Understanding Domain Name Warehousing

One issue that most companies don’t expect to have to face when running their business is called “domain name warehousing.” This is a practice wherein a domain name registrar will gain control of an expired domain name and then not list it for resale right away. This is done with the intent to try to sell the domain back to the original owner or another party at an inflated price.

In most cases, a business will usually have up to 45 days to renew their domain once it has officially expired. Unfortunately, unless a business keeps close track of these matters, they often don’t even notice that the domain has expired until their website goes offline. We have seen this happen many times over to the clients that come to us, and what we at Lexero emphasize is that you have legal options available to you.

Examples of Domain Name Warehousing

GoDaddy is one of the world’s largest domain name registrars, and also operates what is likely the best known example of domain name warehousing. When a customer fails to renew a domain that was registered with them on time, they will evaluate the domain to see if it is what they consider a “premium domain.” These domains would have some added value beyond a traditional domain either due to it being a well-known term, it belonging to a site with lots of traffic, or any number of other things. GoDaddy doesn’t simply put these domains back up for sale, but instead offers them to customers either at a highly inflated price (often thousands of dollars) or puts them up for auction, where they can bring in a lot of money.

What Are Your Options?

If your business’s domain name has expired and the registrar is warehousing it at a very high price, it is important to know your options. Since this practice is not technically illegal, some cases can be more difficult than others. If your domain name matches your business name or slogan, you may be able to make a legal case based on your existing copyrights or trademarks. We can help you potentially negotiate with the registrar or go to court if need be.

Getting Your Domain Back

For many companies, the domain name is an important part of their brand, making it crucial to keep intact. There are a few options to choose from including paying the higher price, negotiating with the registrar, or taking the issue to court. We have years of experience in this area, and we can evaluate your current situation to help determine what the best course of action may be. Contact us to start this important process right away.

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Lexero LLC

Lexero is a unique law firm with the sole goal of providing clients with the highest quality advice, service and value. Located in the heart of the legal capital of the world, Washington, DC, Lexero boasts an attorney roster with appellate and trial success who have been quoted or featured in some of the world’s most prominent media outlets. You can also read about some of the firm’s recent client successes.