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Registering ccTLD Domains Under the Guise of Brand Protection

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I won’t call this a “scam” email because I don’t think it meets the definition of scam, but I’ve received a number of similar emails and wanted to share it with you. Clearly, it looks like the objective is to get me to register a bunch of ccTLD domain names I probably would not have wanted, under the guise of brand protection.

The initial email stated:

Dear CEO,

We are the department of registration service in China. we have something need to confirm with you. We formally received an application on November 2, 2009, One company which self-styled “NOA INDUSTRIAL LTD” are applying to register “burbank” as brand name and domain names as below:
burbank.asia
burbank.com.hk
burbank.com.tw
burbank.hk
burbank.net.cn
burbank.org.cn
burbank.tw
After our initial checking, we found the brand name and these domain names being applied are as same as your company’s, so we need to get the confirmation from your company. If the aforesaid company is your business partner or your subsidiary company, please DO NOT reply us, we will approve the application automatically. If you have no any relationship with this company, please contact us within 10 workdays. If out of the deadline, we will approve the application¬† submitted by “NOA INDUSTRIAL LTD” unconditionally.

Best Regards,
Alan jin

After receiving this email, I replied that the “applicant” is not affiliated with my company. Their reply had a more direct sales pitch, as expected:

Dear sir,

Many thanks for your confirmation.As soon as receiving the application of “NOA INDUSTRIAL LTD”.we checked and found “burbank” is your company’s registered trademark.So we inform you also that’s reason why we sent email to you.If you did not authorized such apply we suspect 2 points:

1. This company uses your brand  to build market in Asia.
2. This company may be doing your same business, or your competitors.

But you should know that The domain names regisration is open in China. so “NOA INDUSTRIAL LTD” has right to apply for the available domain names. For this reason ” NOA INDUSTRIAL LTD” is also licit applicant and we have no right to reject them.You only own the preferential rights to register them.

In addition.please inform us your company’s decision of this issue. if these domain names are important to your company.we can send you a dispute application form and help you register them. If these are not important.we will accept “NOA INDUSTRIAL LTD’s application. Thanks for your understanding.

Best Regards,
Alan jin

The emails look official, and some companies might worry that their brand mark could be abused. Just a head’s up that I’m not buying it, and I would bet if I check in 6 months from now NOA Industrial will not own Burbank.whatever either.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (9)

    David J Castello

    S-C-A-M.

    November 3rd, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Todd Mintz

    I would definitely call it a scam.

    November 3rd, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    .us domains

    I get it almost every other day,

    exept mine are for .cn names.
    I also get letters through the post asking if i wish to renew my names for £89.99 ($150 yr) or so.

    Always said, if i wanted it i’d ask for it.

    November 3rd, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    jj

    Yes, a scam. I have received lots of identical emails, and a few non-domainers I know with just 1 domain for their business have received the same email. Although this is an obvious scam to a domainer, some business owners may fall for it.

    November 3rd, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Dot Jake

    And even if its legit… How much traffic do you think you’ll loose to Burbank.asia…?

    But I agree with the above comments. Sounds like a scam.

    November 3rd, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    jp

    It’s a scam/spam. I’ve been getting these regularly for over a year. Just disregard. Better to not respond as a response effectively confirms your email address.

    November 3rd, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    TechFilipino

    I’ve received the exact same thing for my business before, but that time they were saying that its coming from japan. We hold the trademark so we weren’t scared that somebody would grab the other extensions but nonetheless it was a good wake up call. It’s definitely a SCAM

    November 3rd, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Jay

    Scam, they just wan’t you to buy all those other extensions as they are affiliated with the registrar, best to hit delete and not respond.

    November 4th, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Felipe Barousse

    I do also get that exact email quite often.

    i have received the same message referencing a large percentage of the names on my portfolio since about 2 years now…. so, this is an old SCAM.

    It also appears to get quiet for some periods and then it comes active again.

    Take note of this scam and whenever you get an email like this, just hit “junk mail”.

    November 5th, 2009 at 2:11 am

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