Domainmonster.com Industry News

News > March 2007

18-Mar-2007

Singapore Cybersquatters

Several domain names with the Singapore ccTLD, .sg, have been seized from cybersquatters after big brand name companies demanded the rights to their trademark addresses. There are laws which prevent a domain registration of a well-known brand, like mcdonalds.com.sg, in the hope that the company will pay a ransom to gain rights to the address, if it can be proved that the domain was registered "in bad faith", meaning that the intention was either to steal traffic or sell the domain at huge profit. Traffic can also be stolen by registering misspelled versions of popular sites (like microsfot.com) in order to capitalise on mistyped addresses.

Ten cases of cybersquatting have been handled by the Singapore Domain Name Dispute Resolution Service in the past five years. Google, McDonalds and Samsung had all been victims of cybersquatting, but the Domains have now been returned to their rightful owners.

In 2006, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), who handle intellectual property disputes such as these, received about 25 percent more complaints of cybersquatting than they did in 2005. The complaints registered in 2006 account for over 30 percent of all those received since 1999. 28 complaints have been registered in Singapore since this date. Registering a domain name in Singapore involves an agreement to comply with the decision of a panel if a dispute arises, so decisions can be immediately enforced.