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Firms Slow to Register .cn Domains
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This year, numerous businesses in Shanghai have discovered that .cn internet domain names featuring their well known brands have already been registered by others, reported the Shanghai-based International Finance News on April 18.


“It is one of the most harmful things in online marketing for enterprises to be unable to register the correct domain name,” said Liu Xiaoguang, secretary-general of the Working Committee of Shanghai Enterprises Informatization Adoption and Promotion.


The brands affected include Hengyuanxiang woolens, Baimao detergent, Haishi cooking oil, Nanjiren thermals, Hongshuangxi table tennis gear, Sanqiang underwear, Meijiajing cosmetics, and Liushen cologne water among others, said sources from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).


As .cn registrations increase, the number of brand names snapped up before their corporate owners acquire them also appears to be rising.


Liu said that many small and medium-sized enterprises lack awareness of the need to protect domain names, despite regarding trademarks in the ‘real’ world as important.


This oversight simply provides opportunities for those wanting to buy up domain names with a view to selling them at inflated prices, and potential for many future legal disputes.


Multinational corporations seem to have a greater appreciation of the importance of a branded online presence, and most were quick to register their own brands with the .cn domain. CNNIC insiders said registrations in March were “crazy” as some firms bought up over a hundred domains each, using various combinations of their company and product names.


Companies like Panasonic, Volkswagen, Volvo and Ericsson have done this to effectively establish a sound, protected foundation for future online marketing.


(China.org.cn by Zhang Tingting, April 25, 2005)

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