Domain Names Home
Useful Resources
Bookmark This Site
Domain Name Guides
Domain Name Basics
Choosing a Good Domain Name
The Domain Name Lifecycle
Domain Names And Trademark Law
WordPress Security 2019
Choosing Domain Names For Search Engine Placement
Valuing Domain Names - How Much Is A Domain Name Worth?
Domain Name Glossary Guide To Finding Web Hosting
Find Web Hosting Deals
Hosting Search Wizard
Advanced Hosting Search
Budget Web Hosting
FrontPage Web Hosting
Windows Web Hosting
Ecommerce Web Hosting
PHP / MySQL Web Hosting
Reseller Web Hosting
ASP Web Hosting
ASP.NET Web Hosting
JSP Web Hosting
Adult Web Hosting
Dedicated Servers
ColdFusion Web Hosting

Domain Names And Trademark Law

When you plan to launch your web site, picking a domain name can seem like the most simple and fun step in the entire process. Unfortunately, the name you pick may already be in use, may conflict with another legitimate business name, or maybe the name is taken by someone else and is conflicting with your claim to the name! Before you register a domain name, make sure you understand the potential risks associated with trademark infringement. As always, this article does not attempt in any way to provide legal advice. Consult your attorney before making any business decisions regarding your domain name.

Customer Confusion

Unfortunately, legal conflicts over domain names are few and far between compared to other types of lawsuits. The legal fees associated with domain name conflicts can be extremely high, so before you decide to duke it out with someone over a domain name, make sure your pockets are deep. Unless there is a clear winner (i.e. Coca-Cola probably has a right to, the primary concern over who should have rights over a domain name is whether customer confusion will be created in the market place. Let's look at an example.

Let's say Joe Smith owns a chain of hardware stores called JoesTools. One day, Joe decides to start selling his tools on-line, so he attempts to register To his dismay, he discovers that someone else has already registered and intends to use the site to sell hardware tools just like Joe. If you a customer and are looking to purchase tools, you could be confused who you would be buying tools from. In this example, only one of the parties will likely end up owning because their purposes are so similar. However, if the web site was to be used to sell computer software utilities (i.e. different products, different market), Joe Smith may not be able to get his because the owner does not intend to compete in the hardware business. The example above could swing either way: there is no formulaic method for determining ownership.

Domain Names and Trademarks

If you have a legitimate non-internet business, you may decide to trademark the name of your business. For example, Joe Smith may decide to attempt to trademark JoesTools so that other competitors cannot decide to use the name in the future. Joe may decide, after he discovers that has already been registered, to sue the existing owner claiming that the use of the domain name infringes on his existing trademark for JoesTools.

However, just because you register your brand name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), it does not mean that you automatically have the right to use the equivalent domain name. So even though Joe Smith has registered JoesTools with the PTO as his trademark, he does not necessarily have the right to use

<MMString:LoadString id="insertbar/linebreak" />

Featured Links

$9.95 GoDaddy Hosting
99.9% Uptime GuaranteeFree setup, 1 GB space15 GB transfer, 50 emails

Free SEO Tools
Useful site featuring collection of free tools invaluable for promoting your site
Domain Names Home | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Media Kit | Contact | Link To Us

© 2003 NovaWorks LLC - All Rights Reserved