Would-be cybersquatters have pre-registered new gTLD domains matching many famous brands, according to the Trademark Clearinghouse.
According to a bit of TMCH PR fluff coming out tomorrow, there are pre-registrations in .web for 40 out of the 50 most-valuable British brands.
I gather that the data came from 1&1, the most aggressive registrar in its pursuit of new gTLD leads, which has reported over three million pre-regs.
In what appears to be outreach to drum up additional trademark registrations, the TMCH said:
According to the Trademark Clearinghouse’s data, unknown entities have already pre-reserved their interest in registering the domain names of 80 per cent of the UK’s 50 most valuable under the .WEB domain name. Similarly, third parties have attempted to pre-order 78 per cent of the UK’s top 50 most valuable brands under the .ONLINE domain name, 72 per cent under .APP, 70 per cent under .SHOP and 68 per cent under .BLOG.
It doesn’t seem to be a problem peculiar to new gTLDs, however. The TMCH also said that 54% of these brands have holes in their defensive registration portfolio across existing TLDs such as .biz, .net and .co.
There were roughly 23,000 marks in the TMCH database as of January 21.
UPDATE: 1&1 has asked me to clarify that the company took no part in this research. TMCH says it obtained the numbers through searches on the 1&1 web site.