Domain Name Registration Scam

From China Law Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

The past decade has seen a sharp rise in spam from Chinese vendors seeking to sell domain name registration services under false pretenses. Sending of these solicitations is often triggered by the official publication of a recipient's trademark or domain name registration.


Contents

"URGENT" Announcement Letters

Unsolicited form letters with titles such as "URGENT Domain Name and Brand Registration Announcement" are generally scams perpetrated by vendors seeking to sell arguably gratuitous (and probably overpriced) domain name registration services. These letters are usually premised on false allegations of local Chinese companies applying to register domain names similar to the recipient's name(s) and/or brand(s). While domain name squatting in China is a very real and prevalent practice, odds are that the applicant companies mentioned in the letter are not actually applying to register the specified domain name(s), and may not even exist.

Real Threat of Domain Name Squatting

The aforementioned scam notwithstanding, domain name squatting (like trademark squatting) is a very real and very serious issue in China, where the registration systems remain largely first-to-file. While it is impractical for most companies to register all top level domain (TLD) variations of their valuable names and brands, companies should consider strategic registration of premium TLDs (and trademarks) to establish their intellectual property rights in China, although preferably not through a vendor that promotes its services under false pretenses.

Sample Letters

Sample Letter 1

Dear President,
We are the department of Asian Domain registration service in china. we have something need to confirm with you. we formally received an application on March 17, 2010. one company which called "Berio Group Ltd." are applying to register "your_name" as Network Brand and the following Domain Names:
your_name.asia
your_name.com.hk
your_name.hk
your_name.in
your_name.net.cn
your_name.org.cn
After our initial examination, we found that the Domain Names applied for registration are as same as your company's name and trademark. these days we are dealing with it, hope to get the affirmation from your company. if your company has not authorized the aforesaid company to register these, please contact us as soon as possible.
In addition, we hereby affirm that our time limit is 7 workdays. if your company files no reply within the time limit, we will unconditionally approve the application submitted by "Berio Group Ltd.".
Best Regards,
Jim Wu
Senior Consultant
Register and Audit dept.

Sample Letter 2

The initial solicitation may not contain suggested domains to register:

Dear CEO,
We are the department of Asian Domain Registration Service in China. I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on September 6, 2012 that a company which self-styled "YTUO Ltd" were applying to register "your_name" as their Net Brand and some domain names through our firm.
Now we are handling this registration, and after our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company's, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we will finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we will handle this issue better. Out of the time limit we will unconditionally finish the registration for "YTUO Ltd".Looking forward to your prompt reply.
Best Regards,
Jim Wong
Head of Registration Department
Tel:+86-551-3434624 || Fax:+86-551-3434924
Address:No.99 JiuHuaShan Road,Hefei,Anhui,China

However should you reply to the initial soliciation, the registrar's response is likely to include suggested domains to register:

Dear Mr. XXXXXX,
Thanks for your confirmation. As soon as receiving the application of that company, we checked and found "your_name" is your company's using name and brand. We are concerned that your brand name might be affected negatively by their application, this is why we informed you, But now that company wanted to apply for other domain names and Ne Brand you have not registered yet. following Net Brand and domain names are applied for by that company:
Net Brand:
your_name
Domain Names:
your_name.asia
your_name.cn
your_name.co.in
your_name.com.cn
your_name.com.hk
your_name.com.tw
your_name.hk
your_name.co.kr
your_name.tw
your_name.net.cn
your_name.org.cn
that company also has the right to apply for the available domain names. For this reason that company is also an licit applicant and we have no right to reject them. Your company only own the preferential right to register these names.
At present, we haven't passed their application, we need your opinion. If your company consider these names of importance to your company's business or interest, I suggest that your company register these names first so as to avoid confusion or speculation. Of course, each company has their own idea. If you don't want to protect your intellectual property rights, then my suggestion is your company give up these names so that we can finish registering for them as per our duty. Please give me your company's decision as soon as possible in order to handle this issue better.
Best Regards,
Jim Wong
Head of Registration Department
Tel:+86-551-3434624 || Fax:+86-551-3434924

Sample Letter 3

(It's very urgent, so please transfer this email to your CEO or appropriate person. Thanks a lot.)
Dear CEO/Principal,
We are the department of Asian Domain Registration Service in China. Here I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on April 23, 2013 that a company claimed "Catyerg Company" were applying to register "catalystipgroup" as their Net Brand and some "catalystipgroup" Asian countries top-level domain names through our firm.
Now we are handling this registration, and after our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company's, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we would finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we could handle this issue better. After the deadline we will unconditionally finish the registration for "Catyerg Company" Looking forward to your prompt reply.
Best Regards,
Andy Zhang (Mr.)
Senior Consultant Manager


Sample Letter 4

Dear Sirs,
We are Huajing company based in China. We will register the "XXXXXX" as internet keyword and China domain names .cn, .com.cn, .net.cn, .org.cn. We have submitted our application and are waiting for Mr. Alvin Zhang's approval. We think these CN domains and internet keyword are very important for our business. Even though Mr. Alvin Zhang advises us to change another name, we will persist in this name.
Best regards
Gareth Luo

Known Senders

The following is an incomplete list of individuals and companies known to send the type of solicitations described above.

  • Jim@dcidc.bj.cn
  • jim.wu@china-fowa.org
  • andy@nswebs-cn.com.cn

See Also

Domain Name Squatting

Domain Name Dispute Resolution

Domain Name Registration

Hosting a Website in China