The news last week that Pfizer and BioNTech’s progress on developing an effective vaccine for COVID-19 was progressing well. The current drug, in trials, is known as BNT182b2, hardly the catchiest of names but it seems that some trademark activity, reported by the Telegraph, could point to the name of the vaccine as being Covuity. Back in May the word was trademarked by BioNTech through the European Trademark Office under reference number EU018247439.
Whatever name is eventually chosen, and it should be noted that it is far from certain that this will be the final name for it, it needs to be, in the parlance of the three pillars of domain names for Google Search, Meaningful, Memorable and Relevant. The drug, should it be the most effective as a vaccine, will be marketed significantly across the world.
It was notable that on the same day that the Telegraph broke their story, the number of domain names registered with the keyword Covuity rose significantly. Naturally, Pfizer had secured the most important TLDs some months ago – Pharmaceutical companies will often register domain names that match patent and trademark applications, with most never making out of the labs and being deleted. However, domains using .Store, .Online and .Health were all registered soon after the article was published.
I am sure that should Covuity be the name taken forward into the market as the vaccine action will be taken to ensure any infringing domain names that are being used to damage or infringe on the intellectual property of the drug developers will be dealt with. However, due to the speed that a domain name can be registered and a website launched, there may be some issues that could arise in the future.
It is unlikely that the vaccine or vaccines will be widely available initially which may lead to scammers taking advantage of consumers desperation to get back to a normal world. Everyone has a part to play in ensuring that those who are intent on illegally profiting from the vaccine are identified and removed from causing harm as quickly as possible.