Subject: Intellectual property rights for Eastwestpr

Yesterday I received this email, and it prompts the question about protecting IP in China, even for the SME. The email from a sweet sounding flower in Hong Kong said, We are a domain name registrar centre in Asia, which mainly deal with the domain name registration and dispute internationally. We have an important issue to confirm with you. On the Nov. 12, 2010, we received an application formally. One company named "Butelin Co., Ltd." wanted to register "eastwestpr" Internet keyword and domain names. After our initial examination, we found that the keywords and domain names applied for registration are as same as your company’s name and trademark. If you do not know this company, we doubt that they have other aims to buy these domain names. Currently, we haven’t finished the registration of "Butelin Co., Ltd." yet. In order to avoid the vicious domain name grabbing,please let the relevant person make a confirmation with me via telephone or email as soon as possible. Thank you for your support to our work! A quick check with TransAsia Lawyers was reassuring; nearly. According to our preliminary search and previous experience, the e-mail you received is likely to be a scam message soliciting domain name registration business, and the reference to an entity applying to register “eastwestpr”-related domain names is probably just a fabrication, because domain name registration agencies are generally not obligated to verify whether an application for a domain name registration conflicts with any existing intellectual property rights. In addition, according to publicly available records, various domain names using “eastwestpr” are already unavailable for registration. We hereby set forth below some examples for your reference:

Available domain names: Pre-existing and unavailable domain names:
eastwestpr.coeastwestpr.biz eastwestpr.cc eastwestpr.hk eastwestpr.neteastwestpr.org eastwestpr.tv eastwestpr.cn eastwestpr.com.cn

Having said that, we cannot at this stage completely rule out the possibility that other parties may be interested in registering domain names similar to yours. Accordingly, if any of the domain names currently available for registration has potential commercial value to your company, we suggest that you register it as soon as practicable through a reputable domain name registrar. If “eastwestpr” has been registered with the PRC Trademark Office as a trademark, this will provide stronger protection under PRC than a domain name registration. If you haven’t registered your domain names in China, taking preventive action may not be a bad idea.

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