Avoiding Trademark Infringement When Choosing a Domain Name
Numerous webmasters incorrectly think that simply due to the fact that their domain registrar states a particular domain name is ‘readily available’ that it truly is. This is not always so. Even if a domain is physically available, it could not lawfully 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 occurs yet the person claims the domain name anyhow, they are at danger of losing it through a domain arbitration proceeding. They might even be charged with trademark/copyright violation if things get actually ugly. For this reason it’s best practise to ensure the keywords utilized in a domain name aren’t safeguarded for someone else. This short article will describe how prospective domain purchasers can make such a determination.
Initially, prospective domain purchasers have to inspect and see if their selected domain name looks like any existing trademark that is on the books. They will really want to do this before actually investing any cash in the domain purchase slash registration. To browse existing trademarks, you can visit the website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office which is USPTO.gov. Any person can browse a collection of registered data which contains current trademarks plus those submitted which are waiting to be accessed and are pending.
If a domain resembles a registered or pending trademark, prospective domain purchasers have to evaluate whether the domain name is still worth taking. Typically, if a website is not selling the exact same kind of merchandise or services that the other business is offering and the trademark is not popular, a prospective domain purchasers probably won’t get into legal difficulty if they choose to go on and register the domain. To be entirely sure, prospective domain purchasers can run the domain by a trademark lawyer. It should not cost you to much for a hour long examination on the prospective domain.
Of course, if a prospective domain purchaser would prefer absolutely no percent danger, they can simply try to think about another domain. When they set about doing this, they have to be more generic and less creative in what they create. Utilizing search engine keywords for a domain is one such method. Prospective domain purchasers can also explore utilizing 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 method, as soon as a suitable domain has been selected, prospective domain purchasers must think about getting it trademarked themselves, specifically if they are utilizing it to help brand their company. With an official trademark, a prospective domain purchaser has even more legal power needs to another company attempt to take them to court. And because there’s no shortage of domain name bullies, (companies that attempt to steal rewarding domain names from smaller sized enterprises), a prospective domain purchase should utilize all legal opportunities readily available to protect the rights of their business.
In conclusion, by inspecting whether a domain has keywords that belong to a trademark, prospective domain purchasers can reduce the danger that they will have legal problems in the future. If there are issues, and a domain name arbitration case does not rule in a prospective domain purchasers favor, they can rely on The Domain Name Rights Coalition.
As long as you have followed above your should be fine and if you do go the route of protecting yourself you can just add ™ (TM) to tell anyone that you intend on registering the name as a trademark which changes registered trademark symbol, designated by ® (the circled capital letter R), is a symbol that provides notice that the preceding word or symbol is a trademark or service mark that has been registered with a national trademark office.