A full-service, worldwide domain name offering
Your organisation’s online presence is integral to your brand. In today’s business world, protecting it has never been more important – as is remaining one step ahead of both your competitors and any potential bad actors.
At Spoor & Fisher we believe that there are significant benefits to having the same entity manage your organisation’s trade marks and domain names, because these strategies so often inform each other.
For this reason, our dedicated Domain Names team provides a full-service domain name offering in South Africa and worldwide.
Our services include:
- Domain name monitoring
- Domain name availability searches
- Domain name registrations, renewals and transfers
- Domain name portfolio management
- Defending domain name complaints
- Website take-downs
- Domain name audits and due diligence
- Registration and pre-emptive protection strategies across the new generic top-level domain name (gTLD) space
- Cyber investigations
- Domain name disputes
We also offer a menu of value-adding services to complement these.
A number of Spoor & Fisher professionals serve on domain name adjudication panels and regularly adjudicate domain name complaints. Able to blend our legal expertise with industry-leading data, we assist Spoor & Fisher clients, whether local or international with commercial transactions, dispute resolution, and litigation in the online space.
What is a domain name?
Each device on the Internet has a unique numeric Internet Protocol (IP) address that identifies its location on the web. These strings of numbers can be difficult to remember, so the system of domain names was created to provide memorable identifiers – like “spoor.com”, for example.
A domain name usually consists of a top-level and a second-level domain. The top-level domain (TLD) is the part after the last dot, of which the most common is currently “.com”. The second-level domain (SLD) is the part that comes before the last dot; as in “spoor” in “spoor.com”.
Why do you need a domain name?
In the age of e-commerce and the Internet of Things, domain names serve as valuable corporate assets and unique business identifiers. Registering a domain name for your brand also blocks the registration of your specific brand name by ill-intentioned third parties (called “cybersquatters”).
How do you register a domain name?
With our help. Spoor & Fisher is able to register all domain extensions available on the market today. “Domain name registration” refers to the process of leasing a domain name from the official domain name registries for a period of time. It is possible to renew a domain indefinitely, which means you don’t have to worry about losing yours when it is about to expire.
Although most domains are open for public registration with no prerequisites, there are some top-level domains that are not. For example, “.gov” domains are reserved for government entities. In addition, some country code top-level domains (“.co.id” for Indonesia, for example) may require that your business have a commercial presence in the country concerned.
When it comes to South African domain names, we are able to conduct an “availability search” to ascertain whether your trade mark or brand name can be registered as a domain name under the most commonly used commercial domain space “co.za”. If it can, we proceed with registration.
Domain names are allocated on a first-come-first-served-basis.
Can a domain name be registered as a trade mark?
What is “cybersquatting”?
Cybersquatting is the common but unethical practice of buying a domain name specifically to keep a competitor from buying it. Some cybersquatters also hold a specific domain name until it is needed and then make a profit from selling it. But there are mechanisms in place to recover your domain name from cybersquatters, and Spoor & Fisher can assist you with this.
If you are interested in registering or enforcing a domain name, please contact us for more information.