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Registry to give organizations 90-day protection window to claim trademarked names

As ICANN closed the application period for new general, top-level domain extensions this week, marked the occasion by officially declaring war on Cybersquatting. The company announced that it would reserve all .ws domain names of Fortune 500 public companies, Fortune 500 private companies, the top 200 Internet companies, as well as all professional sports teams for 90 days, after which time each domain name will be released to the general public. This 'protection window' is intended to give companies a chance to register the equivalent .ws address to their current dotcom address proactively, thus avoiding potential litigation at a later date. This new initiative is a second and final attempt to give companies and organizations with the opportunity to establish their .ws presence and rightly protect their trademarked names from cybersquatters.

To find out if a domain name has been registered with a .ws extension, individuals should type in their company name into the browser window followed by the .ws extension ( has installed a pop-up screen that will notify the individual about the .ws name availability and, if it is available, direct them to a special registration tool. The pop-up window will display with the equivalent .com site in the background.

"The overwhelming demand for new Web sites and domain names makes the establishment of new suffixes inevitable," said Alan Ezeir,'s president and co-founder. "As a leading registry of domain names, we understand the frustrations felt by corporations who are having to deal with people coming out of the woodworks trying to sell them back their own names. This 90-day protection window is designed to help them protect their intellectual property rights," said Ezeir.

Laraine Ward, attorney for Go2Net (Nasdaq:GNET), says they decided to register its .ws domain name to help protect its coveted trademark. "Go2Net protects its service marks, so we thought it prudent to register .ws," said Ward.

With analysts predicting that the number of domain name registrations could reach over 500 million in the next several years, major corporations will experience increased difficulty protecting their trademarks unless something more drastic is done. Due in large part to the lack of clear-cut legislation to identify who has claim to registrations, hoping-to-profit, third parties, deemed "cybersquatters," have frequently purchased domain names with the intent to sell them to the corporations to which they are most valuable. Although companies are often able to win control of their domain names, - either through purchase from said cybersquatter or through legal action - retroactively gaining ownership of domain names is always a time-intensive process and companies incur exorbitant costs. reports that many of the organizations on the list have either not taken any action to register its name or have chosen not to register the .ws version of their trademarks. "We were baffled as to why any major organization would not want to ensure its name was protected," says Ezeir. "Early in September, for example, we contacted Nordstrom Inc. to offer ',' but they declined," explains Ezeir. "In an instance such as this, I fully expect that there is a Mr. and Mrs. Nordstrom out there who would love to attain this Web site for personal use, without any intent to threaten or blackmail the Nordstrom's corporation. These are the people we ultimately hope to serve."

All .ws Web sites cost as little as to register per year, whether purchased by individuals or major corporations.


Founded in 1999, is the exclusive global solution to registering Internet addresses with .WS top-level domain for personal businesses and personal lives. .ws received more paid registrations in its first 90 days than .com, .net and .org received in their first ten years. The .WS domain name extension is accepted worldwide and was formally assigned by ICANN, the International Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers. The company is committed to offering an easy and affordable solution to registering useful and memorable Internet addresses. Registrants of .ws domains include individuals, small businesses and major corporations throughout the world in over 180 countries and include such notable companies as Yahoo (Nasdaq:YHOO), Intel (Nasdaq:INTC) and Cisco Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO).

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