According to the Daily Telegraph this week disputes over domain names have hit a record high.
Domain squatters will usually use an existing company’s trade mark in a domain name to divert traffic to the new fake site or to make the company buy back their rightful name.
The Telegraph noted that this year alone, luxury fashion brand Gucci has been forced to report six cases to win control of more than 100 domains, while Austrian luxury brand Swarovski has brought, and won, 32 cases since 2010.
Recent cases have also included London Mayor, Boris Johnson, reclaiming his campaign website after a squatter had taken it over.
Disputes are adjudicated on by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
At Trade Mark Direct, we're contacted every day by companies who are losing out online as they don't have the rights that come with a registered trade mark, which can cost as little as £470.
Ensure your business is protected both on and offline.
Please contact Mark or Kate at Trade Mark Direct to discuss this further.
Case Study - Would losing 33% of Your Online Business Matter?
Our client, who wishes not to be named so we'll call them Surrey Stairs, owned surreystairs.co.uk, the .ltd and other domains. Their main competitor, Bungle & Botcher, bought surreystairs.com from a domain squatter, got it ranked highly in the search engines and pointed it to their Bungle&botcher.co.uk website.
Traffic to the Surrey Stairs’ site fell by a third. Sales were badly hit.
And without a registered trade mark there was no certainty the domain name could be recovered and costs would be much more.