Only 5 months after the first new gTLDs (generic Top Level Domains) started being registered, we already have the first case of cybersquatting, which has been resolved via the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) put in place for this purpose by the ICANN.
The “canyon.bike” domain was registered by an individual unconnected with the brand only 7 seconds after the .bike gTLD opened for public registration.
In view of this, German bike maker Canyon Bicycles filed a complaint before the WIPO, which published its ruling on 17 March. The panel rejected the respondent’s arguments, saying that he was looking to be “financially compensated” for the domain. In the panel’s view, the facts of this case showed that the respondent’s was “acting in bad faith” and ruled that the domain should be transferred to the legitimate owner of the brand, that is, to the complainant.
This situation once again highlights the need for companies to put in place a strategy for protecting their brands in view of the new domains; at the very least they should be registering the domains related to their own business sector. It would also be advisable to have a monitoring service that keeps them informed of registrations made by third parties of their brands.