By Linda Tancs

According to U.S. News & World Report, cybersquatting (using a domain name that is similar to, or mimics, a brand’s domain name) is up 33% from 2007.  Cybersquatters can act against a brand in many ways, such as intentionally registering a domain name that constitutes a misspelling of the name of the brand or using the plural form of a singular name.   The resulting site or Web page may be leveraging your brand fame to collect pay-per-click ad revenues or to counterfeit your products.  The last thing you want to do is waste valuable business time sending legal notices to domain registrars, or filing complaints, or participating in costly arbitration proceedings.  To help avert the headaches associated with this kind of brand leveraging, think of all the permutations of your brand when reserving your domain names.  If you can come up with enough variations, you might qualilfy for a bulk rate purchase with your registrar.  Then re-direct all of the variants of your brand so that they point to your active domain name and website.