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Is This a Common Practice by Chinese Domain Registrars? (Update: It’s a Scam)

Earlier this week, a client of mine who owns her business name in .COM forwarded me an email she received titled “Urgent notice of Intellectual Property Protection”.  The email was sent by an employee of ygnetwork.com.cn inquiring about her company’s domain/trademark (XXXXXXXXXXX below).  It appears this registrar has a practice of checking with the TM owner before domains are allowed to be registered during an ‘audit period’.

Dear Manager:

This email is from China domain name registration center, which mainly deal with the domain name registration and dispute internationally in China and Asia. On June 20th 2011, We received XXXXXXXXXXX’s application that they are registering the name “XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX” as their Internet Keyword and XXXXXXXXXXXXXX.CN, XXXXXXXXXXXXXX.COM.CN and XXXXXXXXXXXXXX.ASIA domain names. It is China and ASIA domain names. But after auditing we found the brand name been used by your company.

As the domain name registrar in China, it is our duty to notice you, so I am sending you this Email to check. According to the principle in China, your company is the owner of the trademark, In our auditing time we can keep the domain names safe for you firstly, but our audit period is limited, if you object the third party application these domain names and need to protect the brand in china and Asia by yourself, please let the responsible officer contact us as soon as possible. Thank you!

Best regards,

XXXXXX

Is this a common practice by Chinese domain registrars? I’ve never heard of this kind of audit period, I think it’s a good idea but was surprised by it. At first I was trying to figure out what kind of scam this could be but I see no harm in checking with a TM owner prior to allowing .cn, .asia and .com.cn registrations process.

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Mike

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