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Domain Name Registration Trademark Scam

Posted on Jun 10 | 4 Comments | | Print this
 

We received numerous queries from our clients regarding their domain names allegedly in risk of possible trademark dispute. This is a SCAM. Please ignore it.

The Modus Operandi

The aim of these scammers is to get their victims to register domain names with them at ridiculously expensive price. Their modus operandi is very simple. They randomly search for a domain name’s owner contact via WHOIS query. If that particular domain’s WHOIS is protected, then they will try their luck at the domain’s website hoping to find a contact form or email address. Once they get the victim’s contact, they will send the victim an email message introducing themselves as a reputable domain name company (most of them are from China or Hong Kong). They will claim that some company has submitted a request to register few domain names bearing the keyword of the victim’s domain name. In order to protect the victim’s trademark, they will offer the victim a chance to “win” back the requested domain names within the stipulated time frame before they approve the registration from the said company. To make the message looks genuine, it often ended with the person’s name, designation, company name, contact numbers, website address and email address in their signature.

Sample Email Messages

Sample 1

Dear CEO & Manager,

We are a Network Solutions Centre in Asia,mainly dealing with domain name registration and internet intellectual property rights protection. On [DATE] we received a formal application from a company who is applying to register several domains, using “[KEYWORD]” as the keyword. After investigation,we find that you are the original user of the keyword. Such similar domain cases may involve your trademark and company name,and may cause website confusion and conflicts. For a responsible attitude, we inform you here and ask for your opinion. If you don’t mind,we will finish registration for the third company.

Look forward to your reply.

Lilian.Garcia
Tel: +852-31757931 ext.8014
Fax: +852-31757932
Email: lilian.garcia@asiapacificimc.hk
Website: www.apidnr.com.hk

Sample 2

Dear CEO,

Are you the owner of “[KEYWORD]”, please?

We have something important to confirm with your company. On the [DATE], we received an application formally from one company named “During Investment LTD” who applied for the Network Trademark”[KEYWORD]” and some domain names relevant to this trademark from our organization.

After our initial examination, we found that the Network Trademark and domain names applied for registration are as same as your company’s name and trademark.

These days we are dealing with it,so we hope to get assistant from your company.

Considering this issue will relate to your intellectual property, now we have not finished the registration of During Investment LTD yet,in order to deal with this issue better, Please forward this email to the person who can be in charge and contact us by telephone or email as soon as possible. Thank you!

Best Regards!

Sample 3

(If you are not in charge of this please transfer this email to appropriate dept, thanks.)

Dear President,

We are the department of Asian Domain registration service in china. we have something need to confirm with you. we formally received an application on [DATE]. one company which called “SDY investment company” are applying to register “intproperties” as Brand Name and the following Domain Names:

[LIST OF DOMAIN NAMES]

After our initial examination, we found that the Domain Names applied for registration are as same as your company’s name and trademark. these days we are dealing with it, hope to get the affirmation from your company. if your company has not authorized the aforesaid company to register these, please contact us as soon as possible.

In addition, we hereby affirm that our time limit is 7 workdays. if your company files no reply within the time limit, we will unconditionally approve the application submitted by “SDY investment company”.

Best Regards,

Felix Wang
Senior Consultant

Sample 4

Dear CEO,

We are the domain name registration organization in Asia,which mainly deal with the domain name registration and dispute internationally. Now we have something important need to confirm with your company.

On the [DATE], we received an application formally. One company named “Pubstar Inc” wanted to register following Domain names:

[LIST OF DOMAIN NAMES]

and wireless keyword: [KEYWORD] through our body.

After our initial examination, we found that the keywords and domain names applied for registration are as same as your company’s name and trademark.We don’t know whether you have any relation with them. These days we are dealing with it. Now we have not finished the registration of “Pubstar Inc” yet, in order to deal with this issue better, Please contact us by email or telephone as soon as possible.

Best Regards
Mike
International Registration(Auditing) Dept.
Hong Kong Head Office:
Tel:+852-956-60205(Direct)
    +852-956-60496(Office)
Fax:+852-301-98068
    +852-318-75699
Email:mike@dnrcenter.hk
Web: http://www.setl.hk.cn

Even though it may sounds like a good idea to reserve every Internet Top Level Domains (TLD) for your trademark, however in reality it is impractical. Other than the 20 General TLDs (eg. .com, .net, .org, asia) there are 247 Country Code TLDs (eg. .my, .sg, .cn, .hk, .tw) and numerous Second Level Domains (eg. .com.my, .net.my, .com.sg, .net.sg) for you to consider. If you really concern on the disputed domain names, then there is no reason why you should not give the same concern to other TLDs mentioned above.

One obvious sign that this is a scam is none of the domain names in question were registered until today even though it has past the deadline more than one year ago.

Only an unscrupulous company would use such a dishonest method to get new sales. Please avoid these companies at all cost. You will never know what other traps you might get yourself into.

Preventions and Solutions

This is nothing more than another form of spam. Like any other spams, you can’t really escape it. However, you can reduce the number of spams or make it harder for the spammers to get your email address. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Activate WHOIS privacy protection for your domain name (if applicable). WHOIS privacy protection is provided free for every domain name registered by Surf7.net.
  2. Don’t publicize your email address on your website or anywhere else online. Use an online contact form that hide away your email.
  3. Prevent automatic online form submission by using image CAPTCHA.

Even though, the simplest solution is to ignore it, reporting it to relevant authorities may help others from becoming victims.

4 Responses to “Domain Name Registration Trademark Scam”

  1. Chris says:

    Just receive a mail from “Jane”…. from a company in Asia claiming that a company call During Investment LTD is trying to register our domain in others countries… same text as sample 4.
    Thank you very much for the warning!!!
    Best Regards
    Chris

  2. Silvia says:

    Thanks a lot!!!
    I receive a mail from Jason Yuan, sample3.
    Best Regards
    Silvia

  3. Finn Ellebaek Nielsen says:

    Hi

    Yesterday I received the following variation on Sample 1.

    Best regards

    Finn

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    We are a Network Solutions Company, mainly dealing with domain name registration
    and internet intellectual property rights protection. on Sep. 07,2010 we
    received a formal application from a local company in your country who is
    applying to register several domains, using “[KEYWORD] ”as the keyword. After
    investigation,we find that you are the original user of the keyword. Such
    similar domain cases may involve your trademark and company name,and may cause
    website confusion and conflicts. For a responsible attitude, we inform you here
    and ask for your opinion. If you don’t mind,we will finish registration for the
    third company.
    Regards,
    Sophia wang
    Tel:+852 3175 7930 (ext.8010)
    Fax:+852 3175 7932
    Email:sophia.wang@asiapacificimc.net
    Website: http://www.internet-registry.com

  4. I received this letter: (See further below for the follow up emails)

    Dear President&CEO,

    (If you are not in charge of this please transfer this email to your President or appropriate person, thanks)

    This email is from China domain name registration center, which mainly deal with the domain name registration
    and dispute internationally in China and Asia.
    On August 15, 2011, we received an application from Meihua Holdings Group requested “idsysgroup”
    as their internet keyword and China (CN.ASIA) domain names.But after checking it, we find this name conflict with
    your company name or trademark.In order to deal with this matter better,it’s necessary to send email to you
    and confirm whether this company is your distributor or business partner in China?

    Looking forward to your reply

    Best regards,

    Alice

    Alice Zhou
    Checking Department
    ——————————————————————————–
    HongKong Office(Head Office)
    HK(HongKong) China Technology Ltd
    Tel: +00852-39711641
    Fax: +00852-39711857
    Rm 1105,Lippo Centre Tower1,
    89 Queensway,Admiralty,
    Hong Kong China.
    Mail:alice@chinatechnology.hk
    Web:www.Chinatechnology.hk

    ——————————————————————————–
    From: Alice Zhou [mailto:alice@chinatechnology.hk]
    Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 9:17 PM
    To: BMW North
    Subject: Re: RE: The Confirmation Of Intellectual Property in China

    Dear Mr. WXXXXXXXs,

    Thanks for your letter.

    We have suggested they should choose another name to avoid this conflict but they insist on this name as CN domain names,
    Because China Domain name takes open registration,this is international domain name registration principle.
    So MEIHUA Holdings Group has right to register them.
    Now MEIHUA Holdings Group want’s to apply for China domain names and Internet trademark Keyword you have not registered yet,
    like”www.idsysgroup.cn/.com.cn ect.
    As a domain name registrar,we have no right to refuse their application. So required by China government to inform your company to protect your interest.

    But according to other registration principle,as the owner of the name or trademark,your company get the priority to register these domain names.
    If you think their application will not affect your company, you can give up this priority, and meanwhile we will finish their registration.

    But if you think these domain names are useful for your company, according to dispute registration principle. we will send you a dispute form
    and help you register these within dispute period. Pls let us know your decision soon, so that we can handle the next step.

    Looking forward to hearing your reply.

    Best regards

    Alice
    2011-08-17

    ——————————————————————————–

    Alice Zhou

    My last email stated: How do you say F**K OFF in Chinese?

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This page was last updated on 18th October, 2011
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