Registering ccTLD Domains Under the Guise of Brand Protection
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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.