As the title of this article suggests, a question we occasionally receive from people is whether we are “cybersquatters”. The short answer is “no”, we are not cybersquatters and do not engage in cybersquatting. Editors note: In case you’re wondering the image above is meant to be that of a “cyborg squatting”….ugh
At Dot Associates our main goal is to help businesses and brands find great domain names. The value these domain names provide to our customers can be enormous. And yes, like any “for profit” business, we do seek to make a profit for this service we provide to our clients.
According to legal site NOLO.com the definition of cybersquatting is “registering, selling or using a domain name with the intent of profiting from the goodwill of someone else’s trademark. It generally refers to the practice of buying up domain names that use the names of existing businesses with the intent to sell the names for a profit to those businesses.”
The domains we acquire ourselves (or broker on behalf of our clients) never infringe on registered trademarks. In addition, we ensure that the domain names we deal with are generic enough that they could provide value to multiple businesses / brands. This makes business sense for us as well, as having multiple potential buyers for an asset you are selling is always a good thing.
Now the domain names we sell do occasionally are similar to the names of existing businesses or brands, but these domain names always have other potential applications as well. For example, we own the domain name “afterwife.com”. There is actually a best selling book out called “The After Wife” (i.e. a brand), however “afterwife.com” could also be used for hmmm…maybe a widow’s discussion forum? Or perhaps it could be used by a law firm as a clever domain name to help market their divorce law practice.
Although not in the definition, some people also consider cybersquatters to be those who “sit on” domain names for long periods of time (often years) and only sell them when huge sums of money (i.e. $100 000 +) are offered. During the holding period, the websites attached to these domain names often consist of “spammy” looking “Pay Per Click” advertisements, offering little value to website visitors. We are not sure whether these people are cybersquatters, however this is not a practice we engage in at Dot Associates.
For our domain names, we actively pursue potential buyers and offer domain names at prices that are easily affordable (i.e. priced to sell fast). Now “affordable” obviously means different things to different people and we take this into consideration when determining prices. For example, we have sold domain names for 5 figure amounts to some larger businesses, while giving domain names away at cost to non-profits, or even businesses just starting out. In all cases, the selling price has been minuscule compared to the value the domain names have provided to our customers.