Apple loses control of iPad.com domain names

Despite being one of the wealthiest tech companies in the world, Apple has lost a vital domain name portfolio for its hit iPad tablets. With the new retina display iPad announced yesterday at Yerba Buena Centre for Arts in San Francisco, we can reveal that www.iPad.com is a dead website, showing a construction site saying ‘coming soon’. Elsewhere a British design company that has been trading for over 18 years owns the lucrative www.apple.co.uk

While Apple does own the rights to apple.com, iPod.com, iWork.com, iCloud.com and iMac.com, the Cupertino-based tech innovators have lost control of their iPad name portfolio in its entirety – a practice widely called ‘cybersquatting’. With no new name revealed yesterday, Apple could have lost its iPad domains for good.

Other domains that are in opportunists’ hands include:

  • iPadHD.com  – owned by an iPad accessories blogger called ‘Dave’
  • iPad2.com – owned by Apple news website Mac Rumors
  • iPad3.com – also cybersquatted with adverts
  • iPadHD.biz – has been parked with adverts and an offer to sell to the highest bidder
  • iPadHD.co.uk – taken by a hosting company

Here at Register365, we think that Apple has overlooked the importance of securing its domain names, our Marketing Manager Stephen Ewart says “It’s surprising that a tech savvy company like Apple, known for its very powerful brand, has lost control of all the likely web domain names of its new iPad. As they have other .com and .co.uk sites registered for Apple it seems that they do realise the value of owning these domain names.

Recently we’ve seen Virgin founder, Richard Branson wrestle to regain control of his name online so this is a huge oversight by the Cupertino-based tech company. These cases highlight the importance of registering each permutation of your company name online. Having the right domain with a memorable name can be a key step to helping search engines find you and helping to build a successful company.

Domain names are facing a revolution and, with the liberalisation of Global Top Level Domains, applications are being taken right now from businesses like Apple to secure their very own extension.  So we could see all Apple’s websites residing in a brand new Apple controlled .apple domain extension in the future.  So the situation becomes even more interesting, but we’ll have to wait until 01st May 2012 to find out which big players have taken the steps to apply for their own extensions.  These are interesting times for Domain names.”

In the US a federal law known as the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act is in place to protect brands online. However in Europe the laws are far less prescriptive making retrieval of lost domain names significantly more difficult involving arbitration procedures for disputed Domains.

Apple is not the only tech giant to lose their domain names. In March 2007 Microsoft took on Xbox Cybersquatters and also approached a namesake. After receiving a letter from Microsoft’s lawyers, Mike Rowe, who registered www.mikerowesoft.com said, “Since my name is Mike Rowe, I thought it would be funny to add ‘soft’ to the end of it. I didn’t think they would get all their high-priced lawyers to come after me.”

Worried that your brand may not be well protected against Cybersquatters?
Give our Domain Name Management team a call, our team of experts will identify business critical domains and areas where your online brand is most at risk, and provide expert consultation on the most effective protection and optimisation strategies.

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