HKIRC launches domain monitoring service

NetworksAsia staff
NetworksAsia

Domain names are arguably the most important form of online IP, as they represent a company’s online identity and business trademark. Therefore, domain name dispute resolution continues to soar.

According to the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, 170 out of 463 arbitration cases related to domain names were found in 2013, representing a 46% increase compared to 2012.

To address this issue, the Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited (HKIRC) launched .hk WATCH, the first .hk domain name monitoring service for brand owners around the world.

With this new service, HKIRC will protect brand owners from possible abuse of their brands.

“Over the past few years, concerns about infringement using domain names has been on the rise, as more and more global brands have discovered that their domain names have been registered for malicious activities,” explained Jonathan Shea, CEO of HKIRC. “Brand infringers or cybersquatters use the brand names maliciously or even mimic a reputable company’s domain name, creating confusion for the public. In return, this impacts a company’s brand reputation, business and customer loyalty.”

The .hk WATCH service closely monitors .hk domain names to identify those which are identical, similar or feature common misspellings of a name, trademark or service mark, as well as those combining prefix/suffix “wildcards” with trademarks, effectively tackling possible attempts of .hk domain names being used for cybersquatting and typosquatting activities.

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