A Utah-based signage software company has taken the interesting and questionable step of buying and registering the unused domain suffixes of many key competitors.
TruDigital has a variety of .biz, .info, .org, .net and .us domains for a pile of companies, including The Marlin Company, BroadSign, Real Digital Media, Four Winds Interactive, Wondersign, MVIX, Elo, Rise Vision, Cenique, 11Giraffes, Industry Weapon and Viewsonic.
The company does not have Stratacache.us, which makes me sad … because I’d like to see CEO Chris Riegel react to this sort of thing.
I’m not a lawyer (you may have already known that), so I have no idea whether this is a something that crosses a legal line on things like trademarks, or is just questionable form. One term often used to describe the activity is domain squatting.
I do know there are some people who run these companies who are not impressed. Got the emails. Saw the tweets. Right now, the links I tried all go to placeholder sites like NameCheap. I didn’t find anything that would send a person looking for one company instead to this Utah company, using a redirect of the URL.
But why else would this company have these domains?
My take: it’s perhaps better to win business based on the quality of product and service, not through what would politely called monkey business.
I’ve asked, and would welcome an email from someone senior at TruDigital explaining what it is up to.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.