Protecting Your Brand With New Domain Names | Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C.

If you have a business, then you have probably already registered your brand(s) under one or more top-level domain names, such as .com, .net, .org, .edu, .co, .info, or .biz. You may have also registered one or more of your brands under country codes like .cn (China), .mx (Mexico), and/or .uk (United Kingdom). But, have you registered your brand(s) under enough top-level domain names to sufficiently protect it or them?

Recently, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) established a number of new top-level domain names, including .xyz, .online, .club, .top, .site, .store, and .shop. As with any introduction of new top-level domain names, you should consider adding these to your portfolio of domain name registrations to protect your brand better. It may be particularly important to consider expanding your ownership of domain names to include [your brand].xyz because it appears to be a favorite among bad actors seeking to exploit the goodwill brands have developed over time.

In addition, given the large number of new domain names established by ICANN, you may want to consider obtaining a blocking service for your most valuable brands. A blocking service will cover all currently-available top-level domain names for a flat fee that will typically be about 15% of the cost of registering your brand in all available top-level domain names. Another consideration from a risk management standpoint is purchasing similar domain names to yours. This helps reduce the risk of competitors or bad actors using similar domains that confuse or deter your customers.

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