Warning: Your Domain Name Could Infringe On Trademark Rights!

If you have or are about to purchase a domain name, YOU could be in trouble and you don't even know it yet...

See, what the domain sellers won't tell you is that the domain name you are purchasing or have purchased can possibly infringe on trademark rights and you can lose that domain name or even worse.

Trademark and servicemark laws apply not only off-line but on-line as well and they even apply to domain names.

Now, a trademark generally applies to goods where as a servicemark applies to services. For the purpose of this article I will refer to trademarks as the same rules apply.

A trademark can be a word, name, symbol, or device and it is used to distinguish and indentify the goods and services from one person or company from that of another.

The purpose of a trademark is to prevent confusion in the eyes of the consumer relating to particular goods and services. Basically, they are in place to prevent unfair competition.

So with that said, just because you purchased a particular domain name it does not necessarily mean you have exclusive rights to it.

If there is a trademark in your domain name, the mark owner has a legal right to send you a "cease and desist" letter and possibly take that domain name away from you.

If you don't believe a word I've said so far then I offer myself as proof because it happened to me. I recently lost one of my domain names under this exact same circumstance.

For legal reasons I can't tell you the domain name as I agreed to make no further references to it, but there were two words in my domain name that were associated with a trademark.

Now, I wasn't aware of this when I purchased the domain name. And I definitely wasn't aware of trademark laws.

Don't be ignorant on the subject like I was. You can avoid any potential problems by educating yourself and thereby preventing the samething from happening to you.

Don't make the same mistake that I did!

Do your research before you buy a domain name and make sure there is NO trademark associated with that name.

There are trademark search engines where you can type in a word or a phrase and it will tell you if it is a trademark.

You can visit the United States Patent And Trademark Office (USPTO) website to do a trademark search:

http://www.uspto.gov/

Now, in my case I chose not to fight the trademark dispute and gave up my domain name voluntarily. I felt it just wasn't worth the time, money and headaches to launch a fight over this.

If this should ever happen to you, you do have rights and there are proper channels to go through to settle the dispute. Contact a lawyer who specializes in this field.

And don't even think for one minute that this sort of thing can't happen to you. Trust me. If you have a trademark in your domain name it is only a matter of time before you get that letter in the mail like I did.

There are numerous cases all over the internet concerning disputes over trademark and domain names.

Don't you be one of them...

If you would like more information on the subject of trademarks and domain names then I highly recommend you visit this website:

http://www.chillingeffects.org/domain

This article and any links associated with it are for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice. As always, speak to an attorney who specializes in this field in the event of a dispute.

Al Martinovic is the publisher of the Millenium Marketers Newsletter where you will find powerful concepts, killer strategies, useful tips and no bull business advice: http://www.milleniummarketers.com

In The News:


Domain Name Wire

A million domain names have been suspended, and law enforcement is AWOL
Domain Name Wire
Domain name registrars have been pleading with ICANN to get law enforcement to say what good this is doing. How is this helping them stop criminals? It it helping them enough to justify taking down over one million domain names? The issue came to a ...


New York Daily News

A Bronx blog battle is brewing over domain names and online threats
New York Daily News
The South Bronx writer was livid when he discovered the new URL names, offered by the city this month, were already registered by Ruth Papazian, better known by her blog name “Bronx Hipster.” “There is no reason for her to take that name if there is no ...


Uniregistry Domain Names Now at GoDaddy
DomainInvesting.com (blog)
Uniregistry has been selling its new gTLD domain names since the end of February of this year, but they have not been selling them via GoDaddy, the largest domain name registrar in the world. According to a tweet from Uniregistry founder Frank ...

and more »

VirnetX Gets Patent For “Secure Communications Using Secure Domain Names”
TheDomains.com
“This new patent strengthens our Secure Domain Name Initiative and will assist in our pursuit of strategic partnerships,” said Kendall Larsen, VirnetX CEO and President. “We believe our secure domain names will be integral in securing 4G/LTE advanced ...

and more »

Yahoo Tech

New Wild West of Domain Names Includes Everything from .beer to .bmw
Yahoo Tech
That lack of awareness is one challenge facing domain-name expansion and the nonprofit organization behind it, the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN. Another is a rat's nest of global trademark complications as ...
Feeling scammed by domain namesStuff.co.nz
​Internet names caretaker discusses sliding out of US controlRT
What's in a Name? When it comes to Internet Domains a Whole Lot and a Whole ...Techzone360
Breitbart News -Inside Science News Service
all 63 news articles »

17 more end user domain name sales
Domain Name Wire
Here's a list of some of the end users that bought domain names last week. Sedo handled a total of 484 transactions last week, representing $1.4 million in total sales. Yes the most expensive sale they reported was just $16,200, suggesting there was at ...


USA TODAY

money
USA TODAY
"Domain names are 21st century real estate," says Mike McLaughlin, senior vice president and general manager of domains for GoDaddy.com, one of the registrars authorized to sell the names. "The theme is the increasing personalization and targeting of ...
New York City Domain Names Just Went on Sale, and, Sorry, Swag.nyc Is ...New York Magazine
After nearly a decade, .NYC finally gets its dayDomain Name Wire
PR Blitz Blankets Big Apple For .NYC DomainAdAge.com
CNBC -BetaNews -TheDomains.com
all 39 news articles »

Ebola.com Owner Wants $150000 For Rights To Domain Name
Huffington Post
... in this sort of domain business, and my sense is that $150,000 is reasonable.” Schultz is speaking from experience: He and partner Chris Hood own Blue String Ventures, an "Internet Real Estate company that buys and sells generic domain names for ...
US company offers to sell Ebola.com domain name for $150000Reuters
Ebola domain on sale for $150K: Good business or ghoulish?Yahoo Finance (blog)
The Owner of Ebola.com Is Trying to Cash InTIME

all 111 news articles »

Amazon.com buys .spot domain name for $2.2 million, .Realty sells for $5.6 million
Domain Name Wire
Amazon wins another new top level domain, but it was out shadowed by more expensive auctions. The latest round of new top level domain name “auctions of last resort” at ICANN took place today. Three auctions for the rights to run top level domain names ...


The National Law Review

Yesterday's 5 new TLD launches total about 2500 registrations
Domain Name Wire
Five new top level domain names launched yesterday, and they combined for a total registration base of just 2,500 after the end of the “zone day”. This includes sunrise and landrush, plus the initial hours of general availability. Donuts' .healthcare ...
Rightside Launches .ARMY, .AIRFORCE, and .NAVY for Armed Forces ...CNNMoney
Should You Register A .Lawyer or .Attorney Domain?The National Law Review

all 3 news articles »
Google News

How To Buy And Sell Domain Names Part Time For Profit Part 2

Let's just take a quick glimpse at what we've done... Read More

Think All the Good Domain Names are Taken?

Have you heard of the other tlds (top leve domains)... Read More

Instant Traffic Using Expired Domains

Every day thousands of domains 'expire' and are put back... Read More

Domain Names Explained

If you are totally new to the internet then you... Read More

Its Raining ccTLDs

By now you've probably noticed the onslaught of unfamiliar domain... Read More

How to avoid copyright infringment in your domain name

One of the most important aspects of choosing a domain... Read More

The Value of a Good Domain Name

Domain names to the internet are the as necessary as... Read More

Customer Excellence Returns to Web Site Hosting!

For those of you with Web sites, you probably know... Read More

Protect Your Domain Name or Risk Losing It

Your domain name is an important part of your brand... Read More

ICANN Registrar: jp-Domains for Anybody

Cologne, October 10 2004. ICANN Registrar Secura announces today, that... Read More

Whats In A Name: Selecting the Right Business Name

With all that's written about selecting a domain name, I... Read More

What?s In A Domain Name?

Choosing a domain name is a very important first step... Read More

10 Things to Ponder when Picking Your .com

1. Proper names VS Common Names. First of all there... Read More

Get Your Own Domain Name Or Die Online

Would you buy from someone with an "@yahoo.com" e-mail address?... Read More

Is Your Domain Name On Someones Wanted List?

A good domain name is, and will always be, essential... Read More

Is Your Company Name Killing Your Online Business?

Ahhh... your company name.Your identity. What separates you from everyone... Read More

Signing up for a Domain Name? Consider Private Registration

A plethora of websites exists to register a domain name.... Read More

Why El Cheapo Domains Will Cost You Money

You want your own online business? Good because it's one... Read More

How To Make Great Money Part Time Buying And Selling Domain Names - Part One

This truly is the business to get into in 2005.... Read More

Tips and Tricks To Getting Top Money for your Domain Names

Would you like to be that lucky person who sells... Read More

Domain Squatting Explained

The one thing that annoys me most about the topic... Read More

Understand the Domain Name System

Ever wonder why DNS systems came into existence? Efficiency. Every... Read More

Domain Names and Longevity

It begins as an idea -- a company name, a... Read More

Do You Have a Good .Com Name? What is One So Important!

A domain can leave an imprint on the mind of... Read More

Choosing a Domain Name - One of the First Stops for Your New Website

So, what is a domain name, or simply a domain?... Read More