Helpful Articles

For more insight into the problem of domain names and trademark infringement, read these articles::

Is Your Domain Name a Trademark Infringement? (Web-source.net)

Domain Name Disputes (Bitlaw.com)

 


“In addition to the more traditional logos and designs that are the subject of trademark law, domain names are now also subject to being trademarked if they otherwise qualify as marks,” says attorney Ivan Hoffman in his article, “Domain Names and Trademarks.”

 

 

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by Barbara Brabec
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Domain Names and Trademark Pitfalls

Tips from Barbara Brabec

Awhile back when I was buying new domain names to protect my book titles and thinking about websites I might like to set up sometime, I became interested in the business of buying and selling domain names and the profits that were possible here. This wasn't something I was personally interested in doing, but something many others have certainly found profitable.

Thousands of domain names expire every week, and these names are quickly acquired by others who usually resell them at a profit. (You can get more information on this topic by Googling such phrases as "buying and selling domain names," or "buy expired domains.") Most of the great dot-com names are gone, but it’s still possible to dream up good niche-market domain names or acquire them at reasonable cost.

A Pitfall to Avoid

If you’ve considered purchasing a domain name from someone who originally bought it on speculation, here’s a trademark pitfall you will want to avoid.

I recall the heartbreak one of my acquaintances had after she had purchased a website with a good domain name that included partially-developed content and a lot of other plusses. Basically, she had purchased a turn-key Web business almost ready to roll. How lucky could she get, she thought.

But what she didn’t realize until she had spent additional time developing the site was that three keywords in the domain name had recently been trademarked. Now she could not launch the site with that domain name without violating a registered trademark. Initially, she felt she had wasted a lot of time and money, but, when we last communicated, she was hoping to at least sell the domain name to the trademark owner and think up a new domain name that would work just as well for the content on the site she had purchased.

Most domain names are not trademarked, and this is not to say that you need to trademark your domain name(s); just make sure this is not a problem before you invest time and money in developing a new website. And if you’re buying a domain name for a website that is going to be especially valuable to you, do a trademark search first to be sure that this name, and the keywords in it, are not protected by a trademark.

Understand that those who are in the business of buying and selling domain names are NOT going to be concerned about this matter since they're not planning to develop the websites. They are just out there thinking up creative names and grabbing them while the grabbing is good.

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