registrant and geographical factors.
NameProtect also provides enforcement tools to help you protect and enforce your brand rights.