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How To Trademark A Domain Name

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Applicants Response Fails To Overcome All Objections

Trademark and Domain Name: How To Deal With Cybersquatters | You Ask, Andrei Answers

If your response does not overcome all objections, the examining attorney will issue a final refusal office action. If you disagree with the final refusal, you may, for an additional fee, appeal the decision to the TTAB.

It is critical that you maintain and update your address, including your email address.

Inactive Websites And Cybersquatting

What if there isnt a company actively using the PHILOSOPHYPROGRAMS.COM domain? What if the website is merely inactive, with just a generic landing page or a holding page? Since no one is actively using the domain, it might seem as though you have a claim to it.

In a few cases, you might. But unless you can prove a bad faith registration, you might not have any claim at all to that domain name. If you want to use it for your business, youll have to acquire it from the current owner.

What about cybersquatting? The intricacies of cybersquatting confuse many people. The practice was much more widespread in the internets early days, when companies didnt realize its necessity. Opportunities for cybersquatting are far fewer today.

The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act does provide trademark owners with some rights when dealing with bad-faith registrations. That is, the owner of the PHILOSOPHY PROGRAMS trademark must prove that someone else registered PHILOSOPHYPROGRAMS.COM after the owner of PHILOSOPHY PROGRAMS filed a federal trademark application or otherwise possessed a distinctive and recognizable common law trademark. Even at that point, the trademark owner has further burdens of proof.

Functions Of A Domain Name And A Trademark

A Domain Name is a quite user-friendly form of an InternetProtocol address the technical IP address of this beinginvisible to the viewers. Addresses to the Internet Web Servers areassigned and managed through the Domain Name System , theglobally distributed internet database administered by ICANN. Anexample of a domain name is “inta.org”. The name portionof a domain name is called as the Second-Level Name,and this unique and scintillating name is to be created or selectedby the domain name applicant. The end portion of a domain name is termed as the Top-Level Domain and is further classified into the categories of the GenericTop-Level Domains and the Country-Code Top-Level Domains. Some of the most common and popular categories of thetop-level domains are .com .org .gov .net .in etc.

Generally, a domain name performs the same functions online,which a trademark serves in the offline business dealings andtransactions. While the trademark is striking graphic signifier ofyour product or company, the domain name is magnificent navigatorto your company on the internet, and the virtual image of yourbusiness. Duly registered and protected trademark and domain namecan offer the following main benefits: —

  • A trademark or service mark promotes and protects your brandname, while a registered and protected domain name provides youprotection against any unauthorized use of your domain name by anyperson or entity.

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Uspto Reviews Statement Of Use

A statement of use must meet minimum filing requirements before an examining attorney fully reviews it. If the SOU does meet the minimum filing requirements, then the examining attorney reviews it to determine whether it is acceptable to permit registration. Submission of an SOU does not guarantee registration. You may not withdraw the SOU and the filing fee will not be refunded, even if the SOU/application is later refused registration on legal grounds. If no refusals or additional requirements are identified, the examining attorney approves the SOU.

If refusals or requirements must still be satisfied, the examining attorney issues you a letter stating the refusals/requirements. This is the same process that occurs prior to publication of the mark if the examining attorney determines that legal requirements must be met. The process and timeframes remain the same, except that if issues are ultimately resolved and the statement of use is approved, the USPTO issues a registration within approximately two months. If all issues are not resolved, the application will abandon.

Domain Name Registration Is Not By Itself A Commercial Use Or Trademark Use

Registering Your Domain Name Does Not Protect Your Trademark

All of this is to say that domain name registration, by itself, does not hit any of the best practices listed above. Registering a domain name does not connect it to specific goods and services. It doesnt offer anything for sale or allow a customer to purchase your products.

The Trademark Manual of Examination Procedure states that:

When a mark appears in the computer browser area as part of the URL, Internet address, or domain name of the website that houses the web page, consumers generally do not recognize this as trademark use. Instead, this use merely identifies the Internet location of the website where business is conducted and goods or services are offered. See, e.g., In re Roberts, 87 USPQ2d 1474, 1479-80 In re Supply Guys, Inc., 86 USPQ2d 1488, 1493 In re Eilberg, 49 USPQ2d 1955, 1956 . Similarly, the use of the mark embedded in an e-mail address would be viewed as part of the website address where applicant may be contacted, rather than as a trademark.

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Figure Out The Type Of Trademark

The first step that you need to do is to find a brand name for your business.

To ensure that your trademark fits on the US Patent & Trademark Office . The trademark must be non-intuitive, which means there should be no double meaning for the trademark.

The USPTO divides marks into four categories that will determine the strength of your trademark. From weaker to the strongest, youll in which category your trademark will exist.

Preparing your name for a trademark.

  • Fancy Trademarks

This is the most reliable type of trademark. There is an insignificant chance that a company or an individual will use this trademark. This comprises of made-up words and also words that are not associated with any product or business. For instance, if you have a shoe company, Brontox can be a unique name that you can use. It is fancy and unique at the same time, and there is no chance that anyone will be using this type of name.

  • Suggestive

As the name itself suggests, this kind of trademark is used to describe specific traits of the service or the product. The trademark type is not as strong as a fancy trademark, but still, you can get suggestive mark easily as it will be relevant to your business. A good example might be using Bright & Soft as a tagline for a t-shirt company.

  • Descriptive

  • Generic

Trademark Protection For Domain Names

Domains fall under the name trademark category, but its exclusively for online use, similar to usernames.

A domain consists of two partsa secondary-level domain and a top-level domain , with the former being the unique part and the latter an identification string . When you trademark a domain, you will register both parts as a whole.

You can freely register any unrestricted TLDs, which exclude country code domains and sponsored TLDs. Check out the following table for all restrictions to domain trademarks:

Restriction Type
  • .post
Generic SLDs Your domain has to include your business name or be specific in a different way. You cant obtain a trademark for a generic website, like shirts.com
Similarity to an existing trademark If you want to trademark a website, say facebook.info, you will need to prove you have no correlation with Facebook and your business is about something completely different. Even then, it will be difficult to get it because of the dilution of reputation of an established brand

One of the main reasons companies choose to take out a trademark on their domain name is cybersquatting. Cybersquatters intentionally use misspelled domains to con customers into believing they are you and profit off of it. An example of cybersquatting would be amazzon.com.

A trademark allows you to sue such website owners easily.

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Can You Trademark A Domain Name

Your domain name may be an essential part of your brand. Among the millions of domain names out there, it can be difficult to establish your web address as part of your business identity. In simplest terms, a domain name is your website name and the unique address where Internet users can access your website. This web address may be the same as your company name, or it may not be. Either way, you may be looking for ways to protect your domain name as part of your brandand trademarking your Internet domain is one way of doing so.

Register A Domain Name Trademark

If You Own Your Domain Name Do You Also Own Your Trademark?

Registration to trademark a domain name usually involves:

  • A preliminary search of existing trade-marks
  • An application
  • An examination of your application by the Trade-marks Office
  • Publishing of the application in the Trade-marks Journal
  • Time for opposition to the application and
  • Allowance and registration .
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    Can You Register A Domain Name As Trademark

    Archi Bhatia,

    The domain names of the companies are not merely representing the websites but also attain the status of the business identifier. But all domain name cannot be registered as trademarks.

    A domain is a URL associated with an IP address which gives an online identity. For example, “Quickcompany.in” is a domain name. ‘Quickcompany’ is the unique name and ‘.in’ is the suffix. The numerous common suffixes including:

    • .org – Nonprofits

    Trademarks And Domain Names: Everything You Need To Know

    Trademarks are your primary identifying feature when conducting business. 3 min read

    Trademarks are your primary identifying feature when conducting business. A trademark could be a logo or a phrase, but whatever it is, it is uniquely yours. No one else can make use of your trademark under penalty of law. A domain name is your location online. This is a web address where visitors can see everything your business has to offer. It is the center of your online presence.

    Both can only be registered for a limited amount of time. Trademarks expire after ten years unless you choose to renew them for another ten years. Meanwhile, domain names last for an amount of time agreed upon between the registrant and the registrar and are also subject to renewal.

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    How Can I Find Out Whether A Trademark I Want To Use As A Domain Name Is Already Being Used

    Because so much business is now being done online, most people will want to be able to use their proposed trademark as a domain name so that their customers can easily locate them on the Web.

    The easiest way is to check if a domain name is available is at one of the dozens of online companies that have been approved to register domain names. A listing of these registrars can be accessed at either the InterNIC site or at the ICANN site. ICANN is the organization that oversees the process of approving domain name registrars. Every registrar provides a searching system to determine if a domain name is available. Type in the domain name choice and the registrar will determine if it is available.

    If you find that a domain name is already taken, it’s possible to locate information about the owner of the domain name. A simple way to check ownership is to use Whois.net. Type in the domain name, and the website provides the contact information supplied by the domain name registrant.

    Beware that some registrants, especially those acting in bad faith, may supply false information about domain name ownership and in these cases, there’s not much that can be done to track down the domain name holder.

    How To Enforce Your Rights In Domain Name Disputes

    How To Check Domain Name Trademark Online

    If you have already approached the registrant of the problematic domain name and they are not willing to stop using it, then there are two main avenues you can pursue: arbitration or litigation. Arbitration is generally the more time- and cost-efficient option. However, it has downsides namely, the complainant is not able to recover monetary damages. The only remedies that arbitration can provide are a transfer of the domain or cancellation of the registrant’s registration. If you want anything other than one of those two things, then you must commence legal proceedings.

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    Registered Trademark Vs Unregistered Trademark

    When you register your trademark, you get the sole right to use the mark across Canada for 10 years. You can renew your trademark every 10 years after that.

    A registered trademark is one that has been entered in the Register of Trademarks. The certificate of registration is direct evidence that you own the trademark.

    You do not have to register your trademark by using a trademark for a certain length of time, you may have rights under common law. However, if you use an unregistered trademark and end up in a dispute, you could be looking at a long, expensive legal battle over who has the right to use it. If you fail to actually use the mark for a long time, your registration may be taken off of the Register of Trademarks, which will make it more difficult to prove legal ownership of the trademark.

    Read about how to register trademarks outside of Canada later in this Guide.

    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.

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    Avoid Numbers And Hyphens

    Imagine asking your 10 friends to spell or pronounce a domain name filled with numbers and dashes. It won deoxythymidine monophosphate work .If you choose a knowledge domain name with these elements, you re likely going to lose traffic to people who can triiodothyronine remember your world or efficaciously tell person else how to find it. We credibly wouldn t have Facebook today if you had to go to Face-Book.com to reach the site .

    Your Next Steps: After Youve Claimed A Business Name

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

    Once youve claimed your name, you need to start using it. Next, we will talk about the practical steps you need to take after renaming an existing business, or naming a new business. This will include information about legal steps to take, design, marketing, and launching your new brand or rebranded business. Stay tuned for this post! so you dont miss it.

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