Buckingham Palace registers 30 new domain names
Earlier this year, the Intellectual Property Team discussed the importance of brand strategy and the risks posed to businesses following the introduction of the 'Generic Top Level Domain Programme.'
Under this programme, hundreds of domain names are now coming to market in arguably the biggest development the internet has seen in recent years. In brief, domain names can now be registered in relation to specific industries (e.g. .construction & .technology) or even specific product types (e.g. .lighting & .bike) as well as for the more traditional domain extensions (e.g. .com & .org).
Unfortunately, the expansion of the domain name market has also led to an increase in 'cybersquatting', a process whereby parties register a domain name with the intent of profiting from the goodwill of someone else's brand.
To guard against the risk of cybersquatting, many parties defensively register domain names which they may look to use in the future. As an example, Buckingham Palace has recently registered 30 new domain names, including princessroyal.org, princessbeatrice.org and earlandcountessofwessex.com.
While a number of royals already have their own website, it would appear that this move is part of an ongoing bid to stop others from setting up sites in the royals’ names. In support, a spokesman for Buckingham Palace has stated "we’ve purchased a selection of web addresses to make sure no-one else uses them…we may use them in the future ourselves but there are no immediate plans to."
Whilst registering domain names in this way is an option, it is likely to prove inefficient, given that the Generic Top Level Domain Programme looks to introduce over 1,000 new domain extensions within the next year.