On being awarded the business of a large new trade mark client, we examined its portfolio of trade marks and domain names. Everything was fine apart from one thing that rang alarm bells: we noticed that our client had acquired only the .co.uk variant of its domain name, not the .com.
For an international company like our new client, the .com is hugely important - at least to own, if not to use. Unfortunately for our client, the .com had already been secured by a similarly-named US company that had a legitimate interest in the domain name. In a first come, first served system, our client had come second and so had lost the .com.
Or had it? Well, we knew there was little point in running dispute resolution proceedings against the .com owner. Investigations showed that the US company wasn't a cyber-squatter. We knew that dispute resolution proceedings would create only antagonism and waste our client's money.
So we did something we really enjoy: we identified points of mutual advantage and persuaded the US company to do a deal. After patient negotiations, the domain name was eventually transferred to our client for a reasonable sum. It has since become a renowned domain name in our client's field, the one to which all other generic and country code variants of the name point.