HKIRC Announces Launch of .hk WATCH Service – Cost-effective Way To Protect Online Brand

Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation - HKIRC - logo[news release] 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.

1 The Global State of Information Security® Survey 2015.

“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.

The .hk WATCH service is now available to all brand owners. Please contact .hk registrar for details. Currently, the HKIRC Accredited Registrars below are providing this service.

About HKIRC
Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited (HKIRC) is a non-profit-distributing, non-statutory company limited by guarantee designated by the Government of the HKSAR to undertake the administration of Internet domain names under the .hk and .香港 country code top level domain. HKIRC provides registration services for English domain names ending with .com.hk, .org.hk, .net.hk, .edu.hk, .gov.hk, .idv.hk, .hk and Chinese domain names ending with .公司.香港, .組織.香港, .網絡.香港, .教育.香港, .政府.香港, .個人.香港, .香港, and other domains to be introduced from time to time in Hong Kong.

This HKIRC news release was sourced from:
https://www.hkirc.hk/content.jsp?id=63#!/&in=/company_info/pressrelease.jsp?item=492