HKIRC Announces Launch of .hk WATCH Service
HONG KONG, 20 January 2015 – Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited (HKIRC) today announced the launch of .hk WATCH, the first .hk domain name monitoring service for brand owners around the world. With this new service, HKIRC will protect brand owners from possible abuse of their brands.
Cyber security incidents have continued to increase in recent years. According to the latest Global State of Information Security Survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)1, the number of security incidents detected climbed to 42.8 million this year, an increase of 48 per cent from 2013. Domain names are the most important form of online Intellectual Property (IP), as they represent a company’s online identity and business trademark. Therefore, domain name dispute resolution continues to soar. According to the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, 170 out of 463 arbitration cases related to domain names were found in 2013, representing a 46 per cent increase compared to 2012.
1The Global State of Information Security® Survey 2015, http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/consulting-services/information-security-survey/key-findings.jhtml
“Over the past few years, concerns about infringement using domain names has been on the rise, as more and more global brands have discovered that their domain names have been registered for malicious activities,” explained Jonathan Shea, CEO of HKIRC. “Brand infringers or cybersquatters use the brand names maliciously or even mimic a reputable company’s domain name, creating confusion for the public. In return, this impacts a company’s brand reputation, business and customer loyalty.”
The .hk WATCH service closely monitors .hk domain names to identify those which are identical, similar or feature common misspellings of a name, trademark or service mark, as well as those combining prefix/ suffix “wildcards” with trademarks, effectively tackling possible attempts of .hk domain names being used for cybersquatting and typosquatting activities.
This service also provides an initial report for subscribers, showing existing .hk domain names which resemble the brand name(s) or mark(s). The search runs daily, checking for newly registered .hk domain name that meets the search criteria. It keeps brand owners updated in a timely manner, alerting them if there is malicious activity.
“Deploying .hk WATCH is the first step which provides an easy and affordable way for businesses to protect their online Intellectual Property, providing early notification (or warning) of online brand infringement and helping maintain full control over the brand worldwide.” said Shea
Jonathan Shea, CEO of HKIRC launches .hk WATCH service