Friday, May 15, 2015

Why You Must Know About .Sucks Domain Names

The .sucks domain name extension is one of the new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) introduced by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and Vox Populi is the company licensed to operate and sell the .sucks domains. The intention of ICANN by including .sucks domain among the new gTLDs is to give consumers more alternatives to express their opinions about goods and services. If you own a popular trademarked brand or you run a small business with an online presence and many customers, it is very important for you to register a .sucks domain and there are many reasons for this advice.

If you don’t register your .sucks domain name, someone else may do so and use it for something you may or may not like. It may be used to sell products or services similar to yours and this can lead to confusion between your brand and that of the imitator. In a situation like this, you should send a ‘cease and desist’ demand letter asking the imitator to desist from using your brand name and you can only do this if you have a trademark registration. If they do not comply, you can file a UDRP (Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy) complaint and that will cost you at least $1,500. If you win the UDRP, the other site will be taken down.

Furthermore, your detractors may register a .sucks domain to publish contents that you may or may not like. If they use it to publish contents that are related to your business, there is nothing you can do about it. Also, if they publish contents related to your business and the contents are capable of indirectly casting your brand in a negative manner, you can’t stop them because their action is not illegal, there is room for free speech on the internet. You can only stop them if they are making financial gain through the use of your brand name.

Even though it is not possible to register all the variations of .sucks domains that are related to your business, you can register few ones as a pre-emptive measure of protection. As a trademark owner of your brand, it is your responsibility to police and enforce your trademark. Prevention is much better than cure; preventing the misuse of your brand through the registration of possible domain name variations associated with it is less expensive and less time-consuming than filing a UDRP to seek redress. But since it is not possible to register all name variations, the UDRP is the last resort when a trademark infringement occurs.

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