Many businessmen and entrepreneurs book several different domain names and domain name variants when starting a new business or launching a new project. Most of the names are not renewed and are sold in the open market later. Whichever name is selected for the business’ online presence is supported by a website. This article discusses whether it is worth booking multiple domain name variants and whether there is any use for so many names.
Initial registration is only a small aspect of securing the domain name of your choice. After that, they main headache that you need to bare is renewing the names on time and ensuring that they are put to some use and not idle. If you miss renewal of any name, it may become available to others and the whole exercise of pre-emptive registration is dissolved. Some registry’s allow booking the domain names for upto 10 years at a stretch, while others insist on a maximum period of 2 years. There are many instances when domain names which were booked for 10 years, lapsed after their 10th year expiry, due to the domain owner forgetting about the domain name registration or having lost control of the email address which they used 10 years back. In other cases, the domain was registered on an ex-member or ex-employee’s name and thereafter, no one in the company bothered to take control of it. These are some of the downsides of blocking many names and not being able to manage them.
With the advent of hundreds of new top level domain extensions, booking multiple names has become more difficult and also more expensive. While early online entrepreneurs had to worry about just a few variants like .org, .net, .biz, nowadays it is practically impossible and terrible expensive to book all variants and keep renewing them. Even if you take an average of $10 per domain name per year, if an organisation books 100 tld’s they will end up spending $1000 and getting virtually nothing for their money. Besides this, many countries offer multiple variations of domain names, which may double or triple the registration count.
There are numerous online services which monitor your brand names and trademarks and continuously search for domain name bookings which may infringe your trademark rights. This means that they will point out similar or confusingly deceptive names which may lead people to believe that the infringer is you. But these services are expensive and all that they can do is alert you about the infringement. Thereafter, you have to fight out a legal battle to enforce your rights. Assuming that you do win, the question would be whether it is worth the effort that you have taken to defend your mark.
In many cases of cyber squatting, even if you do file a case in a court of law and win the case, it maybe very difficult for you to enforce the court’s order, due to the international nature of domain name infringement and registration. In some countries it becomes very difficult to defend your trademarks and pursue cases for damages or profits and hence, it may not be worth the effort.