Click Forensics Starts Trademark Watch

Advertisers fall victim to pay-per-click offenders in more ways than click fraud. Click Forensics expanded its offering for advertisers to include trademark monitoring.

Under the new offering, Click Forensics searches sites and pay-per-click (PPC) ad placements that engage in typo-squatting, a form of trademark infringement.

Click Forensics then prioritizes the offenders by the level of threat or highest revenue loss to the advertiser for allowing the site to remain in operation.

Click Forensics uncovered a site “vegass.com” while working on behalf Vegas.com, a Los Vegas travel site. When Vegas.com had placed ads in an ad network, Click Forensics found some ads showed up as sponsored links on vegass.com. (Vegas.com has since acquired the Vegass.com domain, according to NetworkSolutions’ Whois registry).

Click Forensics CEO Paul Pellman said the company listened to feedback from its customers and leveraged existing technology to develop the service. Rather than offer it as a standalone, or charge an additional fee, it added trademark search to its existing product that includes keyword analysis, competitor tracking, a comparison of paid marketing channels, and click-fraud analysis. “Our customers told us this was an area that was a problem,” Pellman said, referring to typo-squatting.

Click Forensics’ trademark search competes with services such as Mark Monitor and CitizenHawk, which also go after typo-squatters and domain-squatters on behalf of clients.

The new enhancement is an added service based on Click Forensics’ heuristic (define) and data mining capabilities.

Typo-squatting is considered a longstanding problem for Web sites and advertisers, and one that is difficult to combat.

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