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“Registering our web domain gives us worldwide exposure…”

You regard your website as a living, breathing extension of your company’s personality, activity and values. You want to maintain it, manage it, and make it work for you in an increasingly crowded market place. Your business organisation is professionally run and, to be taken seriously, you have designed a comprehensive website. You expect that this will give you worldwide exposure.

Any website must be properly registered to have any form of presence on the net. Website registration is managed by many individual domain name registrars. They are accredited non-profit organisations coordinating the domain system globally. However, unlike trademark registration, there are no product or service classifications for websites. So, if a company with the same name as yours, but operating in a different product or service classification, has already acquired the domain you need, you are excluded. You may end up in an auction to acquire the rights to your own domain names.


As with trademark registration, you might also be facing “domain squatting” or “cybersquatting”. “Cybersquatters” are to web domains what “Trademark trolls” are to trademarks. They exist with the sole purpose of trafficking domain names at extortionate prices. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an arbitration body allowing you as trademark owners to claim back websites which are unlawfully squatted. You may inevitably become embroiled in this distraction from your main business priorities and would incur time and cost in pursuing any action against such pirates.

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