Online Brand Protection services

The growth of e-commerce has been accompanied by an explosion of online brand infringement. From domain names to app stores, file-sharing sites to social media platforms the unscrupulous will attack you time and again. We can help you maintain your online integrity and the trust your clients place in you through a range of investigation and monitoring services:

  • Brand monitoring
  • Com Laude Horizon – global brand protection
  • Dispute proceedings and management
  • Domain acquisitions
  • Litigation support
  • Policy and governance
  • Trademark Clearinghouse
  • New brand launches

Some of the best known global brands retain the services of Com Laude for the provision of a cost effective, reliable and successful online enforcement plan. And they do so because of the compelling value proposition and the consistently high results that are achieved by our unique approach.

Our role is to support in-house personnel in the pursuit of an holistic, tailored and intelligent programme of enforcement. It starts with brand watching where our approach is to work collaboratively with clients throughout the process.

Rather than simply disseminate mass data we apply intelligence to our reporting such that clients need only consider relevant matters and take action as necessary. Each case is unique and so too are the available remedies – including alternative recapture strategies exclusive to Com Laude.

Com Laude’s brand protection achieves cost efficiencies by employing highly qualified and experienced personnel without the overhead of conventional professional firms so clients secure the results they desire for economic outlays.

Brand monitoring

Com Laude’s brand watching service identifies and reports on potentially infringing domain names containing specific brand identifiers. The rolling programme of identification allows clients to monitor and police third party activity that effects their online presence.

Regardless of the size of the threat, be it 10 or 10,000 domains, our systems are scaled to meet the requirements dictated by the levels of identified abuse.

We maintain a comprehensive understanding of the domain name space and seek out data from best sources, applying our own intelligent and unique methodologies to extrapolate from these.

Reporting & actions

Brand watching results can be reported in a variety of ways, at different frequencies and includes intelligent recommendations as to potential policies and actions.

Brand watching works hand in hand with and compliments our range of brand protection services, with findings leading to on-line monitoring, issuing formal cease and desist letters and ultimately the submission of dispute proceedings.

Com Laude Horizon – global brand protection

Our online brand protection monitoring tool, Com Laude Horizon, identifies, prioritises, reports and manages potentially infringing domain names which target your brands.

It is sufficiently flexible to keep track of anything from micro campaigns in localised regions to policing and managing infringing domain names for far-reaching global brands.

Com Laude Horizon scans the domain name space sampling over 320 million names per day and Com Laude Horizon’s unique ranking methodology allows your team to focus on the truly important threats to your own brands – saving time and money.

Com Laude Horizon prioritises its findings based on tailored algorithms and presents the results in a secure, intuitive collaborative case-management system.

Com Laude Horizon is designed from the ground up to provide you with pragmatic, cost-effective, tailored protection for your rights.

Dispute proceedings

Disputes arise in the domain name space for many and varied reasons. From classic opportunistic cybersquatting to disputes with former or current distributors, past employees, scammers or counterfeiters, fans and protesters, each case presents its own unique challenges.

Considering prospects

Before commencing any action, we assist clients in considering the prospects of success and developing a bespoke recovery strategy. Every dispute is different and can be resolved in a variety of ways — from simply exchanging merchandise with a fan to comprehensive judicial proceedings.

Where possible, we aim to resolve disputes via pragmatic negotiation with the registrant. We have over eighteen years’ experience in resolving disputes through intelligent, sensitive discussions informed by our in-depth knowledge of the domain name industry.

Dispute management

Should negotiations fail, a formal dispute may be the only realistic option. Our team has a wealth of experience drafting, submitting and supervising complaints under the range of dispute resolution policies available to brand owners. We have successfully acted in an array of different countries and legal systems.

Our expertise

Andrew Lothian

Tim Brown

We have developed an unrivalled breadth of experience & expertise in domain name disputes and are ideally positioned to support in-house brand personnel, corporate counsel & trade mark attorneys in effective and prudent online enforcement.

Domain acquisitions

Sometimes the most suitable domain name for a project or brand is already registered.

In these cases the acquisition of the domain name at an on-budget open market price can be the best remedy.

Com Laude has substantial experience of the secondary market in domain names and is frequently called upon by clients to safely and discretely manage domain name acquisitions in a quick, efficient and cost-effective way.

Buyers have the assurance of dealing with an experienced appraiser and negotiator while, given our first class reputation, sellers have the confidence to complete transactions with us in a manner compliant with the very best industry standards.

Our methodologies evolve alongside the secondary market to provide clients with the very best chance of securing the outcome they want.

Litigation support

We work closely with legal practitioners to assist with prosecuting or resolving Internet-related legal issues. We give technical support and forensic analysis while lawyers can get on with dealing with the law.

We have over a decade of experience of supporting lawyers in multiple jurisdictions. And while we have an excellent technical pedigree we also speak your language:

  • Andrew DS Lothian –– possesses nearly two decade’s experience of litigation and successfully presented Scotland’s first commercial court action to involve an Internet domain name. Andrew also acts as a panellist for the World Intellectual Property Organization, Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service and .eu’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Service.
  • In addition, Tim Brown – also serves as a panellist for Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service and benefits from over fifteen years of Internet technical experience.

From providing expert witnesses, assisting with bona vacantia issues, providing forensic evidence and supporting court litigation Com Laude can lend vital support to legal professionals in every Internet matter.

Policy and governance

With over twenty years of experience and being immersed in the domain name space, Com Laude has continually innovated, responded to and moved the market.

We have developed a range of alternative options designed to utilise Internet Policy and Governance rules to a client’s best advantage.

ComLaude is ideally placed to provide support in areas such as Domain Name Due Diligence advice on acquisitions and disposals and Domain Name Consulting, for example applications for new top level domains or responses to developments in Internet Policy & Governance.

Trademark Clearinghouse

The Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) is a centralised repository of validated registered trade marks. It is designed to safeguard trade marks in generic top level domain (gTLD) spaces and its protections form part of every new gTLD’s registry agreement with ICANN, the body that operates the Internet naming space.

What are the benefits?

There are two major reasons to register marks in the TMCH. Firstly, it provides rights protection mechanisms in every new gTLD and, secondly, it allows registrants to take part in sunrise periods when new gTLD spaces are launched.

In terms of rights protection, a third party domain name registrant will receive a warning notice when attempting to register a domain name that matches a trade mark in the TMCH. If, after receiving and accepting the notice, the domain name registrant continues to register the domain name, the trade mark holder’s agent will receive notification of the registration, so it can take appropriate action.

Notifications will be sent for the duration of each sunrise period and for the first 90 days of each gTLD’s operation. Registries may extend the 90-day notice period at their discretion.

In addition, when each new gTLD space is launched, TMCH registrants will be able to register domain names corresponding to their rights for at least 30 days in advance of the general public. This process is designed to prevent cybersquatting. Companies cannot take part in sunrise periods if marks are not registered in the TMCH and, in most cases, must wait under the general landrush period in which domains are generally allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

How can businesses take part?

To receive all benefits provided by the TMCH, businesses will need a registered trade mark and to provide proof of its use. The rules concerning what is and isn’t applicable and how characters – such as ampersands – are dealt with are complicated. Therefore if you would like to protect your marks in the TMCH then please contact your Client Manager at Com Laude for an overview of the requirements.

New brand launches

When businesses launch a new brand, they need to protect the name from the outset. This includes registering trademarks and domain names. Often, businesses will seek to keep the name of forthcoming brands and products under wraps and therefore will need help to register domain names confidentially.

We offer a confidential registrations service, so you can rest assured that the right domains are registered but will not be publicly associated with your business until you are ready for launch. This prevents cybersquatters from purchasing relevant domain names and seeking a ransom for their transfer.

Further online brand monitoring

We provide a range of other monitoring services to ensure your IP’s integrity online. Clients can choose from brand monitoring, social media monitoring, auction monitoring and content monitoring. These services are provided on an annual basis and generate a monthly report, which is analysed and ranked for risk, relevancy and type.

Possible infringements are flagged and the reports include, where relevant, ownership details, links to the page and screenshots.

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