What’s in a domain name you may think? A lot actually. Considering now digital real estate has becoming something extremely valuable, more and more companies have come to stake a claim.
For example, Private Jet dot com was bought in 2012 for a whooping $30.18 million. Insure dot com was purchased for $16 million. As you can see, the digital real estate can be a very expensive place.
So when such high amounts are floating around, it’s only fair for the governments to come and intervene and set up systems to place to curb fraud or any untoward happenings.
The Singapore government has come up with a framework called the Singapore Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy that lays down the important points in case a dispute arises between two parties regarding a .sg domain.
The policy was brought about by the Singapore Network Information Centre (SGNIC).
When booking a domain, the following should be kept in mind by the registrant. So if you are a registrant.
- Make sure that the details you provide in the form are accurate
- The registration of this domain will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party
- You are not registering the domain for an unlawful purpose.
- Not use this domain to knowingly violate any laws and regulations.
Mandatory Administrative Proceedings
You as a registrant of a domain will have to go through a mandatory administrative proceeding if your domain falls in the following categories.
- If your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to that of a complainant.
A classic case is when small manufacturers blatantly copy the big shoe manufacturers. Adidas being the original and the fake being abibas, it is confusingly similar. In this case, a mandatory administrative proceeding will be initiated against you.
- If your domain name has been registered for bad faith
So if your competitor has the brand name ‘remote’ and you buy a domain name which is ‘dontbuyremote.sg’. Then your domain name has been registered in bad faith.
Evidence of registration and use in bad faith
One of the main ways of making money in the online world was to purchase domain names and sell them at a high price. Companies would buy high value domain names and sell it at a huge profit. If as a registrant of a domain, you buy a domain name for the reason of selling it to a business who owns that trademark, then it’s deemed as a registration of bad faith.
It’s also a registration in bad faith, if the registrant buys the domain in hope of selling it to the competitor of the trademark holder.
Example : If you buy a domain google.sg in hope of selling it to google for a high price, then your registration is in bad faith. You can also not buy that domain to sell it to Microsoft because Microsoft is Google’s competitor.
A lot of companies buy similar sounding domain names to ride on the identity of an existing big brand and with this policy, they will not be able to do that.
In the case of issue with a domain name, the two parties who are in conflict can choose to take the following action
- They can have the administrative panel mediate between them to come to a conclusion.
- If they do not want the panel to mediate, then it becomes the responsibility of the administrative panel to take a decision based on the case that is presented.
The importance of a domain name
A domain name is an identity of the brand and it sometimes can affect the business drastically. People take months to figure out a domain name that is available and that is creative and points towards the business that the company is in.
In a world where names and brands are in the thousands, it’s important to create a name that has an easy recall value. If you take the biggest consumer businesses in the world, they have the most simple names.
Pros and cons of SG domain name
So let’s get to why a domain name is important and how it can affect your business and if it makes sense to get a Singapore domain name or not.
- Dot com domains are the standard and they are more recognised and seen as international. This is a point towards a dot com domain name.
- Wider and generic names are available with a doc SG extension.
- Companies that are in the services business like lawyers and other service professionals catering to the Singapore market will have a better advantage with a dot SG extension.
- A simpler domain name will be widely available for a SG extension.
Take a look at this example of ‘SEO Expert’. This is a premium domain and is obviously not available for dot com, but is available for the SG extension.
As you can see, when it comes to getting a Singapore domain name it can come under rules and regulations but on the flip side, it will benefit you if you are the affected party in the dispute.
These kind of regulations are beneficial for bigger businesses who are more prone to attacks such as domain name copying and infringement of rights and trademarks. This gives a good platform to address grievances and problems immediately.
So if you are a large company, get a .sg extension because your brand is already built and has an identifiable name and Internationalization has already been established with your brand name. To better counter fraudsters and infringers, it’s better to be under the SGNIC.
For younger companies, these rules maybe an overkill, as they don’t require so many regulations. So if you are thinking of buying a domain name, you might want to just modify your domain name a bit and get a dot com name.
Those were our tips on “owning” a Singapore domain.