Inta Russia



Keywords: Inta Russia
Description: If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, a Russian website was the equivalent of a dozen roses for New Zealand law firm AJ Park & Sons. Late this summer, the firm of AJ Park & Sons

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, a Russian website was the equivalent of a dozen roses for New Zealand law firm AJ Park & Sons.

Late this summer, the firm of AJ Park & Sons found three websites where patent and trademark firm’s website content was copied lock, stock and barrel. The copied content appeared at three different domain names, for organizations all based in Russia. The only changes were global ones including references to names of attorneys, places and laws from New Zealand to Russian ones. Even the cheery countenances of the AJ Park attorneys had been replicated on the pirated sites.

The firm learned of the copied sites from an Israeli colleague who was searching the Internet for articles. The search found the three copied sites along with AJ Park’s site. According to Damian Broadly of AJ Park, the firm “did quite a lot of digging” to identify the domain name registrant.

The firm then contacted the registrant by email, peppering it with questions like “Why would you say you are a Patent Law firm when you are not? Why would you say the law is the same in Russia as it is in New Zealand when it clearly isn’t? Why would you change people’s biographies to change their name and say they were born somewhere they weren’t?”

The registrant acknowledged his ownership of the domain names used for the copycat sites but claimed to be unaware of the copycat sites and “blamed it on his system administrator,” according to Mr. Broadly.

After discussing the issue with the Russian website owner, the registrant arranged for all of the sites to point to the AJ Park website.

Copying an entire website is quite easy. Although the result may have been little more than a confusing nuisance in this instance, in other situations a copied website could be used for harmful or demeaning purposes. As a strategy for catching such copycat sites, Mr. Broadly suggested monitoring the Web from time to time by searching for distinctive strings of text from your or your client’s website.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items carried in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.




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