Flip This Web Logo

Avoiding Trademark Infringement When Choosing a Domain Name

0 like 0 dislike
190 views
by Titank
Many webmasters erroneously believe that just because their domain name registrar says a particular domain name is 'available' that it truly is.  This is not necessarily so.  Even if a domain name is physically available, it may not legally be open for use. Why? It's because there might already be a company that has the rights to the keywords used within the domain name.

If this happens yet the webmaster claims the domain name anyway, they are at risk of losing it through a domain name arbitration proceeding.  They could even be charged with trademark/copyright infringement if things get really ugly.  For this reason it's best to make sure the keywords used in a domain name aren't protected for someone else.  This article will explain how webmasters can make such a determination.

First, webmasters need to check and see if their chosen domain name resembles any existing trademark that is on the books.  They will want to do this before actually investing any money in the domain name.  To search existing trademarks, webmasters can visit the website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office which is USPTO.gov.  From here they can search a database that contains current trademarks as well as those that are pending.
 
If a domain name is similar to a registered or pending trademark, webmasters need to evaluate whether the domain name is still worth taking.  Usually, if a site is not selling the same types of merchandise or services that the other business is selling and the trademark is not popular, a webmaster probably won't get into legal trouble if they decide to go on and register the domain name.  To be completely sure, webmasters can run the domain name by a trademark attorney.  It shouldn't cost too much for an hour consultation.

Of course, if a webmaster would prefer zero percent risk, they can simply try to think of another domain name.  When they go about doing this, they need to be more generic and less creative in what they come up with.  Using search engine keywords for a domain name is one such strategy.  Webmasters can also look into using dictionary terms.  If all else fails they can take a generic term and combine it with a term that is less likely to be taken, such as their first and last name.

Either way, once a suitable domain name has been chosen, webmasters should consider getting it trademarked themselves, especially if they are using it to help brand their business.  With an official trademark, a webmaster has more legal power should another company try to take them to court.  And since there's no shortage of domain name bullies, (companies that try to steal profitable domain names from smaller enterprises), a webmaster should use all legal avenues available to protect the rights of their business.

In conclusion, by checking whether or not a domain name has keywords that are part of a trademark, webmasters lessen the risk that they will have legal problems in the future.  If there are problems, and a domain name arbitration proceeding does not rule in a webmaster's favor, they can turn to The Domain Name Rights Coalition.

Please log in or register to reply to this post.

Related posts

0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 201 views
Choosing the Right Domain Name

Domain names are to websites as book covers are to novels. If they are not interesting enough, or don't properly convey what a website is about, visitor will have no desire to enter them in their browsers. Yet, excessive creativity doesn't make for a good domain name either. Why is this so? It's because if a domain ... with fillers can help you the other 10%. And, if after an immense amount of pondering, you still can't get the .com, you can opt for other extensions.

by BunBunny
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 158 views
Cybersquatting and Your Domain Name

When it comes to domain names, don't think that you only need to worry about the ones that you registered. This is because with the phenomenon of cybersquatting, domain names that are similar to your company's trademark could be registered to unscrupulous webmasters, intending to use them in bad faith. What ... meantime they need to try to get as many domain names containing their trademark as possible, so cybersquatters won't have an opportunity to do their dirty work.

by Titank
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 190 views
Domain Name Tasting

A good domain name not only makes people more likely to visit a website, but it can also increase search engine rankings. This is because search engine bots index websites based on keywords found both in its content and domain name. Yet, how does a webmaster know if their domain name is going to be profitable? ... not have the other elements that make for proper traffic-building, they could potentially be throwing away a domain name that could be a gold mine in the future.

by FlamboyantChomper
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 222 views
Domain Name Servers: The Basics

Technically, domain names aren't necessary to access a website. This is because with or without them, all websites can be accessed by their corresponding IP address. What is an IP address? It is a 32-bit numerical identifier that indicates what machine a website is on. The only problem is that for a human these numbers ... use instead. Yet, if they do get a domain name server, they would have the ability to sell web hosting as well as domain names to their customers.

by AfternoonFay
0 like 0 dislike
0 comments 227 views
Third Level Domain Name

A domain name consists of three levels. The first level is the word or phrase that makes up the initial domain name. The second part of the domain name is the extension. Examples of common extensions include .com, .net or .org. The third portion of the domain name, called a third level domain name is an ... their setup. However, if they are used it's best that they are hidden in hyperlinks, since most website visitors would prefer to type in first level domain names.

by CheeryGrin
Connect with us:
...