Christmas is up for sale – or rather, the Web address www.christmas.co.uk.
Nucleus, the brand consultancy advising the owner of the Web address, says www.christmas.co.uk is the first of “bundles” of domain names and associated intellectual property – such as trademarks and associated high-level domain names – which it plans to market in the future.
The sale of www.christmas.co.uk marks the launch of Nucleus’ Intellectual Property Asset Management service, formed after its purchase in April of HallMark-IP, a leading UK firm of trademark attorneys.
Nucleus managing director Peter Matthews (pictured) says www.christmas.co.uk should realise a substantial sum and demonstrates the hidden value of what he calls “dormant IP”.
“As it gets more difficult to create sensible brand names – or even distinctively named promotions – that can be protected by trademarks and supported with intuitive internet domain names, existing, unused IP will grow substantially in value. There is huge IP value hidden away in the balance sheets of many large companies,” he says.
Matthews adds that with e-commerce booming in the UK – the Interactive Media in Retail Group puts total online sales at &£19.6bn for 2005, 35 per cent up on 2004 – www.christmas.co.uk would be valuable for national retail brands and mail-order companies with active e-commerce operations.