Good news! Your website doesn’t have to be a dot com or a dot co.uk anymore. In fact, more and more top level domains (known as gTLDs) are becoming available all the time, and therefore your company could potentially become a dot whatever you like.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is responsible for introducing new gTLDs into the internet. The aim of which is to enhance competition, innovation and consumer choice. Over 250 new gTLDs are currently available, with over 1,000 more still to come. Your brand could now benefit from .trade, .menu, .clothing, .town, and even .ninja! The list is plentiful and can be viewed here.

Whilst this is all pretty exciting stuff, it is vital to have various measures in place to prevent brand damage, fraud and counterfeiting. The last thing you want is for cheap imitations or even your competitors jumping on your brand wagon. Therefore, we recommend, and would be happy to work with you in order to achieve the following:

Trademark Clearing House (TMCH)

Brand owners can register their trademarks with the TMCH which offers two types of protection:

Registration of your .Uk Domain

On 11th June 2014 the .uk domain became available. If you already own gonedotty.co.uk then you will be entitled for a period of 5 years to register your gonedotty.uk domain. If you have a different domain name such as .net or .org, you may also be entitled to register provided that no one else outranks you with a “better” domain. For example, gonedotty.co.uk will have priority over gonedotty.net. If your business is predominantly UK focussed, it is extremely important that you register your .uk domain.

Defensive Domain Registrations

You can’t win them all as they say and it would be disastrous for a disgruntled customer or a nasty competitor to launch gonedotty.reviews or gonedotty.exposed. Fraudsters will be tempted to register gonedotty.shop and gonedotty.online to aid their latest phissing attack. Counterfeiters will register gonedotty.cheap or gonedotty.discount selling fake goods and services, steering innocent customers away from the real deal. Before you turn completely dotty yourself, prevention is better than cure, and it may be an idea to register domain names such as these in order to prevent the unthinkable. Remember also that a trademark will “trump” a domain name and you will be able to stop others from obtaining domain names similar to your own brands which are registered as a trademark. We can also help you to register your brands as a trademark if you haven’t already done so.

Protecting your online brand is essential as your domain and website are the windows into your business. However, it is important to remember that your domain name is not a trademark in itself and the best brand protection you can have for your business, is always a comprehensive trademark portfolio, .simple, .period.