The well established banking institution, Barclays recently revealed that it is turning it’s back on the dot com. TLD and instead will be transferring it’s online presence to .barclays and .barclaycard. The move is motivated by an effort to prevent ‘phishers’ scamming it’s online customers. Over the coming weeks, the Barclays group will cease to use the .com and TLD’s. Chief Information Security Officer, Troels Oerting, stated that the reasoning behind this change ‘ultimately serves to increase trust and confidence in Barclays’ online entities’ and to provide a ‘more secure service’ for it’s customers.

The term Phishing has pervaded newspaper headlines over the past week as a recent report released by the APWG ( Anti-Phishing Working Group) revealed that fraudulent phishing activity reached an unprecedented high in 2014, with a large majority originating from China. The report showed that domain names are more and more being used as a mechanism to ‘phish’ for web users private data and confidential financial information. Popular TLD’s are often the target of phishing attacks as naturally top TLD’s attract the greatest number of web users.

The APWG report also highlighted that phishing attacks have been steadily on the increase across a variety of different industries. Further findings in the report were quite shocking. Phishing attacks increased from 8hours 42 mins in 2014 up to 10 hours and 6 mins, So what explains this exponential rise in this fraudulent activity? Many speculate that ICANN’s new gTLD program may explain the huge rise in phishing attacks globally.

Brands Beware!

With the steady release of new domain extensions from .club to .finance over the past few months, domain names can be purchased at relatively affordable prices. It comes highly recommended that brands who wish to protect their digital assets, reputation and customers should invest in trademark monitoring of all associated company domain names. Such monitoring could save companies enormous revenue loss from opportunistic scammers.

Financial institutions are increasingly apprehensive for the potentiality of online scammers to use their digital assets like domain names to attract and deceive unsuspecting web users.
The Barclay’s group is clearly demonstrating their awareness of the essential need for protecting their digital assets if they are to protect their customers.

dotNice International Limited – Experts in digital brand protection
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Digital Brand Protection For Start-Ups

Making your start -up a success is no easy feat. Recently Forbes magazine revealed a bleak truth that 9 out of 10 startups fail. It goes without saying that entrepreneurs face many challenges when developing their business into a thriving successful enterprise. One key feature that arises time and time again regarding the failure of a startup is their inability to garner trust from new customers. Without loyal customers, you have no business. One of the greatest challenges facing brands today is building your brand name into something or someone associated as trustworthy. Building this trust with your prospective customers is a true recipe for success. It naturally makes sense that start-ups should protect their online brand identity.

How can a start-up with limited budgets and resources fully safeguard their online identity and brand integrity?
We outlined a list of precautionary steps below on how to safeguard your digital brand presence without breaking the bank!

1. Invest a Little, Save Alot.

Invest a little time and revenue in developing your domain name portfolio. If your business is expanding into new markets, ensure you have trademarks registered in all countries you operate in. Investing a little revenue in trademark monitoring will help you manage your intellectual property assets proficiently. This will allow you to be aware if some third party is trying to harness your brand equity. It also will allow you to identify any case of infringement.

2. Embrace New Opportunities

Optimise your domain name portfolio by registering appropriate new gTLD’s. When used correctly, domain names can be integrated as part of an effective digital marketing campaign for start-ups with limited funds and resources. In this way you can further develop your digital asset portfolio, whilst also generating web traffic to your website. Two birds, one stone!

3. Stay One Step Ahead: Defensive Registrations.

Following on from celebrities like Taylor Swift, Kevin Spacey and Oprah Winfrey, defensively registering ‘controversial’ domain extensions may save your business huge fortunes down the line. Many enterprises are purchasing the domain extension dot-SUCKS in a bid to ensure that opportunistic domain-squatters or brand-hijackers don’t get the chance. Failing to register your brand name with this controversial gTLD could result in your brand falling victim to online slander, brand-jacking and defamatory abuse.

Alternatively, you can turn something bad into something good. Many online brands are choosing to redirect Web traffic from a .SUCKS domain to a ‘customer service forum’ where customer comments can be voiced. This is an excellent example of turning a bad situation into a good one. This would allow you to always stay informed of what your customers think of your product or service and allows you great opportunity to further enhance your customer relationships. Adopting this ethos when your business is still in start-up phase will definitely contribute to your success.

4. Renew, not Regret

Renewing an expired domain name is considerably cheaper than negotiating a domain sale with a third party. In the long run, renewals are cheaper than legal arbitration proceedings. Many start-ups simply would not have the capital to recover a domain name from a domain squatter. Therefore, It is important to make sure you have enough resources to monitor domain expirations, particularly if you have a global presence.

5. Trademark Trolling

All Startups must monitor the domain names related to their trademark. Failing to do so could result in a domain-squatter or typo-squatter registering a web address. Investing a little capital in trademark surveillance services will ultimately save you potentially huge financial costs in the future.

6. Reputation Reporting

It is essential in todays digitised world for startups to monitor their online brand reputation. Web tracker software can provide valuable insights into the public’s perception of your brand or product. Approximately 8 in 10 American consumers read customer reviews prior to purchasing and item or service. In other reports, it was revealed that 73% of prospective customers considered positive consumer reviews as a deciding factor in making them trust a particular brand. As startups begin to scale, it is crucially important that while you establish your online reputation, you also safeguard it from slander. Maintaining awareness of what is being said in the public space (social media, online platforms and peer to peer networks) will be key to your start ups survival.

Although scaling your startup can seem like a daunting task, implementing some of the steps above will ensure your businesses future success in the digital space. Maintaining a solid digital brand protection strategy will assure that your business will not only survive, but thrive.

dotNice International Limited – Experts in Digital Brand Protection
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Surviving in the digital space can pose difficult challenges to business owners. In order for businesses to survive today in the digital world they must have an online presence. It goes with out saying that traditional models of business have dramatically changed with the advent of the internet. The digital age has brought enormous opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs and established businesses alike. The global market is within arms reach with merely a laptop and a solid wifi connection. Unknown performers can suddenly become an internet sensation over night, businesses can increase their global reach into new markets with minimal cost and consumers have greater choice and say in the product they choose, or don’t choose to purchase.

Indeed, the digital space has created unprecedented opportunities for businesses to grow and evolve. However, it also presents brands with novel challenges. Global IP management is complicated and digital technology is constantly changing at an ever increasing pace. Many brand or marketing managers naturally are intimidated by this new, innovative digital landscape.

Savvy, intelligent brands invest time and money into promoting, protecting and growing their brand identity and reputation online. They understand that a brand’s online presence is intrinsically connected to a brands bottom line and survival. However, many organisations have no concrete or focused strategy for managing their most important intangible asset – their online presence.

So, what constitutes a brands digital or online presence?

All brand portfolios today are digital or at least should be.

Smart digital brands view their digital assets (domain names, social media platforms etc…) from a holistic perspective. This all- encompassing approach to brand management as a single entity is at the core of thorough digital brand protection strategies. In order to fully manage your online presence, brands need to monitor and manage their domain name portfolio (gTLD’s , ccRLD’s and IDN’s) track their registered trademarks, supervise social media sites and of course protect all their digital assets from external abuse or internal misuse. The only way to succeed in the digital space is to manage your digital asset portfolio centrally.

All organisations want to protect their brand online at minimal cost. They seek to increase their global reach and break into new markets whilst securing their digital assets against fraudulent online behaviour and cybercrime. This can be a daunting task for brand managers managing established international brands due to the size and complexity of their digital asset or IP portfolio. Scaling smb’s who wish to expand into international markets also find it difficult to implement a digital brand protection strategy. Many can be confused as to where to start. Needless to say, whether you’re a long established global brand or a developing SMB, your enterprises success in any case relies on the effectiveness of your digital brand protection strategy. Ultimately, spending a little will save a lot!

How can intangible assets like digital assets be protected and managed?

Managing your digital asset portfolio involves three key essential steps: monitoring, managing and enforcing.


Are you monitoring all domain names related to your trademark internationally? Trademark surveillance and monitoring are essential in preventing IP infringement or online abuse in protecting your domain names. This ongoing supervision and investigation is crucial when safeguarding your digital assets as it ensures you are aware when third parties attempt to harness your brand equity.

Similarly, who is monitoring your online reputation? Have you implemented tools to gauge online sentiment on social media and peer to peer networks regarding your digital brand? Have you identified any cases of defamation against your brand reputation? Successful supervision of your brand reputation involves monitoring of the whole web. Integrating online monitoring toolkits will allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of public perception pertaining to your brand. Maintaining monthly brand sentiment reports will help you stay on top. A proactive approach is required.

2 Managing:

Enterprises often fail to competently manage their digital asset portfolios as many of the departments responsible for such supervision often work in isolation from one another. Managing digital assets often is the responsibilIty of three key departments within an organisation – a. Marketing/ Brand management, b. Legal or c. IT. In most instances, these three departments generally work in silo’s and fail to communicate with each other. Employing an effective digital brand protection strategy engenders that all three departments work collectively.

When managing a domain name portfolio, communication between all three departments is essential. Using a centralised platform that aggregates all important information about your portfolio will greatly improve management processes. In many cases, outsourcing the management of your portfolio to an experienced and specialist third party often yields better results than internal management.

3. Enforcement

All organisations with an online presence know of the threats that face their digital brand each day. Cybercrime is increasing every year and the expense it can incur for digital brands is enormous. Enforcing a thorough digital brand protection strategy ensures enterprises’ have safeguards in place to defend against instances of cybercrime. It allows them to act efficiently and cost effectively when required. Applying a proactive approach to enforcing your brands online IP rights will safeguard your brands most important intangible assets. Recovering domain names from third parties can be a complex process for those unfamiliar with UDRP. Consulting with legal experts who have extensive experience in this field will save you time and money and ultimately benefit your digital brand.

dotNice International Limited Experts in digital brand protection

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Traditional modes of brand building have drastically changed over the last number of years. In the past, brand building consisted of presenting a refined image of a business or individual, delivered in glossy packaging. Brands had a considerable amount of control in presenting the ideal image or idea. Once upon a time, what was presented was generally believed by the general public. Any potentially negative or inappropriate truths were hidden behind a marketing facade driven by a well oiled PR machine. In todays digital age, the whole nature of brand building has dramatically changed. Today, customers, consumers and individuals worldwide have the opportunity to question everything they are presented with. With the proliferation of consumer forums, social media networks and peer to peer platforms, negative consumer experience can be vocalised and spread virally and ultimately trust in brands can diminish. The transparency of the web is naturally a very positive development in the democratisation of the internet and the freedom of information. It has however created a challenge for many brand owners as they fail to keep up with the rapidly changing nature and fluidity of interaction of the internet. Stuck in traditional modes of brand building, they are failing to adapt to this changing digital landscape.

So what are the potential problems facing brands today in the digital space and what are the subsequent solutions?

Hardly a day goes by without an article appearing on the web debating the pro’s and cons of ICANN’s (Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers) new gTLD program. This program was designed to introduce new generic top level domains like .REVIEWS, .SERVICES, .BUY into the domain name space, the idea being that consumer choice and the nature of search will be optimised to deliver greater accuracy. Some speculate that the release of new domain extensions including .GLOBAL, .CLUB and .BUSINESS will be of great benefit to organisations and consumers alike. Other domain extensions like .SUCKS have been a source of great apprehension for brand owners as they blindly navigate these unchartered waters. No one wants to be associated with a .FAIL now do they?

Many tech savvy celebrities including Kevin Spacey and businesses including Apple, Hershy’s and Microsoft have already purchased controversial domain extensions. By defensively registering these somewhat ‘destructive’ domain names they are preventing any malicious registration by opportunistic cybersquatters. A proactive approach is more cost effective and efficient than a reactive response. In the long run, it is more cost effective to register domain names than to attempt the costly expense of recovering them. The importance of managing digital assets like domain names is clearly demonstrated in the cases listed below.

A perfect example occurred recently with US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Anticipating that Clinton might one day run for president, cyber squatters have held the name for more than a decade, which is valued today at approximately $750,000. is currently retailing for as much as $14,500. Domain names are proving to be lucrative and immensely valuable digital assets not just to politicians and celebrities but also businesses. Indeed nothing confirms this statement more than Taylor Swift’s recent registration of and Maintaining her brand identity online is clearly of great importance as negative association with certain domains could have disastrous consequences.

The power of domain names was also recently exhibited in another recent case when Konrad Juengling (LGBT rights activist) bought up available domain names for various Republicans including Dale Devon, Martin Carbaugh, Don Lehe and Donna Schaibley. Angered by their passing of the “religious freedom’ bill that allegedly discriminates against the LGBT community, Juengling registered and redirected their domain names to a site advocating for the rights of LGBT individuals. Regardless of your personal perspective on this issue, this instance highlights the intrinsic link between brand reputation and domain names. More and more, domain names are being used as political arsenal in online brand battles. It is clear to see that meticulous management of your domain name portfolio is an essential part of digital brand building and indeed digital brand protection.

What proactive steps can you take to make your brand bullet proof?

1. Monitor online trademark registrations in domain name databases globally

2. Submit key trade marks for registration through the Trademark clearing house. This will provide you with up to date notifications when identical domain names are being registered.

3. Conduct a domain portfolio audit. Ask yourself…What domains do you own? Who manages them? Are there any due to be renewed? Are there any domains that you need to register in new markets internationally? Are there domain name to be recovered from third parties?

4. Build a domain name strategy. Harness the positive elements of the new gTLD program for digital marketing campaigns. Develop an effective gTLD strategy to enhance your business and marketing ROI.

5. Register domain names in countries/markets you anticipate you may expand into in the future.

6. Consult with domain recovery specialists to retrieve domains owned by third parties. (Only consult specialists with extensive UDRP experience).

7. Integrate brand reputation monitoring as part of your customer service operations. This will assist in bettering your relationship with your customers and allow your to track your brand reputation internationally.

Maintaining a bullet proof online presence requires ongoing monitoring of both brand reputation and domain names. Failing to enforce a digital brand protection strategy will ultimately affect your digital brand identity at some point or another. A proactive approach will help avoid financial damage or loss of brand equity. Which would you rather be – a .ROCKS or a .SUCKS?

dotNice International Limited – experts in digital brand protection
For more information on domain name portfolio management email:

The release of the .SUCK domain extension has set tidal waves of apprehension across the web. In light of ICANN’s new controversial gTLD program, a common question brand managers, CMO’s and Intellectual Property consultants are asking is…. Does your brand .SUCK? Well established global brands have been eagerly purchasing the new gTLD in the hopes of warding off any haters, domain-squatters or cybercriminals with nasty intent. The domain name extension still remains in the sunrise registration period and will not be available for purchase by the general public for some months.

Over the past few months dotNice have been following the controversy. Just this week Apple purchased , following a long line of brands who have begun defensive registrations of domain names to protect their brand identity and reputation. Other international brands include Citigroup, Monsanto, Facebook, Microsoft and Hersheys to name a few. Celebrities are also hopping on the brand protection band wagon in an effort to safeguard their brand image including Kevin Spacey and the queen of brand management – Taylor Swift.

The real bitterness of the controversy stems from the pricing of the suffix in it’s Sunrise period. The Sunrise period is essentially a grace period where Trademark owners get priority access to a newly released domain name before the suffix is available for purchase by the public. As this point in time, we are three weeks into the a 60 day sunrise period, where only brands whose trademarks are registered in the Trademark ClearingHouse are exclusively able to register this particular domain extension. After this 60 day trial period, the domain extension will be available to anyone and for a considerably lower cost. This is the key issue at stake. Global brands sense they are being backed into a corner and threatened with a ‘pay now or pay further down the line in brand equity’ form of intimation.

Vox Populi Registry were granted the administrative rights over .SUCKS and have been overtly criticised over the pricing of this particular domain extension. It has been argued that the hefty fee of $ 2,499 per year to maintain the domain extension is close to extortion. Brands will have to pay this annually to retain the rights for their respective domain names.

In light of the chaos and uproar that has emerged, ICANN appears to be looking for a way to get out of the mess it helped create. Over the past few weeks they have appealed to the Federal Trade Commission and Canada’s Office of Consumer Affairs to distinguish the legality of the whole affair. In the meantime, many brands are holding their breath.

dotNice – Experts in digital brand protection.
For more information on domain portfolio management and strategy email:


We were delighted to speak with Salvador Camacho – Attorney in the Social Welfare department of the Mexican Department of Social Security (IMSS). Salvador also has worked for one of the top Intellectual property firms in Mexico – Arochi & Lindner, specializing in IP Enforcement and protection and recovery of domain names for international clients before WIPO and NAF.

We asked him to discuss the topic of digital brand protection in the LATAM market.


Why is digital brand protection important in your professional opinion?

Digital brand protection nowadays is essential in order to develop a strong presence in the Digital Environment. Trademark owners are the principal victims of unlawful online activity regarding domain names such as cybersquatting, typosquatting and new illegal online conduct such as soundsquatting. This situation is not only affecting brands, but also users are nowadays victims of illegal conduct like malware or phishing.

In this context, a digital brand protection strategy not only protects trademarks owners but also their customers.


As an Intellectual Property specialist, what top tips would you give to trademark owners in the LATAM market on protecting their digital assets?

For different reasons, the LATAM market has been lagging behind in regard to the protection of digital assets. Nevertheless, intellectual property infringers have been developing an interesting and valuable market around those unprotected assets for years. In this context, the top tips that I would give are the following:

  • Search for professional advice in order to have a better understanding of the value of your digital assets and their subsequent protection.
  • Protect your trademark in every country that you are planning to offer your product or service.
  • Register gTLDs, ccTLDs and IDNs for your brand even before submitting the application for the trademark.
  • Have a strong presence on Social Media. This works not only to avoid fake profiles and bad reputation, but also presents excellent branding opportunities.
  • Be aware of the new gTLD’s launching. It is important to register your trademark as domain name before someone gets in there before you.


What common or frequent mistakes do you regularly see trademark owners making in the LATAM market?

The trademarks owners in LATAM are very interested in protecting their intangible assets before the Intellectual Property Governmental Authorities and that is truly important, but they are completely forgetting the Digital Environment. They are registering their trademarks in several countries but only registering one domain name, generally the .COM gTLD. In my experience, this is the biggest mistake from trademark owners in LATAM market regarding digital brand protection.

This situation has generated the proliferation of cybersquatted domain names on ccTLD strings. Therefore, when trademark owners seek to register their trademarks as domain names on ccTLD endings for digital branding purposes, they discover that somebody else has already registered it and is asking a 6 figure number for the domain. There are enforcement methods to recover the domain name, but they are more expensive than defensively registering a domain name. A proactive approach is a more cost-effective option.


What is your opinion of ICANN’s new gTLD program? Should it be viewed as a positive opportunity for scaling businesses who missed out on the .com era due to timing?

In 1974, the French writer Jacques Bergier gave some predictions of the future of telecommunications in his book named “The Planet of Impossible Possibilities”. I will quote him and say that ICANN’s new gTLD program is “The Planet of Infinite Possibilities” because it will change the way that we know, understand and use Internet.

This initiative definitively will affect the LATAM market, specifically for trademark owners, who believe that having just one domain name will suffice. According to SEDO’s new gTLD awareness report published on 2014, 75% of internet users are unaware of the new extensions.

As in any unexplored market, this early stage is an interesting opportunity for scaling digital brands. With extensions such as .LAT (Available on Sunrise period until April 16th) precisely focused on LATAM market, the prompt registration of trademarks as domain names is crucial to have a strong digital brand presence in LATAM Digital Environment.


In terms of controversial gTLD’s like .SUCKS or .FAIL do you think they should be made available to the public?

Actually, only trademarks registrations for .SUCKS are available. The Consumer advocate subsidy goes from $10.00 USD per year but it will be available until September and you will be unable to host a website. The Standard registration will be available on Sunrise period for $249.00 USD per year.

The actual controversy is related to the Sunrise Premium registration of trademarks registered in ICANN’s TMCH. Trademark owners will have to pay $2,499.00 USD per year, so companies like Apple and Yahoo already have bought their respective .SUCKS domains, in order to protect their trademarks. Some trademark owners are calling this business model extortion disguised as registration, but others are appealing to the legitimate right to sell the gTLD at the desired price.

As freedom of speech is one of the pillars of the Internet, I believe they should be made available to the general public. Furthermore, WIPO’s UDRP decisions have granted legitimate interests to owners of sucks or gripe domain names over trademark rights.

Finally, everyone that has been publishing articles for the past few weeks about this controversial gTLD has reached the same conclusion as me: If you don’t want to be a TRADEMARK.SUCKS, then just deliver a good product or service and try not to suck.



dotNice – Experts in digital brand protection

For more information on domain names registration and management email –

It goes without saying that social media has revolutionised marketing and brand management since its explosion a number of years ago. Many digital brands use it to further engage with target audiences, anticipate market trends and also build their online presence. Many books, papers and articles in circulation today on the web list the endless positives, potentials and power of social media in business operations.

We’d like to take a closer look on the other darker side of social media and the problems it can present for scaling enterprises:


1. Viral nature: 

For many marketers increasing your global reach is a key objective when developing digital marketing strategies. Naturally enough, the viral nature and ‘share’ potential of social media sounds like music to marketers ears. Large groups of people can be reached in a millisecond. By the same token, incorrect, fraudulent and defamatory content can be spread about your brand just as quickly. Monitoring of what is being said about your brand, where it is being said and who is saying it are key to the maintenance of your brand’s online health. Although you cannot control what is being posted about your brand, you can control how you approach and handle such situations.


2. Brand- jackers & Impersonators

Social media sites are often used as platforms for brand impersonators to post abusive content to damage your brand reputation, divert web traffic to other sites or leverage your brand equity for their own gain. Since 1998, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was passed in the United States stating that online platforms like youtube, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon and so forth are not liable for any intellectual property violations operating through their sites. Digital brands must take matters into their own hands in tackling various violations.


3. Online Consumer forums

Although fostering online communities is generally considered helpful in enhancing relationships between digital brands and their customers, online forums also can present negative downsides. If unmonitored, negative brand sentiment can spiral out of control and badly impact on a companies bottom line. Some recent online studies highlighted that 84% of online shoppers refer to at least one social media site for recommendations before shopping online. This proves the immense power of social media in influencing consumers. Enterprises need to monitor their brand sentiment on an ongoing basis.

Many enterprises today invest huge amounts of capital developing their social media strategy and data analytics. Developing a brand reputation monitoring strategy will help your brand can stay in touch with public perception. The greatest drive in converting a prospective customer to an actual customer lies in your brands ability to build trust. Ultimately, brand reputation monitoring and brand health auditing will be key to the success of your digital brand.



dotNice –  Experts in digital brand protection

For more information on brand reputation monitoring email:

There has been much controversy over the release of .SUCKS gTLD which will go on sale at the end of March. ICANN’s approval of the somewhat intimidating domain name has incited apprehension in many global brands, fearing that their brand identity and reputation may be subject to defamation should the domain name fall into the wrong hands. Such apprehension of course is warranted. After all, the next viral tumbler blog could easily be, or or even


In order to avoid such potential defamation and brand abuse,Vox Populi registry has set aside a  number of domain names, mostly relating to global brands. To register a domain name in this category (called the Sunrise Premium), a brand owner must pay $2,500 per annum. Much controversy surrounds this Sunrise Premium category. Many brand owners see the .sucks domain name as an excuse to sell gTLD’s to companies at inflated rates for fear that they may fall into the the hands of a competitor or a discontented customer.  If a company or brand fails to register a domain from the Sunrise Premium category, the unassigned names will be made available for consumer advocate subsidy.


From here, all subsidised domains will be channelled to or in other words, an online community forum where dissatisfied customers can voice their concerns collectively. Naturally enough, many brand owners are anxious of the potential negative affects such online forums can have on their brand reputation. The real question is, if the .sucks revolution can’t be stopped, how can it be used positively?


New domains like .sucks do not necessarily have to be viewed in a negative light.  In many ways, .sucks can actually be of great benefit to brands looking to develop customer engagement processes. The controversial domain name could actually be harnessed positively by companies if they use the TLD correctly. For instance, consumers can voice their dissatisfaction and provide valuable criticism. It can almost be considered as another channel for customer service between brands and their consumers. From this standpoint, brands can optimise and positively enhance their products, processes and services to greater levels of quality. The .sucks domain should be viewed in the same way we view social media in business ; Another tool that can shed light on a brands reputation and public perception. Ultimately, both domain names and social media channels require ongoing monitoring to guarantee a brands success. Both can reap great benefits for a business if their power is properly leveraged.





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Top Insights on Developing Your Digital Brand Protection Strategy

Digital brand protection is essential to safeguarding your brand. Today more than ever keeping one step ahead in business is crucial to an enterprises success. Whether you’re a scaling SMB or a large multinational corporation, the same principles apply across the board; in order for your business to not only survive, but thrive in todays digital world  you must implement a digital brand protection strategy. Many trademark and business owners are unaware of the daily threats and risks facing their brands’ online.  By developing a brand protection strategy, you not only safeguard your brand, you potentially increase your global reach, enhance your brand awareness and boost your bottom line.

Implementing a brand protection is more important now than ever. Consider the following steps:

1. Revise, Reform and Develop Your Domain Name Portfolio. Strengthen Your Brands Visibility and Online Presence.

The internet was once dominated by a small number of universal top level domains (TLD’s) like .com, .org, .net. Today the ability to register a compelling .com has diminished. With ICANN’s  introduction of thousands of new gTLD’s (generic top level domains) since 2013, there now exists boundless opportunities for enterprises to develop their global reach. Digital brands can now get really creative in developing their domain name portfolio. The new domain name system presents great benefits to businesses allowing for improved SEO, targeted and personalised marketing potential as well as growing prospective client bases. Consulting with domain name specialists to devise your domain name portfolio strategy will be of immense value to your business.

2. Consider Defensive Registrations. Save on Legal Costs.

Unfortunately there is no lotus without mud. The opportunities inherent in the new domain name system also come with a potential increase in cyber-squatting/domain squatting. Opportunistic cyber-squatters set out to purchase, sell and profit from popular domain names. Your brand name could be next if you are not proactive and vigilant. dotNice recommend defensively registering new domain names in markets you currently operate in and also prospective markets that you hope to one day expand into.

3. Familiarise yourself with the URS & UDRP.

This should be a last resort. Filing disputes with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution policy with ICANN can be a long, tedious and costly process. By taking preventative measures like defensive gTLD registrations you may save your business potentially huge litigation costs. Consulting with experienced intellectual property specialists is an essential to avoiding such litigation. Expert legal advisers can provide strategic insights on how to recover domain names from counterfeiters.

4. Consider Developing Your IDN portfolio. Expand Your Global Reach.

Introducing internationalised domain names (IDN’s) to your existing portfolio allows you to reach your target market in their native language. By incorporating IDN’s you automatically increase your  global reach.

5. Integrate Trademark Monitoring & Surveillance Technology. Stay One Step Ahead.

Brand awareness is everything in today’s digital world. Protecting your brand involves continuous online monitoring of trademark abuses. Utilising technologies that notify you of trademark abuses or even defamatory comments on social media related to your brand will prove indispensable in maintaining your brand identity.

6.Enforce Your Brand Guideline Policy. Cultivate Compliance in Your Company

The internet is all-seeing, all-hearing and all-knowing. What is said once can be remembered forever. Employing a clear compliance policy to employees, partners and affiliates is essential. Continuous surveillance of digital channels using advanced technologies will give you insights on the conversation surrounding your brand. 

7. Ensure Your DNS is Up to Scratch. 

Ensure  you have 100% uptime service level agreements with your DNS service provider to guarantee that your site is consistently available on quality servers. Even intermittent issues with DNS servers can desperately damage your brand through stalling web traffic. Such issues will negatively impact on your bottom line.

dotNice – Experts in Digital Brand Protection Strategy.

1. Barack Obama’s Re-election Campaign.

In 2012 the most powerful man in the world, US president Barack obama, fell victim to cybersquatting/ domain squatting. Before the Presidents advisors could announce that they would be turning the remainder of reelection campaign funds into a new nonprofit, Organising for Action, savvy cybersquatters saw the great financial potential in securing the domain name first. They claimed and beating the president to the punch!

2. Bank of America

One of the worlds most lucrative banks, Bank of America was involved in a high profile case of cybersquatting when opportunistic domain squatters saw the potential in strategically buying domain names for possible future bank mergers and subsequently selling them on eBay.The domains for sale included and

3. Youtube

Global giant, Youtube was targeted by typo-squatters in a highly publicised corporate typo-squatting case. The domain name was bought with the sole purpose of targeting YouTube users, anticipating that a large amount of YouTube traffic would mis-spell the domain name. When a user accidentally typed they would be redirected to a malicious website or page.

4.American Express

A high profile case of phishing occurred when fraudulent emails purportedly from Global corporation, American Express were sent to an unknown number of recipients. A simple DNS change could have been made to thwart this spoofed email, but American Express failed to make any changes.

5.Burger King

Burger King fell victim to a bad case of brand-jacking when the company’s logo was hi-jacked and replaced with an advertisement of it’s main competitor, McDonalds. Promptly after this, a fraudulent ‘news’ story followed purporting that Burger King had been sold to its rival Mc Donalds as a result of persistent drug use of its employees. The hack lasted for approximately an hour until the twitter account was suspended.

Source: Wikipedia.