Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Si of relief

In a previous post we said the following on the restrictive nature of some ccTLDs:

"If these ccTLD operators do not relax certain restrictions it could stifle Internet investment resulting in the loss of a potentially lucrative revenue stream for those countries as well as potentially being ignored by the Internet community when the new gTLDs are released.

We believe the IP community needs to debate domain name issues more actively to encourage registries to change restrictive policies."

We now learn that on 6 November 2008 the Slovenian registry (ARNES) will relax its registration rules.

These new rules will remove the current restrictions and allow anyone to register .si domain names (including foreign companies and persons). There will also be no restriction on the number of domains that may be registered by registrant.

We would like to believe that our post was instrumental in bringing about this change but nevertheless we welcome this move by ARNES and encourage other ccTLD operators to follow a similar route.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Do Tel

The new Top Level Domain .tel will be launched on 3 December 2008 by the registry Telnic Limited (www.telnic.org).

.tel will allow businesses and individuals to communicate their contact information to clients and potential clients without the need of designing, hosting or managing a website. The registrant’s contact information and keywords will be stored directly in the DNS. The purpose of .tel is to provide a simple yet effective way of displaying contact information to Internet users.

Lexsynergy will start accepting applications for the Sunrise Period on 1 October 2008.

.tel will be launched in 3 separate Periods.

Sunrise Period - 3 Dec 08 - 2 Feb 09 (Trade mark holders)
Landrush Period - 3 Feb 09 - 23 March 09 (General Public at a Premium Price)
General Availability Period - 24 March 2009 - onwards (General Public)

You can obtain a complete summary guide to the .tel launch periods by emailing domain@lexsynergy.com.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Domain Names Missing the Point

Typosquatting has moved to centre stage in the domain name industry. Typosquatting is the practice of registering domain names that are misspellings or likely typographical errors of heavily trafficked sites or well-known trade marks. These domain names are then used to generate pay per click revenue, through an affiliate marketing website, from internet surfers who accidentally mistype a domain name.

Affiliate marketing is a performance based internet marketing program in which affiliates are paid for sending customers or traffic to a website. Affiliate programs are driven by affiliate marketing software which tracks and logs commission for promoting the partner's website.

So is there in money in typosquatting? Yes and plenty of it. So how does it work?

Step 1: register a domain name that is a misspelling of trade mark (e.g. mersedesbenz.com).
Step 2: sign-up to an affiliate program.
Step 3: direct the domain name to a webpage of the affiliate program, which generates advertising based on targeted keywords.
Step 4: wait for the misspelling and confusion to begin.

The average click earns $0.05 for the domain name registrant, assume a site receives 100 clicks a day that equates to $150 per month or $1800 a year. If the registrant has a portfolio of 100 similar domain names it would bring in $180 000 a year. Some typosquatting sites can generate over a 1 000 clicks a day. All revenue is derived from infringing upon a trade mark and relying on the confusion caused from a common misspelling.

In order to establish whether a trade mark has fallen victim to typosquatting it is advisable to conduct a domain name audit and to implement a watch service to assist in identifying potential infringements.

The most successful form of typosquatting is the use of the prefix “www” (World Wide Web) as part of a domain. This type of registration relies on the Internet user omitting the point (period or full stop) between “www” and the domain name. For example instead of typing www.hsbc.com the user types wwwhsbc.com. We list some more examples below, which all point to an affiliate website.


Over the years the National Arbitration Forum has decided over 270 UDRP complaints involving domain names that had incorporated the prefix “www”. This form of infringement is increasing and trade marks owners should consider taking pre-emptive measures by registering all their well-known trade marks with the prefix “www” as part of the domain name such as wwwlexsynergy.com.

Friday, 19 September 2008

The Cost of Domain Name Management

The state of the world economy is not exactly in the best shape and everyone is looking to cut costs. Trade mark owners are no different.

We have seen trade marks owners being charged exorbitant amounts to manage their domain name portfolios by niche domain name management companies. They even go so far as to charge for updating nameservers of TLDs (Top Level Domain) that have an automated registration system. A nameserver charge is normally only levied on TLDs that have a more complicated registry interface and require “physical” work from the domain name management company. If your company is continuously changing its nameservers you could be paying more for the technical changes than the domain name itself.

Most niche domain name management companies provide similar services (technical and support perspective) so the real distinguishing factor should be price. We would advise trade mark owners to shop around in the industry and compare prices.

The saving could result in having extra funds available to secure domain names in new gTLDs (generic Top Level Domain) or extend protection in the various ccTLDs (country code Top Level Domain).

So how can a trade mark owner save in the management of its domain name portfolio?

Well, a domain name portfolio continuously increases as a result of the following:
• New TLDs being released;
• Domains acquired through the UDRP (Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy) or threatened litigation;
• Business acquisitions and mergers;
• Marketing campaigns.

This continuous increase obviously makes the task of cost reduction more difficult. We propose that the solution is to ensure that your domain name management company is offering competitive prices for registrations, renewals and updates.

What should you look for in domain name pricing?

Registration and renewal costs – some domain name management companies quote their administrative fee separately from the registry fee resulting in the total fee being much higher than quoted. You should be able to negotiate on the management fees.
Costs for changing administrative and technical contact information should be free for most (although not all) TLDs.
Cost for a registrant transfer should not be more than the registration fee.
Change of nameserver, in most cases, should be free.

It can be a daunting task moving a domain name portfolio from one domain name management company to another but it may save your business thousands of pounds a year.