We have been alerted to a new domain name fraud which involves businesses being contacted by phone from an organisation claiming to be the “Trade Marks Intellectual Property Office”. Their aim is to panic people into buying domain names which are similar to your registered trade mark.
If you receive similar calls or follow up fake invoices please report them to Action Fraud.
Action Fraud is the online reporting portal for all instances of alleged fraud affecting UK citizens and businesses and it is operated by the City of London Police who are the UK lead Force for the investigation of fraud. Attempts to mislead people into buying domain names falls under domain name fraud. Reports are collated and analysed by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and depending on a scoring matrix together with an assessment of available evidence, they can be sent to an individual police force for investigation.
From a legal perspective, your registered trade mark should be sufficient to enable you to require any ‘infringing domain name’ to be changed. It is commercially impractical to acquire every domain variant of your trade mark. An effective IP strategy of protection will enable you to protect your brand within a commercially viable framework.
For further information on IP strategy, trade marks or domain names, please contact me either by phone on 230 8040 2114 or email.