I have received the following in my junk mail inbox:
We are a Network Service Company which is the domain name registration center in Anhui, China. On December,16th,2011, We received DATON Company’s application that they are registering the name “<removed>” as their Internet Trademark and “<removed>.cn”,“<removed>.com.cn” ,"<removed>.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!
Anhui Office (Head Office)
Registration Department Manager
Room 1008 Shenhui Building
Haitian Road, Huli Anhui, China
The website in question is www.<removed>.co.uk and is used to promote the activities of an annual fund raising event for a local charity. As that event is held during October, activity on the site increases in the last quarter of the year as people look up the competition results.
I have looked up both gytrademark and DATON with not much relevant success and wonder if this is just a phishing exercise of some sort but don’t want to have to go through all the agro dealing with some kind of copyright issue should the email be genuine.
As you can imagine the charity is a small one, with little in the way of funds, so consulting a suitably qualified lawyer is out of the question; if the worst comes to the worst it will be cheaper to just change the website’s name.
Any advice would be gratefully received.