Dear CEO/Principal,We are the department of [Domain Name] Service in China. Here I have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on May 13, 2013, that a company claimed “ACME PLANETARY DOMAINS” were applying to register “YOUR MARK” as their Net Brand and some “YOUR MARK” Asian countries top-level domain names through our firm.
In reality, there may be good reasons to acquire the domains the scamming provider mentions in his/her email. In particular, if the domains in question are really valuable to you or your business, because, for example, they might attract customers in a geographic region you are entering, then pursuing registration might be worthwhile. But we would recommend contacting counsel or a reliable registrar and acquiring them separately from the purported service provider who wrote the above email. By and large, that service provider is just looking to make a quick buck by convincing rights holders that their rights are in jeopardy—and often the domains can be acquired less expensively from another service provider.
Whether to acquire domains beyond the standard generics (.com, .info, .net, etc.) really involves a number of considerations, including the geographic scope of your marketing efforts and sales channels; the geographic scope of your trademark registrations; the nature of your products and the channels of trade and advertising you use; and your budget.
The budget issue is more significant than it may first seem. While domain name registrations are not expensive, if a company tries to obtain registrations covering all of its marks and each iteration or misspelling of each mark under each top-level domain, the cost and administrative burden would quickly become overwhelming.
Furthermore, the rules around how to challenge squatters vary by registrar, and sometimes have little to do with trademark rights per se. So if there are regions of the world that are or will become important, or certain other generic top-level domains that may be more resonant with your business, exploring defensive and proactive registrations to ward off squatters will be wise. But those proactive steps need not include reflexively responding to the scamming email above.
The bottom line is that a strategic approach to domain name acquisition will be deliberate and take into account a variety of factors relating to your business and future goals. It’s rare that simply acquiring the supposedly vulnerable domain names offered in the scamming email above is the best answer.