Verisign just released their Q2 2020 edition of The Domain Name Industry Brief, and the numbers are staggering. New domain registrations rose by 3.3 million during the quarter, up 0.9% from Q1. Overall, there are currently 370.1 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs).  This represents an overall growth of 4.3% or 15.3 million new registrations year over year.

Of those new registrations, .com and .net are still by far the most popular top-level domains, with a combined total of 162.1 million domain name registrations at the end of the second quarter of 2020. This represents an increase of 3.8% over the same period last year.

New gTLDs (ngTLDs) are also on the rise. With over 1,500 new extensions now available for registration, ngTLDs make up approximately 31.6 million of the new domains registered by the end of the second quarter of 2020. While ngTLDs are just 8.6% of all the new domains registered, their growth represents an increase of 37.3% year over year.

Increased domain name registrations are only part of the picture. As the number of legitimate domain name registrations increase, so to do those registered by criminals in bad faith. During this time of social distancing and quarantines, bad actors have been quick to follow consumers as they turn to the internet to stay connected, supplied, and informed. Amongst our own clients, we've seen a significant increase in the number of brand-based domain name enforcement actions, as well as a significant increase in the amount of time to resolution for brand-in-domain related enforcement (largely due to inaction by registrars and in some cases hosting providers) and UDRP filings. 

All this activity helps underline the need for proactive management of your domain name portfolio and aggressive monitoring and enforcement. Keeping your brand and your consumers safe online means monitoring new domain registrations for the unauthorized use of your trademarks and intellectual property. When an infringing domain is discovered, swift and decisive action is necessary. Companies that take a proactive and aggressive stand against infringement not only better protect their customers and their branded intellectual property but also find their enforcement activity is more effective.

To help combat abuses and make digital channels safer for everyone, we’ve created a guide to domain name enforcement, including sample templates for reporting infringement, that you and your legal team may find useful. You can download it here.  

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