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:


A Trick to Register Good Generic Domain Names
CircleID
A good domain name can be difficult to find… in particular when the domain name extension is highly demanded. It is what is happening with the .CLUB new gTLD. Should your Registrar tell you that the desired domain name is not available, it is not ...


Over 6500 .Website Domain Names Registered In The First 4 Hours Of Availability
TheDomains.com
“We have been confident about .website right from the start and these numbers just reinforce the potential the TLD holds.” said Sandeep Ramchandani, Radix business head. Registrars such as OpenSRS, 1Api, 101domain, Key-Systems had expressed their ...
General Availability Kicks Off for .Website, .Press and .HostCircleID

all 2 news articles »

What Gaming Can Teach Marketers About Taglines, Brand Names And Domain ...
Forbes
It may surprise those in the marketing space to learn that the gaming industry can actually impart some valuable lessons that are applicable when it comes to creating a tagline, developing a brand name or choosing a domain name. However, this really ...


NYC's small business' websites targeted for .nyc domain name to brand ...
amNY
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Councilman Benjamin Kallos are launching a campaign Friday to inform local small businesses about the availability of .nyc domain names. Their offices will be distributing flyers, emailing businesses and ...


Wow: Amazon.com buys .Buy for $4.6 million, .Tech sells for $6.8 million
Domain Name Wire
You might think new top level domain names aren't meeting early expectations, but applicants still apparently value the opportunity very high. ICANN held its second “auction of last resort” for new top level domain names today. Three contention sets ...


Business Insider

Amazon beats Google to grab .buy top level domain name for $4.6m
Inquirer
AMAZON SUCCESSFULLY BID $4.6m to control the .buy top level domain (TLD) name, according information just released by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann). Icann held an auction for three TLD names on 17 September, ...
Amazon Just Paid Nearly $5 Million To Own The Entire '.Buy' Web DomainBusiness Insider
Amazon pips Google to .buy domain name for $4.6 millionTrustedReviews
Amazon just forked out $4.6 million to own the .Buy domainThe Next Web
TechSpot -The Drum -Gizmodo
all 42 news articles »

CoolMath.com files cybersquatting suit against leased domain name
Domain Name Wire
The facts aren't as simple as they originally seem, and the case should serve as a warning to those that lease domain names. CoolMath.com originally sued (pdf) Michael Gargiulo and “John Doe” in June. It believed they owned the site. Gargiulo responded ...


Bloomberg

Scotland Faces Fight for Domain Name
Bloomberg
What's in a name over the vote? Forget questions of what will happen to names of companies such as "British Petroleum" and "Royal Bank of Scotland." The domain names issue will run and run whatever the outcome. Opinion polls suggest that the result may ...
Scotland Facing Fight For Domain NameEurasia Review
Should we expect a .scot domain name?Digital By Default News

all 9 news articles »

Hey domain registrars, get your sh*t together!
Domain Name Wire
This morning I tried to give my money to a handful of domain name registrars. I tried really hard. Some of them refused to take it unless I jumped through a bunch of hoops. Mind-numbing, hair-pulling hoops. Someone pass the Propecia, because I'm going ...


.nz domain names available from 30 September 2014
Lexology (registration)
Those who have existing second level domain names will have first call (referred to as Preferential Registration Eligibility or PRE status) on the new domain names, provided they registered their existing second level domain names before 30 May 2012, ...

Google News

What You Need to Know About Choosing A Domain Name

Aside from the nuts and bolts of where to register... Read More

Domain Squatting Explained

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

How to Profit with Domain Name Speculation

Domain Name speculation has become big business. According to recent... Read More

Domain Name Registration - Key Tips

Domain name registration is a necessary, easy, and strategically important... Read More

Detagged Domains

What is a DETAGGED domain name? We get asked this... Read More

A Guide to Sell Your Domain Name Quickly

Everyday I read this question on different forums "how I... Read More

Selling a .co.uk Domain Name via Sedo

Selling a .co.uk Domain Name via SedoThis is a recent... Read More

The net-Domain: Backbone of the Web

We do not always realize that figures are just quantity... Read More

WhyYouNeedThatPerfectName.com!

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose,... Read More

Warning: Your Domain Name Could Infringe On Trademark Rights!

If you have or are about to purchase a domain... Read More

What is a Domain Name and Why Would I Want One?

In this article we will cover the basics of what... Read More

Domain Name: Why Do You Need One Anyway?

I come across sites all the time that are obviously... Read More

Making Money with Expired Domains

There are billions of websites and thousands more popping up... Read More

Customer Excellence Returns to Web Site Hosting!

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

Know How DNS Works

Domain name Servers (DNS) are an important but invisible part... Read More

A Winning Domain Name

The domain name is one of the most important decisions... Read More

Domain Name - How To Pick One

Picking a domain name should be easy, right? Why, I'll... Read More

How to Profit from Expired Domain Name Registration

After the dot com crash, expired domain names and expired... Read More

Is Your Company Name Killing Your Online Business?

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

Dot Com or Dot Net, Which is the Best Domain Name to Settle for?

When seeking domain names most people get confused over whether... Read More

Why El Cheapo Domains Will Cost You Money

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

Domain Names

Domain names are relatively straightforward! Or at least that's the... Read More

Before You Register a Domain Name for Your New Online Business...

Recently I made a mistake that may cost a great... Read More

Domain Names More Choices than You Think

When you are choosing a domain name you will probably... Read More