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Trademark and Domains Defence Victory for Rootz LTD

This is the logo for Rootz LTD, parent platform to five online casinos.

The Rootz LTD logo

Rootz LTD has successfully defended the company’s domains and trademarks against an attack launched by a blackhat affiliate organisation.

Securing trademarks and domains and retaining proof of this is essential to maintaining brand integrity and ensuring that customers continue to enjoy the company’s products and services”
— Scott Dunlop, Rootz LTD.
TA' XBIEX, MALTA, February 21, 2024 / -- The company website is the source of all activities in an e-commerce environment. Even if the company is not engaged directly in product sales, its website represents everything from its history to the ventures, campaigns and activities with which it engages, as well as containing the source of the brand itself. Within the company’s online presence, there may be multiple websites with domain names associated with the company. The first task when deciding on a company name is to make sure that the suggested names have domain names available that can be claimed and registered. This is a clear milestone on the path to ensuring that the company brand has an identity that includes a URL that customers will associate with its products and services.

This brand identity is part of the company's intellectual property; once registered, a trademark can be protected and defended against any attempts at mimicking the brand’s online presence. Remember that unscrupulous entities may try to confuse customers or siphon them off by using names or domains that sound alike. That’s where domain security comes in maintaining the integrity of a brand. A recent example of domain and trademark protection saw Rootz LTD having to prove the company’s right to intellectual property to ensure that its customers weren’t directed to similar-sounding online properties created by a blackhat affiliate company.

Securing a domain - getting started

The unique name found after @ in an email address or after www in a web address is the domain name. This is associated with the physical IP address online. Familiar examples include or These names are found, claimed and registered by visiting a domain host or registrar and by paying a small annual fee to ensure ownership.

When doing this, a further consideration is the future growth and diversification of the company’s offerings. Should the business add to its portfolio of products and services, it may need different iterations of the domain name to represent those online. In this case, the company would need to secure a few different versions of the original domain name, reserving and registering them for future use.

Rootz LTD was founded as the parent company to entertainment brands, five of which were launched after the company opened. These brands all required different domain names and some slight variations on those. Rootz checked on those additional names and obtained them, reserving them for future use.

Keep a record

Accessible records of trademark registration date/s and proof of purchase of associated domain names is advisable. The Rootz-owned trademarks for one of its products, Wildz, included the name and some design elements, such as that logo. In the case of that product, it was later licensed for operation in the German market, necessitating the use of the Wildz dot de domain. A further protective move saw Rootz registering additional names so that customers searching for the company would find the right platform.

Deceptive activities by competitors and blackhat marketers

Unethical tactics in marketing include blackhat marketing, a technique that uses deceptive means to violate search engine guidelines. In Rootz’ case in Germany, the company had large search volumes, making the sites an attractive target to blackhat affiliate marketing companies. While Rootz maintained brand protection sites, the blackhat company initiated Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) brand attacks to overwhelm the sites with fake traffic. In addition, an almost identical name was used to market a competitor.

On top of this, they also attempted to remove the brand protection sites from Google with fake Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaints. This didn’t work but the DDOS attack caused issues for the brand protection sites. The blackhat affiliate turned expired domains into black hat affiliate sites, attempting to rank for Rootz platform branded search terms in Google to steal some of the branded search traffic.

This was uncovered by monitoring the brand’s site traffic, an essential part of securing the brand against such attacks.

Where to go if your brand is under attack - the role of WIPO and UDRP in brand protection

The legal framework for dispute resolution between a third party and the actual domain name registrant falls under the mandate of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the UDRP Policy). These protect against the abusive registration and use of an internet domain name, including both the top-level domains and potential additions such as .biz, .com, .info, .mobi, .name, .net, .org or country localisations.

Rootz took the necessary steps to appeal to this authority, claiming the right to ownership of a trademark against the use of confusingly similar names by the third party. This led to a ruling being granted in Rootz’s favour. Rootz was able to prove the dated registration and ownership of the trademarks and domains. According to the ruling, the disputed domain name had to be transferred to Rootz.

Looking after your reputation (and your customers)

The bottom line is that securing trademarks and domains and retaining proof of this is essential to maintaining brand integrity and ensuring that customers continue to enjoy the company’s products and services. A company’s owned domains and trademarks remain the foundation of its professional reputation.

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