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The Licensing Journal: Register (and Renew) Character Domain Names

Articles / June 1, 2010

Cleveland partner Deborah A. Wilcox authored an article in the June/July 2010 edition of The Licensing Journal, a publication focusing on issues of interest to the intellectual property and entertainment sectors.

In the article, titled “Register (and Renew) Character Domain Names,” Wilcox explained “the importance to brand owners of registering the domain names associated with their character names, including variations and common misspellings.”

Wilcox noted that proper registration and renewal will not only help ensure users are directed to the appropriate sites, but will also help maintain legal control over the names. “Registering and/or renewing these 'extra' domains will most likely save on legal costs down the road in dealing with cybersquatters,” she said.

She further explained that registering and renewing domains can protect brand owners from “domainers” that establish pay-for-click advertising on sites associated with the domains they own. While brand owners can certainly take action against domainers who infringe upon the brand, Wilcox pointed out that for “the thousands of dollars involved” in taking that legal action against one case of infringement, “the brand owner could have preemptively registered or renewed hundreds of character domain names.”

In conclusion, Wilcox noted, “If the character owner does not register and renew these domain names, more likely than not, someone else will register them, and will likely use them to trade off the goodwill of the name.”

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