* 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.


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26 Replies to “* Chinese Domain Name Scam: Shanghai IDC, Gardiner Limited”

  1. Another example of the Chinese domain name scam:

    from: Derek Liu
    to:
    date: Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 12:34 AM
    subject Registration Proclamation

    (This is very urgent, Please forward this to your CEO.)

    Dear CEO,

    We are the department of Asian Domain registration service in china, have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on July 1, 2010. one company which self-styled “West & innovations Ltd” were applying to register”clocktowerlaw” as Network Brand and following domain names:

    clocktowerlaw.asia
    clocktowerlaw.cn
    clocktowerlaw.co.in
    clocktowerlaw.com.cn
    clocktowerlaw.com.tw
    clocktowerlaw.hk
    clocktowerlaw.in
    clocktowerlaw.net.cn
    clocktowerlaw.org.cn
    clocktowerlaw.tw

    After our initial checking, we found the brand name were similar to your company’s, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we will finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we will handle this issue better. Out of the time limit we will unconditionally finish the registration for “West & innovations Ltd”.

    Best Regards,

    Derek Liu
    Senior Consultant
    Tel : (+86) 551-5223174
    Fax : (+86) 551-5223175
    Address: Room205, Block12, Youth Community(West)
    Ningguo Road, Baohe District, HeFei, China

  2. Definitely a scam. The problem is however, when they scrape your entire site and put it up under the squatted domain name. Bluehost seems to aid these people and after a complaint, will remove the site, but keeps the parked domain page (100% indexed) with ad revenue.

  3. SCAMM!!! Pls. read below:

    Dear Principal,

    We are a domain name disputed registration service company in HongKong, which mainly deal with international company’s in Asia,We have something important need to confirm with your company.

    On the 10th November,2009, we received an application formally. One company named Tianjin Holdings Limited applied for the internet keyword” nutrishine “and some domain names relevant to this trademark from our organization..

    According to our procedures and in order to protect your intellectual property rights, we need to send this email to the original company for confirming the actual relationship with this company. because that may relate to your intellectual property on internet. Now we have not finished the registration of Tianjin Holdings Limited yet, in order to deal with this issue better and not to confuse registering these domain names, please let someone who is responsible for trademark or domain name contact me as soon as possible.

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

    (PS:If you are not in charge of this matter,please transfer this email to appropriate dept.)
    Best Regards,
    jerry.Lee
    Auditing officer

    SK Holdings Company. Ltd
    Hong Kong Head Office:
    TEL: +852-9-5660 205
    FAX: +852-3-0197 872
    Email: jerry.lee@dnrcenter.hk
    jerry.lee@cnsknet.cn
    Web: http://www.sk-dns.org
    ———————————————————————————————————
    This email and any attachments may contain confidential information and is intended solely for the individual to whom it is addressed. If this email has been misdirected, please notify the author as soon as possible. If you are not the intended recipient you must not disclose, distribute, copy, print or rely on any of the information contained, and all copies must be deleted immediately.Sk holdings will not accept any liability for damage caused by computer viruses emanating from any attachment or other document supplied with this e-mail.

  4. SCAMMMMMMMMMM READ BELOW

    Dear Principal,

    We are a domain name registration and dispute organization in Asia,who mainly deal with global companies’ domain name registration and internet Intellectual property right protection in Asia.Currently we have a very important issue that we need to confirm with your company.

    On August.24,2009,We received an application formally from one company named Tian Yin Investment Co.,Ltd that wanted to applly for the Internet Trademark”abercrunk” and some domain names from our organization.

    During our preliminary investigation,we found that these domain names keyword and Internet Trademark are identical with your trademark.These days we are dealing with this case,we were wondering whether you consigned Tian Yin Investment Co.,Ltd to register these domain names with us? If it is true,we will complete the registration of these domain names.Do you know this company? Currently,we have postponed this application of this company temporarily.In order to deal with this issue better,please contact us by telephone or email as soon as possible.

    In addition,we hereby affirm that our time is limited for dissent application.If your company files no dissent within the time limit,we will unconditionally approve the application submitted by Tian Yin Investment Co.,Ltd.

    (PS:If you are not in charge of this matter,please transfer this email to appropriate dept.)
    Best Regards,

    Anita
    ——————————————————-

    Tel: 0085 2956 604 96
    Fax: 0085 2301 978 72
    Mail:Anita@cnsknet.cn
    Website: http://www.asiadm.org
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    Confidentiality Notice. This is a letter for confirmation. If the mentioned third party is your business partner or distributor in ASIA please DO NOT reply. We will automatically confirm application from your business partner after this audit procedure. We have to notify you, and our registration organization are not responsible for any dispute questions about trade mark, intellectual property nor patent after they succeed in registration. Hope you can understand! Thank you.

  5. this is what I received from Linda
    The header:

    Return-Path:
    X-YMailISG: naL4oPIWLDtAox384gC5SN1Y1r0_W5SyEKoewbGyZDCa70x6xLcZQM3HtpM.iU64mAfBhmsGlkSH0ixq9Cs1dLkoXepuO0PapGuk2jEr_sNE7uZlRVeoz7ztXzPi9LhL2URmBd_lyLR3kIMbFM6sQ9esjrEMgmOA3cS.Nfy69HQsaKsZaylE4ykpmXdYBBopc.1OXFmqotZMtM13m5qC9.I4uqOTItGYf4t2308uquKm_OtDu0KdM2ExxmEKRDV8YTDfzNzIRTDsuB5TtRhh5wrw3VTn_dUFZhzKrTP6mhcfk23BD0KPRDM.sHb4ohgvYG1QFSf72OyxMEF2bBpIP0WcBrAlsipkNjV5ItftLlu_IevutjpSrtH40TxtjwtRPOysz7OKHCtJNzemBow6uF8exq8c9ihzNCw-
    X-Originating-IP: [218.5.79.101]
    Authentication-Results: mta446.mail.re4.yahoo.com from=ygdns.org.cn; domainkeys=neutral (no sig); from=ygdns.org.cn; dkim=neutral (no sig)
    Received: from 218.5.79.101 (EHLO 2007.vh.cnolnic.com) (218.5.79.101)
    by mta446.mail.re4.yahoo.com with SMTP; Mon, 17 Aug 2009 21:40:36 -0700
    Received: from WWW-3077F1CB261 (unknown [222.67.36.8])
    (Authenticated sender: Linda@ygdns.org.cn)
    by 2007.vh.cnolnic.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id 4B36D192B60
    The Yuancheng(China) Company want to apply the following domain names:
    pmhub.cn
    pmhub.com.cn
    pmhub.net.cn
    pmhub.org.cn
    and the Internet Trademark “pmhub”

    Because China domain names takes open registration, the domain name stays available, who registers it first, who owns it. So Yuancheng(China) Company or
    every other third party all has right to register it.

    As a domain name registrar, we have right to dispute their application. So required by China government to inform your company to protect your interest.
    As the company whose trademarks relate to the applied domain names, you will get the priority to register these domain names and internet trademark.

    If you think their registration will confuse your clients and harm your profits, we can send an dispute application form to you and help you register these within
    dispute period. This is the only way to prevent domain name grab.

    If you need, we will send your company an dispute application form to fill in and help your company remain the priority to register these names.

    Best regards!

    Linda

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