Here at FairWinds, we take a lot of pride in the services we offer clients around new gTLDs. But traditionally, our services have focused on domain names in existing gTLDs – specifically, advising clients on the best ways to use domains to promote and protect their brands online. This is the major underlying mission of the work we do. That’s why we found it so amusing when we noticed that cybersquatters had begun registering domain names referencing brands’ new gTLD applications. Call it meta-cybersquatting, if you will, squatting on domains that are about...domains.
Say there was a company called Brand X that applied for a new gTLD. Recently, we’ve seen a rash of domains like BrandXDomain.com, BrandXDomains.com and BrandXNic.com (many existing registries use the term “Nic” in their names, especially ccTLD registries) being registered by opportunistic third parties.
In theory, this is nothing new – we’ve blogged on FairWinds’ flagship blog, Domain Name Strategy, numerous times about cybersquatters moving in to take advantage of new developments or breaking news. That’s why when a client is about to launch a new product or service, we recommend that the client preemptively register domain names referencing that product or service. If Brand X decides to launch a new Wonder Widget product, we would recommend registering domains like BrandXWonderWidget.com, WonderWidgetBrandX.com, and others.
On the bright side, because these newly squatted gTLD domains generally contain a trademark (the company’s name), they are fairly easy targets for recovery via the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy or other means.
Lucky for brands, domain name recovery is one of those traditional services we’re so good at.