Brandjacking and a Better Defense

Brandjacking and a Better Defense

Brand-jacking is becoming a bigger and bigger thorn in the side of brand owners, and they don’t have many options for removing the thorn. Think of the internet as a big house and the brand jackers as rodents, and with so many rodents and so many places to hide, it’s hard for a major brand to root out every counterfeiter or shut down every website. Cyber-squatting, where a brand name is used unlawfully in a domain name, is increasing, and there are only a few defenses. Brand owners can defensively buy domain names that might be cyber-squatting targets, but this defense is limited by the limitless number of brand name combinations. For example, the pornographic site LexusCash.com played on the Lexus brand, and the same goes for Disney, which has been confronted with sex sites using its name. A better defense might be to hire a firm like MarkMonitor, http://www.markmonitor.com/, which monitors Internet properties, scans billions of web pages, and identifies and prioritizes potential infringement. Other firms that specialize in finding brand abuse online include Net Enforcers, http://www.netenforcers.com/, and Brand Intelligence, http://www.brandintelligence.com/.