is registering a domain name that incorporates the brand name of an existing company in order to capitalize on traffic that might result from owning the domain, or to sell it back to the company that actually owns the domain name. It used to be a way for a little guy to make a quick buck off a big corporation with bucks to spare. But The practice of “cybersquatting” may be coming to an end, thanks to Microsoft. Cybersquattingthose days may be over.
According to a recent article in FT.com, a British financial web site, Microsoft has begun aggressively suing companies that have registered domain names that infringe on its intellectual property. For example, it settled a lawsuit with a company in the UK called Dyslexic Domains for $46,000, which supposedly represents all of the profit the company had earned by using the domain names.
How does this affect you? Simple. Don’t do it! You don’t want to mess with a company like Microsoft. They have way more lawyers than you do. If you are in the business of profiting from domain traffic (such as by registering domain names that contain popular keywords), avoid the use of registered trademarks or brand names.
For you own domain name, it is fine to include keywords. In fact, you might want to register a domain with some keywords (www.keyword-keyword-keyword.com), and then also register a domain that represents your company name. Then you can do a permanent redirect from the company name-based domain to the keyword-based domain. This way, you will have a keyword-loaded domain, which can be extremely useful for SEO purposes, and a domain name that sounds better and is better for branding that you can use in other media. But avoid using the brand name of another, or you’ll be asking for trouble.