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Richard Branson turns to new tools to combat cybersquatting

Billionaire fights back after finding his name cybersquatted in new domain names.

Richard BransonBillionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson has turned to two new tools to combat cybersquatting in new top level domain names: The new Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) policy and Donuts’ “Domain Protected Marks List”.

Branson filed a URS case with the National Arbitration Forum in an effort to get the registrations for RichardBranson.holdings and RichardBranson.ventures suspended.

After noticing the domain names were registered, he also subscribed to registry Donuts’ Domain Protected Marks List service. By using this service, he has effectively blocked the registration of RichardBranson.TLD for any of Donuts’ other domain names.

The retail price for the blocking service is about $3,000 for five years.

His companies have also filed complaints against VirginGalactic.guru and VirginAustralia.holdings.

(photo: virgin.com)

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  1. Joseph Peterson

    Spending $3k or more to preserve the status quo may be alright for a billionaire.

    Yet this story will be repeated hundreds or thousands of times for individuals and businesses who cannot so easily afford to pay protection money. And those costs will act as a drag (however small in the grand scheme of things) on the entire economy.

    Thank you, ICANN.

  2. Louise

    Yes, a drag on the entire economy. When the economy erodes at the base level of the individual domain holder, the economy is sunk. Creating a threshhold of thousands to preserve a brand allows ICANN, Verisign, and the major Registrars to kiss up to large businesses in order to exploit smaller ones. Well done, ICANN!

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