Thursday, February 9, 2012

African Companies, take your Domain Names seriously

In an earlier post, I suggested that African brands should consider creating professional domain management departments or use external domain portfolio management services in order to protect the rights to their marks online. I think many African businesses are not taking their online reputation seriously and are not going to great lengths to secure names associated with their brands.

A major Zimbabwean ISP(the irony), Africom, lost its primary .COM domain name due to either a  failure to renew the domain in time or fraud and its domain is now under the ownership of a domain speculator who is using it to host adult content. In the meantime, Africom is now using a .NET domain name and has sent an SMS to its clients notifying them of the change. Clearly, a company that does not get the important role domains play in online branding.

Africom could file UDRP proceedings against the new user who clearly is using the domain in bad faith. Likely to cost them upwards of $3000 but this is a slam-dunk UDRP case of abuse that they will win.

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