Microsoft uses Marksmen to acquire Office.com.
Microsoft has acquired the domain name Office.com, but the software company appears to have taken a slightly different tact in acquiring it than it has in the past.
As I wrote after Microsoft acquired CashPerks.com and CashBack.com, the company typically uses a broker to acquire domain names. This is smart; if the seller knows Microsoft wants the domain then the price goes up.
But in previous acquisitions the acquirer didn’t identify themselves as a professional broker, or at least used a non-commercial email address such as a Gmail to transfer the domain name. This time whois records show the firm used Marksmen, an intellectual property acquisition firm. (If it used them in the past, that wasn’t evident in whois.)
Marksmen’s web site states:
Intellectual Property Acquisitions
How does an 800-pound gorilla buy a domain name? Dials Marksmen, of course. With more than 7000 successful domain name buys and other intellectual property acquisitions, including some of the best known brands on the planet, we are the go-to firm for worldwide IP owners who want to keep their identity and costs on the down low.
It may have been obvious to the owner that Microsoft was trying to buy the domain name, so using a go-between may have been for purposes other than trying to keep the purchase anonymous.
I met a representative of Marksmen at a domain conference in Seattle several years ago, but they are generally quiet in the industry. The company has offices in Los Angeles and North Carolina.