Mar 28, 2018 - by Elisa Cooper
For years, corporate domain name portfolio managers have struggled with determining whether or not their portfolios were the “right” size. Managers of mature domain name portfolios have often felt that their portfolios were bloated, containing domains that were no longer needed. Conversely, domain managers of newer portfolios have sometimes known that gaps existed. Regardless, the question remains - just how many domains should a corporate portfolio contain?
Undoubtedly, trademark registrations are a leading indicator of domain portfolio size. That said, industry also plays a major role in determining what and where a company should register, as some industries are more prone to cybersquatting, impersonation and abuse. Given these factors, Brandsight conducted research to better understand domain-to-trademark ratios.
By looking at USPTO registrations in combination with the results of Reverse WHOIS lookups for top apparel, automotive, pharmaceutical, Internet, telco and media companies, some interesting ratios emerged.
As expected, Internet companies had by far the most domain name registrations per trademark – with an average of 60 domains registered for every USPTO trademark registration. Given that these are some of the most highly-trafficked domain names in the world and most often squatted, this makes perfect sense.
Surprisingly, pharmaceutical companies had the fewest number of domains registered on a per trademark basis, with just under 12 domains registered for every USPTO trademark registration. Upon further investigation though, due to regulatory approval processes, many more pharmaceutical trademarks are registered than ever come to market, resulting in this lower trademark-to-domain ratio.
The research conducted also revealed that:
Measuring the effectiveness of a portfolio based solely upon the number of registrations would be misguided to say the least, and other factors like traffic and site resolution are critical in assessing the value of a domain portfolio. That said, these ratios (while imperfect) do provide some guidelines and a basis for comparison, as companies continue to search for the “right” portfolio size.
Bringing with her 20 years of marketing experience, Elisa Cooper joined Brandsight in 2017 to lead the organization’s marketing strategy and execution. A domain name industry veteran, Elisa has worked closely with many Fortune 1000 companies in assisting with domain and brand protection policy development and has spoken and written extensively on these topics.