Many voices in the blogosphere have reported a new scheme of scam involving generally a Chinese domain registration firm asking for people to register some domain names through them because “a third party” was trying to register them. An example would be a dot.com domain owner who would receive an unsolicited email from those bogus companies because of someone else trying to register some .cn versions of the same website, so they wanted the company owner to register these domains first with them to “protect their trademarks”.
There is no such a thing as a registrar contacting a company because a third party was trying to register a similar domain name. Chinese domain name can be registered both in China and overseas and immediately, provided that they are available at the very moment the search is conducted. On the other hand a domain name doesn’t automatically make a trademark owner unless related to a brand which has been properly registered with the country’s relevant organizations, and in which case the trademark would apply solely to that specific country.
Make sure not to fall for this scam. Nevertheless, if you have China-related operations or expect to be involved with China in the near future, it would make sense to register and park the Chinese extensions (.cn and .com.cn would do) of your domain if available, to avoid it being snapped by domainers, competitors or even scammers as the ones we just mentioned.
Below an email correspondence received by a client (whose website is www.shanghai-tv.com.cn) that would give you a clearer pictures of what is going on.
From: Liza <Liza@netinchina.org.cn>
Subject: Shanghai-tv-Intellectual property rights (TO CEO)
We are the domain name registration organization in China, which mainly deal with international company’s in china. We have something important need to confirm with your company.
On the Dec 10, 2007, we received an application formally. One company named ” Viva International Holdings Ltd” wanted to register following
Internet brand keyword:
through our body.
After our initial examination, we found that the keywords and domain names applied for registration are as same as your company’s name and trademark. At presentwe are dealing with it. If you do not know this company, we doubt that they have other aims to buy these domain names. Now we have not finished the registration of Viva company yet, in order to deal with this issue better, Please contact us by telephone or email as soon as possible.
China Net Technology Limited
Web: Link Removed