Trademarking Your Domain
Before you purchase your domain name, you should carefully consider whether you can benefit from trademarking this new name. Most people do not think of trademarking when it comes to a domain name, but it can be an essential step to take, especially if you are concerned about domain name hijacking.
Domain name hijacking refers to someone who takes a popular domain name, modifies it a little bit and hopes to deceive consumers by having them think they are really visiting your site. There are also hijackers who will intentionally try to ruin a company’s good name by putting up a spoof or anti site to your company. We’ll get into that a little later in this article.
First, do you need to trademark your domain? If your domain name is the same name as your company or even your own personal name, the answer could be yes. If your business or your name carry recognition with the public, you will need to ensure that this recognition cannot be misused by someone else, hoping to benefit from your popularity.
For an example, we will use Amazon.com. Their domain name is the same name as their business. In addition, they are immensely popular. If someone wanted to benefit from this popularity, they could register a domain name such as buyfromamazon.com and they may be able to confuse consumers.
This confusion can result in many different problems. Obviously, you can lose potential customers to the company that is doing the hijacking. Customers may not ever realize that they are on the wrong site. In fact, if they are getting a better deal, they may not care.
As we mentioned earlier, there are some people and companies that, for whatever reason, want to cause you a great amount of trouble. There are countless site owners that have had their reputation smeared on the Internet and they have been forced out of business. To continue with our above example of Amazon.com, if someone wanted to smear Amazon, they could register amazon-stinks.com, amazon-books.com, etcâ€¦ and set up a nasty site using this domain name.
However, since Amazon.com has trademarked their domain, this means that they will have legal recourse against anyone who tries to set up a domain name that is hijacking their trademarked domain. This legal protection can ensure that you will not get stuck with a situation that can get out of hand very quickly.
Instead of having to live with a hijacked domain, you would be able to take the domain owner to court to prevent them from using their name since it infringes on your trademark.
Trademarking a domain can cost anywhere from $300, if you handle the paperwork and submittal yourself to over $3000 if you hire an attorney to take care of it for you. However, this is money well spent if you are concerned about the above issues.Related Posts:
Posted on 12/14/05 10:31 PM
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