Beckmann Bio, Benefits in outsourcing. In dynamic times you need a flexible organisation!

Do you want to buy (back) your domain name or even your company name from "some Joe" in Asia ?

This, which started off as a warning letter to other consultants on a potential threat to our branding and internet domain names, has become a little showcase for how one can uncover information that people want to hide to keep their true intentions hidden.

We as consultants are used to define ourselves like we did within the companies we worked for in the past: via a company name! And most of us, including me, decided to create a company name of our own to brand ourselves. I decided on BECKMANN BIO, the composition of my family name BECKMANN together with the ending BIO for the kind of companies we target. The extension I also use for the company slogan BIO = "benefits in outsourcing".

On top of the before mentioned needs we try to have a web presence of some sort so that we can direct prospects to the respective site for reference and to provide 'written' information.

In the context of the above we received the following mail to our general email address (info@...) on October 22, 2010, from Singapore:

Dear Manager:
This email is from China domain name registration center, which mainly deal with the domain name registration and dispute internationally in China and Asia. On October.20th,2010, We received HAITONG company's application that they are registering the name " beckmann-bio " as their Internet Keyword and " beckmann-bio .cn "、" beckmann-bio " 、" beckmann-bio .asia "domain names etc..,It is China and ASIA domain names.But after auditing we found the brand name been used by your company. As the domain name registrar in China, it is our duty to notice you, so I am sending you this Email to check.According to the principle in China,your company is the owner of the trademark,In our auditing time we can keep the domain names safe for you firstly, but our audit period is limited, if you object the third party application these domain names and need to protect the brand in china and Asia by yourself, please let the responsible officer contact us as soon as possible. Thank you!
Best regards,
Oversea marketing manager
Tel: [removed]
Fax: [removed]

And so you see that this is not an unusual mail: "John" send this around already to others as you can see from this link - for the website "" for example. And others are as annoyed as I am and warn of such business practices also within the IT environment.

There are the following things important to mention here:

Now, this is ongoing already for more then half a year. See the next link to learn that prior to "John" some "Angela" held the job of 'Oversee marketing manager'. And you will see that this fulfills all the criteria of scam and should be disregarded. But, perhaps the situation is not that simple, let's not judge the situation too fast but look at what I found out about the underlying business model first.

As a starting point I assumed this to be a standard way of creating business for some 'strange' company. The method works like this:

  1. To protect your name in the absence of a sheltered trademark it is best to immediately register the respective domains via YG. The offer is made within the mail. The price YG will charge is not determined by the amount of work or by the standard costs for such registrations, but by your need to act as they know your interest.
  2. In case you do not act within a reasonable timeframe, they will register the respective domains and, via the Internet Keyword, try to deviate traffic away from the orignial website. Thereafter they will offer the domains and keywords for an even higher price.
  3. In case you do not react and do not have a sheltered trademark, you actually are at risk of losing your company name or having to pay an extra, in case they detect this vulnerability.

You consider me out of my mind and this only to be scam? See this!

Like the person expecting this to be scam I looked for more information. I looked for the company Haitong mentioned in the email. Via Google Search I found several companies with the name Haitong in Asia. The most relevant are

Haitong seems to be a rather common name and potentially is a family name also that can't be sheltered (like Beckmann). No one of these big companies can use Haitong as their domain name! Instead is a internet search engine in Asia. And I guess this is the company having filed for registration of BECKMANN BIO in China! The site does not disclose who is behind this site. But if you go deep into the webpage you see that the it belongs to a company called Dnbiz Limited. And they have the following business model:

Now, here you see that this is their business! They even offer it as a service to others, while promising to keep the business relation confidential (see screenshot above)! My understanding is that with BECKMANN BIO we are currently either in phase 2 or even already in phase 3 of their process.

I have registered my domains of interest and their offer concerns domain names of no interest to me. But take a look at what they reported today (status Oct. 21, 2010) as their most recent sales: '.com'-domains.

And I would not be surprised to learn that they register '.eu', '.org' and '.net'-names also.

Now personnaly I do not consider this good business practice, but most likely all of this is legal - especially in case your trademark is not sheltered. In case it is not legal, it will be very difficult for a small company to fight back and to shelter one's rights. Now, my recommendation is first to consider carefully what you choose as a company name and under which 'brand name' you promote your services. And secondly, to register your preferred domain name(s) as soon as possible and as wide as needed. This does not cost a fortune and is possible via many local providers at reasonable fees. We at BECKMANN BIO can advise you on that. Because, in case you are not in a strong legal position and have not registered you preferred domain name properly, you might have to buy it back from or even lose it to one of the 'new tigers' soon and fast!

So, how did the story continue? We responded on the same day (October 22, 2010) with the following mail:

Dear Mr. John,
We are the owners of "BECKMANN BIO" and hereby object to such a registry in Asia. The name "BECKMANN BIO" is protected automatically

Due to the arguments mentioned before we kindly ask you

With kind regards,
Dr. Max Beckmann
Managing Director

On October 26 we received another email from "John" even threating us to lose world-wide rights (to the Asian names only, naturally!)

Dear Manager :
Thanks for your prompt reply.We knew you have registered the domain name " " and own the intellectual property, this is why we informed you. But now HAITONG company wanted to apply for other cn/asia domain names and Internet trademark Keyword you have not registered yet,like ",". It's china and asia domain name. You must know Domain name takes open registration, this is international domain name registration principle. So HAITONG Investment company has right to register them. As a domain name registrar, we have no right to dispute their application. So required by China government to inform your company to protect your interest. But as the company whose trademarks relate to the applied domains, you will get the priority to register these domain names. Of course, each company has their own idea. If you don't think their application will affect your company, you can give up, we will finish their registration. HAITONG company will become the legal owner of these domain names in the world. You will be responsible for the loss caused by the matter yourself. But if you think these domain names are useful for your company, we can send an application form and the price list to you and help you register these within dispute period. This is the only way to prevent domain name grab. Pls let us know your decision soon, so that we can handle the next step.
Looking forward to hearing your reply.
Best regards!
Oversea marketing manager
Tel: [removed]

To close the subject we sent a finaly response (for now!):

Dear Mr. John,
Thank you for your advice. We considered the proposal and investigated in to what does and the business proposal of After considering the proposal we decline to register the names in Asia and thank you for making us aware of such business practices.
With kind regards,
Dr. Max Beckmann
Managing Director

Now, what you see by this example of scam emailing is a fast and easy way to uncover hidden information via the creative use of modern media. By putting all the pieces together I demonstrated how to show the underlying principle, here the respective business model.

... but one last word: one needs to re-register a domain name on a regulary basis! A friend of mine forgot and learned one day after New Year that while he was out on vacation someone else bought the rights for his domain name. They contacted him right after his vacation and to maintain stationary and email accounts he was forced to buy everything back - for a lot of money, just a bit less than to change everything to a new one. Clever or mean? You decide!

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