The removal of International sanctions on Iran got many to think about the international brands that want to enter Iran. A rise in the number of .ir domains registered after the sanctions relief can be witnessed. But are the international brands registering the domains themselves?
The answer is actually no. When the nuclear agreement was signed, a series of domain brokers and opportunists started to buy the .ir domains of famous international brands that could potentially enter Iran. This could either be a good opportunity to make profit out of the companies and brands entering Iran, or it’s just a waste of time and effort in entering long legal copyright battles. Airbus, Rayban and shell are also among the brands that have .ir domains registered and owned by someone with no authorizations by the companies themselves.
According to Tasnim news in regards to the recent report published by the World Trademark Review, a recent research by the WTR shows a huge number of internet domains with the .ir ending registered by individuals that have no relations what so ever with the original brand and company. It is quite logical for international brands to start acquiring their .ir domain since the door for operating in the MENA region’s second largest economy after Saudi Arabia with nearly 80 million population is opening up. The research by the World Trademark review shows that 80% of the brands they researched, have an existing registered .ir domain in Iran.
The most interesting number that catches the eye is the number of domains that are actually registered by the original company itself or companies related to the brand. Only 18% of the registered .ir domains are owned by the brands, making 82% of the owners non-related to the brands.
Another interesting fact is the rise of number of .ir registered domains. The numbers have grown massively in the past months. In under 3 months there has been 5% growth in the number of registered .ir domains. According to Tasnim news there are currently 788 thousand registered Iranian domains. Numbers also show that Iran is among the top 4 countries with the highest average growth rate of registered internet domains. The current average growth rate is set at 45% annually.
The holders of some of these domains also had interesting answers. To give an example, the holder of airbus.ir didn’t mention anything about the famous commercial plane manufacturer and insisted that the name Airbus is based on a fictional Sci-Fi story which has nothing to do with the plane manufacturer.
It seems that international brands entering Iran have a new obstacle on their way. Drums of legal battles can be heard from afar.