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The Complete Guide to Trademark Infringement and Domain Names

The Complete Guide to Trademark Infringement and Domain Names

When it comes to starting up a business you really need to think hard about your branding and your domain name. This is what will tell your customers who you are and what you are about. You need it to be smart, to the point and most of all, to portray you as a professional entity. When choosing your name, you need to be careful of other businesses, you don’t want a trademark infringement on your record. You also need to think about how you will protect any name that you come up with. Read our guide to trademark infringement and domain names and see if we can help.

Registration of a Trademark at a National Level

Any trademark granted is generally at a national level. This means that before you put all your money into branding and a domain name, you need to be sure that there isn’t a similar business running with a similar name anywhere else in your country of origin. Have a look through the trademark database before spending money on any name you come up with. It also means that should you protect a name that you have come up with, you will more than likely have free rein to use it on a national level, making the cost of applying for a trademark worth it.

Registration of Domain Name at a Global Level

Domain name registrations are often at a global level, meaning that you will have a greater search to complete before you purchase your domain. The availability of your chosen domain says something, but always check for small variations in spelling just to make sure you don’t infringe upon anyone else’s trademark. There’s a lot to think about when setting up a new business. A read through our blog post about how to be thorough when starting out may be helpful.

Settlement of Domain Name Disputes

Domain name disputes can be costly, especially if a court rules against you and you have to start again with your branding. Get it right the first time to avoid all that hassle. When you have the perfect name that doesn’t infringe on any else’s intellectual property, trademark it to protect yourself. Others are much less likely to use your name if they can see that you have a trademark. Bear in mind that there are limits on free trademarks, but any that you have to purchase could be worth their weight in gold.

Trademark Infringement in Cyberspace

The biggest test for trademark infringement in cyberspace is; is it feasible that a customer could confuse two different websites and head to a competing brand by mistake? This means that to not fall foul, you should ensure that your website and names are different from competitors already in the market, especially if they have a trademark. Get some tips on website design online.

Jurisdictional Issues

The trouble with the internet is that there are no borders. This can make taking a case to court difficult, because is can be difficult to determine who ultimately has the jurisdiction. That being said, it is not worth the time and money that you would need to go on fighting a case should the worst happen. Make sure that you are not committing trademark infringement before your business goes live and you won’t have to worry. Consider protecting your brand too so that you can send a message to others to stay away from your property, just like you have done for existing competitors.

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by Lottie Pritchard // Lottie Pritchard is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.