Domain blocking is an effective resource for brand owners to mitigate brand infringement and increase brand protection in the domain space. In this post, we discuss how GlobalBlock fits into the domain blocking landscape. 

What is Domain Blocking?

Domain blocking is an effective defensive tactic that should be a part of every brand’s larger domain portfolio strategy.  

Essentially, domain blocking provides a brand or trademark owner the ability to make their mark or brand label ineligible for third-party registration in many domain extensions. The ability to block brand names and marks at scale hasn’t always been possible. Prior to blocking products, the cost of registering domains defensively could become prohibitive, or in some cases brands weren’t able to meet certain eligibility requirements in a ccTLD or New gTLD — there existed many reasons.

How Does Domain Blocking Benefit Brand Holders? 

Let’s face it, developing a brand strategy in the domain name space is a challenging but rewarding task.  

That said, it’s a vital undertaking, made up of things like: knowing which domains to register (both proactively and defensively), to understanding when it makes more sense to block domains, and then learning how to create domain-specific strategies based on the names you’ve registered, to being mindful of cost and what makes sense within your organization’s budget.  These and many other considerations come into play when designing your brand strategy in the domain space.   

Now lets explore GlobalBlock and how it helps make using defensive blocking manageable and easier to be a part of thoughtful domain portfolio strategy.   

What is GlobalBlock?

GlobalBlock is a new unified domain blocking service offered by the Brand Safety Alliance. As part of their mission, the alliance aims  to, “…develop products and services that allow brand owners to protect their online identity,” thereby giving brand owners the “unprecedented ability to protect [their] intellectual property.” 

The GlobalBlock service currently provides domain blocking across 558 domain extensions, with more sure to be added in the future.  

Brand owners may select from two levels of domain blocking: 

  1. Standard GlobalBlock  
    • Provides exact match domain blocking.
  1.  GlobalBlock+ 
    • Provides increased protection by additionally blocking a select range of look-alike variations often used in online scams.  

GlobalBlock brings together registry operators of both ccTLDs and gTLDs and works with them to offer a replete brand protection mechanism, which is their unified multi-registry blocking service.  

How Does GlobalBlock Benefit Corporate Domain Portfolio Management? 

To fully understand what an advance GlobalBlock is to domain portfolio strategy and management, it’s important that we look at how far we’ve come in the history of domain blocking.  

Previously, domain blocking services were smaller in scale, and brand owners worked with multiple registries independent of one another to defensively block their brand marks across the extensions each registry offered. Some of these, like the Sunrise B program that was replaced by AdultBlock in 2019, may be familiar to you. As additional new gTLDs are introduced, the scope of blocking coverage needed by brand holders increases.  

But now, the Brand Safety Alliance has introduced GlobalBlock, making it possible for registries to band together in offering a comprehensive domain blocking service, reducing the amount of time a brand owner needs to spend managing domain registrations.  

GlobalBlock and GlobalBlock+ Features 

Included in both GlobalBlock and GlobalBlock+ is an essential feature called Priority AutoCatch. It gives brand holders the ability to reserve previously registered domains so that when those registrations expire and the domains drop, Priority AutoCatch moves them under a brand holder’s block.  

Previously, if someone had your brand name registered in a domain, you’d need to look at the WHOIS information to determine when the registration expired and if it wasn’t renewed, you’d have to manually monitor and manage the process of registering it or adding it to an existing block. Now, Priority AutoCatch takes the effort out of the process for domain managers and reduces potential brand risk.  

Unlimited Label Blocking and Homoglyph Variant Blocking take brand protection to the next level as part of the GlobalBlock+ service. Unlimited Label blocking means a brand holder can protect a limitless number of variations of their root trademark in their block protection. Homoglyph variant blocking blocks look-alike domains that are deceptive and frequently used in fraudulent activities, such as when bad actors replace an ASCII character with a Unicode character to look like a well-recognized brand name. 

GlobalBlock Eligibility Requirements

GlobalBlock is here to help protect brand holders online, and so they have expanded upon the traditional blocking eligibility requirement of having a validated Signed Data Mark File through the Trademark Clearinghouse.  

Meeting any of the criteria below makes brand holders eligible for the GlobalBlock service: 

  1. Registered Trademarks: An active nationally or regionally registered trademark. 
  2. Unregistered Trademarks: A mark created by a business or individual to signify or distinguish a product or service.
  3. Company or organization name: Registered Companies & Trading As names.
  4. Celebrity name: Famous persons, sports stars and personalities, political figures, actors, social media celebrities and public figures. 

Leverage GlobalBlock as Part of Your Domain Strategy

To learn more about domain blocking or GlobalBlock and how it can serve you as a brand holder, please contact your Domain Portfolio Advisor or reach out to the Markmonitor team here.