Branding is the name of the game in the new Internet economy and that means protecting trademarks is everything.
“I think that what’s becoming really obvious is that trademarks are so easy to replicate and people are abusing some really well-established trademarks out there,” Richard Forman, president and chief executive officer of Register.com, told InternetNews.com. “It’s just not good enough to get the little TM next to your name.”
The service, which is available for $595 per year, provides subscribers with monthly HTML-based reports — prepared by trademark research analysts — of potentially conflicting trademark and domain name activity from relevant sources around the world. Forman said the service scours the Web for information on pending trademark applications and new domain name registrations in general top level domains and country-code top level domains.
“All companies need to be vigilant about protecting their trademarks,” he said, adding that if trademarks are not protected they can be lost. “God forbid you lose your trademark, you may actually lose your domain name.”
Register.com said Trademark Guardian also lets brand managers know if other Web sites are linking to their companies’ sites and outlines other “high risk” domain names that are available for registration in extensions around the world.
“Essentially, we’re finding that a lot of the corporations that we’re dealing with want to cover their bases,” said Shonna Keogan, spokesperson for Register.com. “They want to make sure they have all of the domain names associated with their trademarks.”
In related news, a Register.com customer Friday discovered a security hole in the company’s software that could potentially have shut down a million Web sites. Register.com said the hole was patched quickly the same day.
“To our knowledge, we’ve had no domain names that have been hijacked,” Forman said Monday.
The hole allowed unauthorized access to privileged software by copying a Web site out of refer logs that catalog a site’s visitors. The software allowed access to the domain name information of the 1.5 million Internet addresses Register.com has registered.