.CM Domains As Typos – Are They A Threat?

July 31, 2009

Cameroon’s ccTLD registrations (.CM) are now open to the public, and domain auction houses are targeting domainers, brand owners and typosquatters alike in an effort to sell high-end generic and potentially infringing .CM domains for hefty prices.

So are the .CM domains worth worrying about? And as a brand owner, should you be registering your brand defensively in .CM?

Less than 5% of Cameroon’s population has Internet access.  Clearly the domain name offerings are not intended for Cameroon’s general public.  Any attempt to argue the fact that .CM domain names are meant for anything other than typosquatters is, to borrow a phrase, intellectually dishonest.

Additionally, the registration fees are around $175/year, with a 2 year minimum registration term.  There are so many cheaper alternatives, unless you are intending to benefit from typosquatting, there’s no use in owning a .CM domain.

On the flip side, at such a steep price for the domain names it will be very difficult to determine how much revenue you can actually realize.  Especially given that PPC revenue is in decline, typosquatters may be scared off due to the high price, low PPC margins, and uncertainty over how much traffic a .CM typo can actually generate.

The ultimate decision will need to be made by each brand based on their internal tolerances.  How much are you willing to spend to keep a name out of a squatters possession?  Does the brand have an International presence?  If you found out that a 3rd party had a .CM variation of your brand would you seek to recover it?

For a complete list of Registrars Accredited to provide .CM, COM.CM, NET.CM and CO.CM domain name registrations, click HERE.


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