By Erik J. Heels
Cybersquatters, typosquatters, parody domain names, look-alike URLs and competitors purchasing others’ keywords-these are the kinds of developments posing threats to brands online. Here are 11 protection tactics.
In 1997, if you had a domain name and a registered trademark for your brand, you were in good shape. In 2007, it takes more to protect a brand on the Internet owing to two key developments. One, the definition of brand has expanded to include things that aren’t necessarily trademarkable (such as the names of your key personnel). Second, brands are at risk from being used (and abused) by cybersquatters and others in ways that weren’t foreseeable a decade ago. To quote Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Open war is upon you whether you would risk it or not.
Actually, the attack on your brands has been underway for years. But it is about to erupt into a full-scale brand war. Now is the time to act. Here are steps you can take to protect your brands online.
The 11 steps are:
* Step 1: Know Your Brands
* Step 2: Register Your Brands as Top-Level Domain Names
* Step 3: Register Your Brands as Country-Specific Domain Names
* Step 4: Register Misspelled Domain Names
* Step 5: Monitor Your Domain Names
* Step 6: Register and Monitor Third-Party URLs
* Step 7: Buy Keywords on Google and Yahoo
* Step 8: Don’t Game Google
* Step 9: Monitor Related Web Sites
* Step 10: Register Your Trademarks
* Step 11: Ignore the Box