Ever since Ruslan Kogan shipped his first container of TVs from China, his company has played the underdog card brilliantly in the company’s pitched battle with established retailers like JB HiFi and, in particular, Harvey Norman. But now they are locked in a legal battle with The Catch Group. Catch alleges Kogan has registered domain names and is offering services using domain names that could confuse buyers.
Earlier this year, The Catch Group launched their own MVNO service on the Optus network. They allege Kogan is using the catchmobile.com.au to dupe customers into buying Kogan’s competing service. They also allege Kogan has registered the domain names of catchinsurance.com.au and catchloans.com.au in order to pass off Kogan products as being related to the Catch Group.
I have no idea how this will play out in the courts but there’s an important lesson. When setting up a new business it’s important to not only register the domains relating specifically to your business name but also others that could reasonably be assumed to be yours. In The Catch Group’s case, catchconnect.com.au might be reasonable but catchmobile.com.au could also be considered as a reasonable domain to register.
I’m not justifying domain squatting. But the cost of registering that domain is far cheaper than the legal fees Catch Group will be racking up.
Although the Kogan business doesn’t use the catchmobile.com.au domain, having it gives them an advantage in bringing their services closer to the top in search results. Those positions near the top of search results are important as many people don’t brother scrolling to find commercial services.
When you register a business, think about all the domains that could be related to your product or service and not just the obvious ones.