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Can You Copyright A Domain Name

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Example Of How Actual Commercial Use Beats Domain Registration For Trademark Rights

Can I register a trademark for my domain name | Dallas Trademark Attorney

So why is this important? Imagine that on, Jonathan registered, and files a DBA as The Lightning Lantern Company. Jonathan also does a corporate name search with his state and registered Lightning Lanterns, LLC as a business name with the state of Virginia. He then starts planning his line of flashlights to be sold online and at camping stores. On, three months later, he starts using the name Lightning Lanterns as a trademark and sells 500 lanterns to a regional outdoors store. He applies to register LIGHTNING LANTERNS for lanterns with the U.S. Trademark Office a few months later.

On , Olivia begins selling LIGHTNIN LANTERNS, high-powered flashlights to hundreds of customers in the United States. On the same day, she also files to register the LIGHTNIN LANTERNS trademark with the USPTO and successfully registered the mark nine months later. Olivia has never heard of Jonathan and did not know about his plans.

Can You Obtain A Copyright On Fictional Characters

The commercial and widespread appeal of fictional characters quite often outshines the characters role within the parent work. Hence, it is necessary to ensure that the creators of these characters are accorded with reasonable and uniform protection from unauthorized exploitations of the characters. Not only are these characters at a high risk of distortion and misuse, but also their creators rights and reputation are at stake. Similarly, licensees and advertisers have economic interests in the characters and express the need to protect them from misuse by third parties.

A fictional character has three identifiable and legally significant components: its name, its physical or visual appearance, and its physical attributes and personality traits or characterization. Furthermore, fictional characters can be classified into four types Pure, Literary, Visual, and Cartoon. Pure characters are the ones that do not appear physically in the incorporated work. Literary characters arise from books or scripts with descriptions and actions. Visual characters are those that are visible in the works, for instance, in movies. Cartoon characters are all line drawings of a perceived simplicity. Among these four classifications, pure characters tend to receive negligible or no protection, whereas cartoon characters have been given more protection by the courts.

Reasons To Trademark Your Domain Name

  • Maintain Your Rights If your domain name has a trademark, the URL has protection under the USPTO law. There are legal ways for you to stop another company from using your trademark.
  • Protect Your Image When a company is selling a lower quality product that consumers might confuse with your merchandise, your image is at risk. Protecting your domain allows you to maintain control of your online image.

Also Check: How Much Should A Domain Name Cost Per Year

Can Internet Domain Names Be Registered And Protected Astrademarks Or Service Marks

Yes, domain names can also be registered and protected astrademarks or service marks at the national and internationallevels, provided that the domain names do satisfy all conditions tobe duly registered and protected like the trademark and servicemarks.

Any unique internet domain name which is capable of identifyingand distinguishing goods or services of a company from that ofother companies, and can also act as a reliable source identifierfor the concerned goods or services on the internet, may beregistered and thus protected as trademark, if it satisfies allother rules and requirements for registration which are commonlyapplicable to the trademarks and service marks. Again, for properregistration of a domain name as a trademark or service mark, thismust be unambiguously unique from all other domains names andwell-known trademarks on the internet, so that it does not mislead,confuse, or deceive customers of other companies engaged in thesame or different fields, or violate public order or morality. Suchcases may give rise to instances of trademark infringementlitigation. Exclusive information about registration and protectionof domain names as trademarks in India and abroad is provided inthe sections below.

Defending Your Website’s Copyright

How You Can See Who Owns A Domain Name and Keep Yours Private

You’ll have to be vigilant if you want to protect your website’s copyright. Register the copyright and regularly monitor for plagiarism by searching for copycats. Issue “cease and desist” letters if anyone has plagiarized your site.

You can protect your original website content by adding copyright notices to each page, but it’s also a good idea to register your copyright. If your site is complex or includes multiple authors, look for a good intellectual property attorney to help you.

Recommended Reading: How Much Should A Domain Name Cost Per Year

How To Register A Copyright

To register for a copyright, go to the Copyright Registration Portal. Here, you pay a small fee and submit the articles and other content you want to be protected. Many bloggers complete this process once or twice a year, since you can submit large batches of articles and other property with each submission.

Its nice because the website has different types of content categorized for you to learn more about each one. As you can see, blogs and websites are placed under the Other Digital Content area.

To sign up, click on the button that says Log into the Electronic Copyright Registration Office.

After that, walk through the process of submitting the content you want to protect under copyright law. As mentioned, you might want to consider submitting everything in one batch, such as your website, all current photos, articles, videos, artwork, and products.

Protecting Trademarks In Domain Names: Rights Protection Mechanisms For Small Business Faprotecting Trademarks In Domain Names

Last Published:10/7/2020

Following years of discussion and consultation facilitated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers , the internets domain name system is expanding. The DNS is a critical component of the internet infrastructure. It works like a telephone directory, allowing users to reach websites using easy-to-understand domain names rather than the numeric network server addresses necessary to retrieve information on the internet. The expansion of the DNS involves the addition of hundreds of new generic top-level domain names entering the marketplace beyond the current .com, .org, and more. This expansion is expected to provide a platform for communities and innovators to harness the power of the global Internet in new ways.It is important for American businesses to stay apprised of developments in this area in order to benefit from the new opportunities as well as protect their business interests. The U.S. Government has worked to ensure that the new gTLDs program provides adequate safeguards to prevent consumer and business harms. In particular, ICANNs new gTLDs program includes several Rights Protection Mechanisms to aid trademark owners in protecting their trademarks that are unavailable in the legacy gTLDs . The RPMs include the Trademark Clearinghouse and the Uniform Rapid Suspension process.

This factsheet has been prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

This factsheet has been prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Read Also: Domain Registration Cost Per Year

Reasons Not To Trademark Your Domain Name

  • Infringement If you register a domain name without checking if there is a similar name already registered, you could infringe upon another company’s trademarked domain name. A lawsuit involving trademark infringement could cost you $100,000 or more. Before registering your domain name, use the trademark tools on the USPTO website to find out if a domain name like the one you want is already trademarked.

Copyright A Domain Name

Are web addresses copyright protectable?

8:44 pm on Nov 21, 2004

votes: 0

I just came across a site that is using my name with .com behind it all over their website. They have same name as me but their extension is .hp

They even have a copyright symbol etc with my full domain name on their website.

Question – Do you have to copyright a domain name or is that a given when you purchase the name?

This worried me a little to see someone else claiming my name.

Any help is greatly apreciated!


3:59 pm on Nov 22, 2004

I’m not a lawyer but I’ll share what I know.

Actually, copyrights don’t apply to domain names because, at the very least, copyrights apply to certain works like books, articles, paintings, even website design. Rather, you may be referring to trademarks.

Trademarks, at the very least, apply to words, phrases, and symbols. So trademarks can apply to domain names because the latter consists of words or phrases.

When registering a domain name, you only have rights to the name itself. No trademarks, no copyrights, you get those elsewhere.

No one has absolute rights to any word whatsoever, so people can register domain names using the same words but with different extensions or variations to the name.

Rather, there are limits to registering a name. Trademarks are one such limit every domain name owner must consider before getting the name if it can be helped.

In your case, here are some questions to consider:

As far as I know, .hp is supposed only to refer to products from that famous computer company.

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How To Trademark A Domain Name

There are 4 general steps to getting trademarking a domain name, as we covered here.

  • Perform A Comprehensive Search
  • File a Trademark Application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Monitor Your Application
  • Trademarking your domain name is an important part of protecting your intellectual property.

    How Do I Copyright A Domain Name

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    In general, you cannot copyright a domain name, though there are other forms of protection that are extended to domain names and domain names associated with works protected by copyright. The laws regarding how domain names and copyrights interact are fairly new, however, so there may eventually be changes to how these policies have been established. Domain names are typically protected by other systems, and in general a person can own a domain name but not in the same way that a copyrighted work is owned and protected. While you cannot copyright a domain name, you can still copyright the contents of an Internet website.

    A copyright protects an original artistic creation or work of art, such as a painting, written story, or computer software. Since a domain name is not an artistic creation, you cannot copyright a domain name, as it falls under a different form of intellectual property law. Similarly, you cannot copyright the name of a character in a story or even the name of the story or a book, band, song, or other artistic work. Copyrights only protect artistic works and creations, though you can potentially trademark a particular name for certain uses to afford some legal protections for use in business.

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    Registering Your Domain Name Does Not Protect Your Trademark

    This article deals with domain name registration and use in commerce requirements, generally. It is not legal advice on your individual situation and may not be relied on as legal advice. Each situation will be fact-specific and there is no one-size-fits-all advice. Contact an attorney to discuss your specific trademark.

    In todays digital age, most prospective business owners want an easy-to-remember-domain name. Because good domain names can be so scarce, you, as a prospective business owner, may think of a name, and immediately purchase the domain names. You may even make branding decisions based on the availability of that domain name. Despite what some business owners may think, trademark rights do not begin with a domain registration. While this may seem counter-intuitive at first, registering a domain name, without more, does not give business owners any trademark rights in that word or phrase against companies that use a similar name for similar goods or services after the domain name is registered.

    Business owners should file for trademark registrations as soon as possible and develop a strategy to effectively protect their trademarks.

    Corresponding With The Copyright Office

    7 Tips To Get A Great Deal Selling Your Unused Domain Name

    Business with the Copyright Office is normally done in writing. Address all correspondence to:

    Office of the Commissioner of Patents Copyright Office Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada Place du Portage IFax: 819-953-CIPO

    Visit our correspondence procedures page for more information.

    If you are enquiring about the status of a pending application, please provide the application number, name of the owner and title of the work. If you hire an agent, you should conduct all correspondence through that agent.

    The Copyright Office will respond to all general enquiries, but cannot:

    • advise you whether to file an application
    • tell you whether your copyright meets registration criteria prior to the filing of your application
    • advise you about possible infringement of copyright
    • provide any other legal advice

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    How Do I Copyright My Website And Get My Trademarks

    In the United States, creative works are protected by copyright law by default. Yes, youre still technically protected even if you dont proactively register the copyright.

    This means that whenever you create something unique, like a blog post, its automatically owned by you. However, this doesnt exactly mean you have any legal leverage if someone decides to steal your articles or logo.

    In fact, often all you can do without a registered copyright is send a cease and desist letter. But if you learn how to copyright a logo, and all of the other elements on your site, its much easier for you to collect compensation.

    In short, copyrights are best used for keeping your blog and articles protected. The same goes for photographs. When it comes to restricting other people from using your company name and logo, thats where trademarks come into play for further defense.

    Can I Trademark A Business Name

    Let’s say you have a great name for your business. Maybe you are thinking you should trademark that name. Before you consider trademarking it, you should:

    • Check the name with your state, to make sure no one else in the state is using it.
    • Then, if no one else has the name you want to use, register your business namewith your state. If you are forming a new business as a corporation, partnership, or LLC, your business name is registered automatically as part of the business registration.

    After all this, you might want to consider trademarking that name. However, not all business names have the ability to be trademarked. There are specific criteria for trademarking, and someone else may already be using the name.

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office explains that just because you have registered your business with a state doesn’t mean you have trademark rights. You should trademark your business name to make sure it isn’t confused with other trademarks.

    The cost of a trademark application is worth it to make sure no one else uses it.

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    Difficulties In Obtaining Trademark Law Protection

    A domain name cannot be protected as a trademark merely because it is your address on the Internet. In addition to using the name in commerce, it must be used in a way that distinguishes your goods or services from those of others. Distinctiveness is key. Trademarks can be inherently distinctive if they are famous, arbitrary, suggestive, fanciful, or names coined for the specific purpose of being trademarked . The root of the domain name should be unique. Names that use surnames, geographic areas or common descriptive terms are generally not trademarkable. or, for example, would likely not receive trademark protection. However, there have been limited instances where certain descriptive terms, when combined with the .com top-level domain, changed the generic nature of the combination and, thus, became eligible for trademark protection.

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