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Defensive .net/.org/hyphenated registration. how important?

     
8:17 pm on Jul 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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So I'm entering a relatively young market, with only a few players.

I've picked up a solid .com... it's a short two word name, easy to spell/remember/pronounce, and perfectly relevant.

I noticed the current main player in this space only registered the .com, and there is another player who registered and is forwarding to his own website the .net and .org of the main players name. I find this distasteful (and likely unlawful).

I figure if I don't get the .net and .org of my name, mr. distasteful will do the same to me.

But how important are these extra domains? Can mr. distasteful be getting any traffic other than from curious domainers via these .net and .org forwards?

How many defensive registrations are wise to do for someone on a shoestring budget?

Might trademark owners look back in five or ten years and say, ah bugger I shoulda bought all those dozens of domain extensions and variations?

[edited by: john5000 at 9:09 pm (utc) on July 17, 2009]

8:31 pm on July 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If you've got the .com that's ideal, but to back it up I would say, at a minimum, register the hyphenated .com version of your name, plus the .net, the .org, and the country TLD of your own country. Also consider adding the TLD for your major target countries if that applies.

Fifty or a hundred bucks a year could buy a lot of headache insurance down the road!

The above assumes that the name you have chosen is properly registered as a trademark. If you haven't looked after that yet, that would probably be a higher priority for limited funds than running around registering defensive domains from other countries.

9:32 pm on July 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I hadn't given much thought to registering other country TLDs, but I can see that'd fit well with my plans... and yah I should get my mark registered about now. Thanks!
10:57 pm on July 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Another thought ... I should have added "easily predictable typos" or "common spelling variations" or "soundalikes" to my first response, if you can think of any that apply.

However, don't become obsessed with defensive domain registrations. It would be easy to go overboard and register a zillion obscure variations "just in case", but there comes a point where it would be more cost-effective to leave them alone and just take legal action in the event that someone was abusing your trademark.

1:50 am on July 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Agreed that it's a good idea to register the .net, .org, and hyphenated .com.

If you do register variants and want to know if visitors are reaching your site through those URLs, just use Google Analytics tagging in the forwarding URL when you forward your variant to your main site.

Example: http://www.example.com/?utm_source=example.net&utm_medium=domains&utm_campaign=domains

1:58 am on July 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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>>>How many defensive registrations are wise to do for someone on a shoestring budget?

Must be short shoe strings if you can't afford a hundred or less dollars a year for domain name alternates as insurance over having to hire an attorney for several thousand dollars at some point down the line.

3:20 am on July 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Just wanted to add that many people don't purchase the alternates on the idea that they'll just send a C&D. But for me it makes more economic sense to not deal with the hassle.
10:51 pm on July 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Well the shoe strings are quite short, and could be seen as a single thread of a shoestring really, but then I always find a way to make happen whatever I need to happen. Thanks all for the tips, I'm more inclined to secure additional extensions before launching now, especially a few key country extensions.

I agree Martinibuster, I'd rather not fuss with the C&D.

 

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