* Chinese Domain Name Scam: Shanghai IDC, Gardiner Limited

Legitimate or not?

Within the last two weeks, two of Clock Tower Law Group’s clients have received email solicitations from a company in China. The company appears to be offering registered trademark owners (i.e. our clients) the chance to register certain Chinese domain names that a third party (Gardiner Limited) is supposedly trying to register.

Each of my clients thought that the email sounded suspicious and asked for my help. Is this a legitimate and clever marketing campaign? Or is it something else? I do not know the answer. I hope that by posting the emails (edited to remove the names of my clients and replacing their domains with “example”) in this article that others will find this article and provide their input in the comments.

This email arrived first:

Subject:  URGENT-Dispute of trademark / China
From:  Jet Yao <jet@govidc.com.cn>
To:  [DELETED]

Dear CEO,

We are registration service authorized by
CHINAGOV (THE DEVELOPMENT CENTER OF THE STATE
COMMISSION OFFICE FOR PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM in
China. We have something need to confirm with you. We
formally received an application. One company which called
'Gardiner Limited' is applying to register followings:

Internet brand: example

Domain Names: www.example.tw, www.example.hk,
www.example.net.cn, www.example.org.cn

After our initial examination, we found that the internet
brand being applied for is as same as your company's
name. These days we are dealing with it, hope to get the
affirmation from your company. If your company has not
authorized the aforesaid company to register these, Please
contact us as soon as possible.

In addition, we hereby affirm that our time limit for
dissent application is 15 days.  If your company files no
dissent within the time limit, we will unconditionally
approve the application submitted by "Gardiner Limited".

Best Regards,

Jet Yao
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shanghai IDC Network Information & Technology Co., Ltd
ADD:A601, Block 2, ShanghaiWithub White-cat Science Park
No.641 TianshanRoad ,Shanghai
Tel:+(86)21 5175 0322
Fax:+(86)21 5175 0301
website: www.govidc.org.cn

This email arrived second:

From: steven [mailto:steven@govidc.com.cn]
To: [DELETED]
Subject: URGENT - dispute of network domain name and trademark

Dear CEO,

We are registration service authorized by
CHINAGOV (THE DEVELOPMENT CENTER OF THE STATE
COMMISSION OFFICE FOR PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM) in
China. we have something need to confirm with you. We
formally received an application. One company which called
'Gardiner Limited' are applying to register "example" as
internet brand and CN domain names
"www.example.hk, www.example.com.hk, www.example.tw,
www.example.com.tw, www.example.net.cn, www.example.org.cn"
on Aug. 15, 2007.

After our initial examination, we found that the internet
brand applied for registration are as same as your company's
name and trademark. These days we are dealing with it, hope
to get the affirmation from your company. If your company
has not authorized the aforesaid company to register these,
Please contact us as soon as possible.

In addition, we hereby affirm that our time limit for
dissent application is 15 days.  If your company files no
dissent within the time limit, we will unconditionally
approve the application submitted by "Gardiner Limited".

Best Regards,

Steven Zhang

Sponsoring Registrar: Shanghai IDC Co.,Ltd
Address:Building 2, White-cat Science Park No.641, Tianshan
Road,Chang ning Section, Shanghai, China

Tel: +86-21-5175 0338
      +86-21-5175 0321
Fax: +86-21-5175 0301
Website: http://www.govidc.org.cn
E-mail:  steven@govidc.com.cn

I do know that there are top-level domain names for nearly 200 countries/jurisdictions, and that each country/jurisdiction has its own rules for who can register a domain name. Many registers (such as GoDaddy) can register country TLDs (top-level domains). Here is a list of domain name registries around the world with links to the registration authority for each TLD. If you want to register a foreign domain name, first check with your US domain name registrar, then check with this TLD list.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *