A Midland law firm has launched two new services aimed at protecting its business clients from “copycats” and “typosquatters”.
The move was announced this week by Worcester and Birmingham firm Harrison Clark whose trademarket specialist, Ann Roome, says companies are losing millions of pound a year to rivals who try to copy or misuse company names and domain names.
“Any successful and reputable business is likely to be copied and this includes misuse of company names, trademarks, brands or logos,” she said. “If your trademark is registered it gives you a legally enforceable right to prevent others from exploiting your marks or those which are similar.”
Harrison Clark’s new trademark Watch service is aimed at giving clients an effective way to monitor the use of any marks within their markets that are similar or identical to their own. It also helps any potentially conflicting trademark applications.
“The service provides clients with alerts of potential infringements or copyists, it can be worldwide, regional or on a UK basis, it provides free translations of foreign applications and provides easy to read electronic notifications,” said Ms Roome.
“Other features include notification of datelines for filing objections and a full back up objection/opposition service. All this can be provided for an annual fee based on the class of goods or services to be watched.”
Websites are another area where businesses can fall victim to copycats and it is important that they protect their website domain names and are aware of similar domain names and sites on the web.
“Cyber-squatters and typosquatters cost businesses millions of pounds a year by buying and selling website domain names with similarities to the domain names of popular websites.“
The result is that someone enters a website domain name with a spelling error, or an alternative ending such as “org,” they will be directed to the typosquatters website instead.”
Harrison Clark’s service Domain Name Watch ,can provide clients with details of registered domain names and websites similar to those or their business.
“The service offers global coverage, full registrant information, it helps to identify phishing, offensive or pornographic sites and provides clients with easy to read electronic notifications."
Weekly reports are also available and there is an option to add on an auction or web site content watch. A full back up complaint/objection service is available and can be offered on a free one-month trial basis for a limited period followed by an annual fee.
Robert Capper, head of Harrison Clark’s commercial department said: “These two new services offer greater added-value to our clients and will hopefully help to prevent the actions of unscrupulous businesses.”