Protecting a brand involves understanding the relationship between domain names, trademarks, patents and copyrights – the four pillars of intellectual property. However, it is only relatively recently that domain names have become one of the major considerations for organisations compared to the fact that trademark legislation was first passed into English law in 1266!
It is important for any organisation to have a clear domain name strategy that not only defines the key geographies, and thus ccTLDs they need to have registrations in, as well as what IP protection mechanisms they have to provide defensive cover elsewhere.
There are two types of commercial entities in the world today. Those that know their intellectual property is being abused and those that don’t want to know. Technology has brought great opportunities for organisations to grow their global footprint cost-effectively and efficiently, but it has also increased the threat they face in the digital landscape.
Domains are critical digital assets for organisations. The value of them increases over time, especially those used for branding purposes. But sometimes things go wrong. The risk of cyber- and typo-squatting is a real threat to every organisation but in many cases, the greatest problems are the result of something happening, or not, much closer to home, as our seven deadly sins of domain registrations show.
Having created our whitespace analysis and gained an understanding of what domain names are missing from the domain name portfolio, it is now time to create the strategy for rightsizing and start to deliver the value back to the business.
Once all the names a business owns have been discovered and the internal owners identified, the next step in creating the right sized portfolio is understanding the potential risks today and in the future.
The first step in understanding the right size of any organisation’s domain name portfolio is to find all of the domain names which have been registered. Almost every organisation will say they have ‘too many domain names’. In many cases, they are right, which is one of the objectives of the rightsized portfolio audit.
The starting point for many clients is to understand how their domains are being used. Not all domain names are utilised in the same way. Some may be supporting critical internal applications such as email or VPNs, others may be being used for marketing campaigns across the globe or to support new product launches.