Your head is spinning with ideas for your new company’s domain name. You are thinking about symbols, colors, and perhaps even a catchy slogan that will be the “identifier” for your organization. You want your consumers to know who you are with a simple glance at your product. Selecting the perfect domain name that is both informative and brief can be quite challenging. However, the hard work doesn’t stop once you have made your decision. Companies who fail to be creative, do their research, and seek legal assistance, could end up in a hot spot if they infringe on someone else’s domain name. Now that you have narrowed down your ideas to a few potential winners for your company’s identifier, it is time to learn about what you need to do to avoid trademark infringement on the domain name of others.
Ask yourself how you can best identify your product. It needs to be something that will clearly tell your consumers what they are getting. Rushing through this step could potentially cause confusion, and if consumers are left scratching their heads or thinking your product is someone else’s based on your domain name, you could be facing charges of infringing.
The worst thing you can do is to try and put a creative spin on someone else’s identifier. While it may seem clever at first, it is actually quite dangerous. Some companies who have made this mistake in the past have made the poor assumption that tweaking another organization’s domain name will help them achieve growing success as the other company succeeds. While this may be temporarily true, the final outcome is often a slew of fines and punishments for infringing. Any lost sales or damage to reputation you may have caused to the other organization will need to be restituted, which could mean hefty payment of damages.
As you begin creating your name, be completely authentic and use your own ideas. Have fun and be creative as you come up with something that will ring true to your company’s culture, mission, and product line. Take your time and consider your options. Enlist the opinions and insight of others to help you make your final decision. Sometimes, a fresh set of eyes will help you recognize areas that could potentially be questionable so you can alter your idea before finalizing it.
Do Your Homework
Once you are confident you have coined something entirely unique and creative, it is almost time to register your domain name. First, head over to www.uspto.gov and enter your potential domain name. The results generated will show registered trademarks and you can get a feel for the authenticity of the one you have created. Next, conduct a general search on the internet for the name you have chosen. Consider searching for the following as well:
• Similar sounding names
• Misspelled versions of the name you have chosen
Carefully browsing the results of any business name register can also be a valuable tool. If you haven’t noticed any potential conflicts, duplication, confusion, or problems associated with the domain name you have selected, you are good to go.
Work with a Lawyer
A legal professional is a valuable individual to add to your team when registering a domain name. Lawyers come equipped with the knowledge and education to help you identify potential problems and avoid the dangers of infringing on the rights of others. They can verify the authenticity of your domain name and give you suggestions for the protection of your intellectual property.
Now that you are familiar with what you can do to avoid infringing on the trademark domain name of others, you are ready to begin the process of registration. Remember that your efforts to be creative, remain authentic, and be thorough will be incredibly valuable in the long run.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.