Skoda.com Case: Can We Get Our Domain Name Back?

skoda domain

This is yet another example of why purchasing all your TLDs in advance is important. The domain skoda.com is not owned by Skoda Auto company and therefore their global website struggles to gain a strong global presence.

I’m not saying Skoda Auto has underestimated it, because the domain situation back in these days was far different than it is now. However, it could easily happen to any global business.

If you look at the skoda.com website, you’ll get to a certain “Skoda Family blog”:

skoda.com website

Skoda.com website: A Skoda Family Blog of doubtful quality with lots of ads. MFA?

 

Whois is not providing any information about the domain owner. Now, look at the scenarios of users searching for the brand from various countries.

 

“Skoda” from USA

Skoda from USA

Searching for “skoda” from USA. Official global website nowhere to be seen. We can only find  *CO.UK and *COM.AU domains.

 

“Skoda” from Germany

Searching for "skoda" from Germany

When searching from Germany, we only find the German *DE website. But the global one is nowhere near again.

 

“Skoda” from Japan

When searching "skoda" from Japan, users get the *CO.UK website, the Wikipedia article and the website of the Skoda museum. Oh my.

When searching “skoda” from Japan, users get the *CO.UK website, a Wikipedia article and the website of the Skoda museum. Oh my.

Solution

In this case, when the owner is not known, you can try getting in touch with him/her in various ways, however, in some cases, it may not be worth the effort. Lawsuit may also be the wrong way if they’ll eventually find out that there is a Skoda family behind it all. No trademark can ever cover that.

If this happens, the company has to start using a new branded domain immediately and build reputation for this new domain. The new domain has potential to beat the original domain simply because the brand is stronger than just a domain name and users will eventually link to it.

Sadly, this is what Skoda Auto, representing a very strong global brand, have not managed so far.

 

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Martin Kůra

Martin a.k.a. @HermanTinkura helps international and local companies enter new markets by creating a vast multi-cultural SEO strategy. Martin writes for SEMrush and likes to explore different cultures of the world, which is his favorite part of his work.

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