May 1, 2024
Key facts about the GlobalBlock scheme: a consideration for domain management and online brand protection clients
Key facts about the GlobalBlock scheme: a consideration for domain management and online brand protection clients

This article was co-written by David Barnett and Daniel Smith-Juggins.



Third-party registration of domains incorporating the name of a trusted brand or trademark can be a key type of infringement of concern, and can form the basis of a number of types of brand attack, including phishing, brand impersonation, or false claims of affiliation.

Many programmes exist to help protect brand owners from these types of infringing activity, of which one familiar example – created in response to the launch of the new gTLD (generic top-level domain) programme in 2012, where the number of available domain-name extensions (TLDs) was vastly increased – is the Trademark Clearing House (TMCH)[1]. Through this scheme, brand owners were able to submit their trademarks for validation, granting them automatic rights to register the trademark as a new domain name upon the launch of a new TLD, and receive notice of any (exact-match) applications by third parties. A number of individual registry operations (the entities responsible for overseeing individual extensions) also launched similar programmes, such as the Domain Protected Marks List (DPML) blocking scheme[2], originally offered by the Donuts organisation which ran several of the new-gTLD extensions.


The GlobalBlock programme

The GlobalBlock service[3] is a similar brand protection initiative which launched in 2024, allowing brand owners to block (at a registry level) the registration of all available domain names matching the brand name, whilst allowing them the option to unblock and register domains for their own use. It is run by the Brand Safety Alliance[4],[5], an initiative of GoDaddy Registry. The related ‘GlobalBlock+’ option also covers ‘lookalike variations’ (i.e. typos and homoglyph variations[6]), such as those commonly used in phishing and other types of brand abuse. The scheme covers over 500 domain extensions (a mixture of gTLDs, new-gTLDs and ccTLDs – i.e. country-specific extensions)[7], and also includes a number of other features[8], including:

  • The ability to ‘automatically capture’ matching domain names previously owned by third parties, once they become available (i.e. adding them to the brand owner’s blocking ‘account’, though not putting them under ownership) (‘Priority AutoCatch’)
  • Catching domains if accidentally expired or deleted (‘Automatic Domain Assurance’).

Several major extensions (such as .com, .net, .org, .fr and .eu) are (currently) not covered by the programme. However, the scheme does include some territories in which registration is normally subject to eligibility criteria (e.g. .mc (Monaco) and .gi (Gibraltar), and .io (British Indian Ocean, but popular with use by technology companies). The list is not definitive, and it is likely that more extensions will be covered by the GlobalBlock scheme over time, which will convey additional advantages for brand owners.

Brand owners can subscribe to the GlobalBlock scheme by purchasing through an ‘accredited agent’, which includes a range of major domain-name registrars, and with the cost being dependent on the provider.

Other key points:

  • In general, any organisation or individual can purchase GlobalBlock if they have a protected IP right (such as a trademark, company or organisation name, or a celebrity name). Protectable terms must be at least three characters in length[9].
  • The scheme also incorporates a dispute resolution policy, which may be employed by an accredited agent or applicant whose verification application has been denied, or a third party challenging the approval of a verification application[10].
  • In cases where several brand owners with identical trademark rights subscribe to GlobalBlock, and one of the holders wishes to release a domain name for use, the release must be accepted by all GlobalBlock holders on the same brand.
  • GlobalBlock can be purchased in 1-, 2- or 3-year periods, with renewals also available for the same periods.
  • Brand owners are able to transfer the GlobalBlock service between accredited agents, with the transfer request adding an additional year to the life of the service.
  • If a brand owner has already verified their rights through any of a number of pre-existing schemes (AdultBlock, DPML, MPML, dotXXX Sunrise B (SRB) Registration), purchase of GlobalBlock is generally possible without repeating the verification process.
  • Current users of AdultBlock or DPML have early access to the GlobalBlock ‘Founders Discount Program’ (until 31 May 2024), offering a lower price, and giving the option to convert a DPML expiring before the end of February 2025 into a GlobalBlock (or purchasing ‘bridging protection’ for later-expiring DPML memberships, for those extensions not covered by the DPML).


Key take-aways

GlobalBlock is a powerful offering for brand owners looking to augment an existing brand protection solution. However, it is not a substitute for a full programme, as wildcard variants (i.e. domains featuring the brand name plus any additional keywords) are not covered, and still need to be addressed through classic monitoring and enforcement approaches. It is also an important consideration following analysis of the findings from a domain audit or registration policy construction. In general, GlobalBlock is likely to be a more significant option for larger brand owners with greater potential for third party infringements, and those with a presence (or planned presence) in a wider range of geographical territories (reflected by the range of ccTLD extensions covered by the scheme).

If you would like to learn more about GlobalBlock, including information on accredited agents and associated fees, please contact us via or call our office at +44 (0)1223 435240.












Online Brand Enforcement /  Domains

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