What Do I Do If Someone Has Registered A Domain With My Trademark
You will need to follow the instructions outlined in ICANNs Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy . Consulting a lawyer may also be useful in ensuring your case is as strong as possible.
Note, however, that even though you own the trademark, a domain squatter will still likely fight to keep the domain, since it was purchased in the first place to make money. Getting the domain name may be expensive, but if you own the trademark , you have a good chance of getting the domain from the squatter. Really, it comes down to whether its worth the trouble.
Include Your Country/ City In The Domain Name
This is similar to option 2 and 3, and works if .com.au isnt available. This option works best if your business is going to stay national . If you find that your perfect URL is taken try and add au or aus to the domain name.
As well as this you could go even more local. For example if you were a cleaning business in Sydney, your domain name could be cleanerssydney. However, this does add potentially a barrier if you are looking to expand in the future.
It is important to think about the likelihood of business expansion or similar. If you include a geographic location, especially something as specific as a city, users are likely to think you only operate that area alone.
Change The Name Slightly
A domain name is reported as not available only if the exact name is already taken. For instance, if an availability search tells you that madprophet.com is already taken, you may find that “mad-prophet.com” or “madprophets.com” is available. If you are not wed to the exact form of your first proposed domain name, you can experiment with minor variations until you find an acceptable name that is available. But read the warning just below for reasons to use caution when taking this approach.
Slight Changes to a Name Can Spell Trouble
The fact that a slightly different name is available, or that a name is not available as .com, but is available as .net, .biz, .info or .org, doesn’t necessarily mean that you can or should use it. Using a domain name very similar to an existing one may result in trademark infringement — the violation of someone’s trademark rights. If you infringe someone’s trademark, a court might order you to stop using the name and pay money damages to the other domain name owner. For more, see Avoid Trademark Infringement When You Choose a Domain Name.
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Purchase Your Domain Name And Complete Its Registration
Once you settle on a domain name, its time to purchase it. When you buy through Mailchimp, well let you know the annual cost of the domain name as well as any available discounts.
During the checkout process, youll be required to enter your contact information, including an email address, to register the domain.
What Is The Domain Aftermarket And How Does It Work:
The domain aftermarket is an online marketplace for domain names. The most usual ways to secure a domain via the aftermarket include:
Expired domains or expiring domains:
Buy an expired domain, which is one that existing owners dont renew. This is a great way to pick up an ideal domain name as domain names expire every day.
Domains need to be renewed regularly, and owners may choose not to renew them for various reasons. By monitoring for domains that may potentially drop, you have a proven way to pick up desirable domains, including the one you are chasing.
For sale by owner:
In some cases, you can buy directly from the owner or through a domain broker, a domain investor or an auction site that specialises in listing domains. If you choose this option, take measures to ensure a smooth financial transaction and domain transfer.
There are several domain aftermarket providers available. Check them out and read their reviews before you start trying to secure your preferred domain. Often, the domain aftermarket will allow you to create an alert that will automatically send you an email whenever the domain name you are searching for becomes available.
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Should Domain Names And Social Media Usernames Be The Same
Domain names and usernames dont have to match, but many people make them similar. Its easier to remember for both the website owner, employees, and customers if both are similar.
However, having a matching domain and usernames isnt always possible. Availability will dictate whats possible. The best chance to make a domain name and usernames match is to set them all up at once and conduct a domain name search and a username search at the same time.
Offer To Buy The Domain Name From Its Current Owner
If your top choice domain name is already taken, you can offer to buy the website domain.
Pros: You get exactly what you want.
Cons: Your dream domain name might not be for sale, it might cost more than you can afford, and youll have to do some research.
This is the most time-consuming and costly way to solve your domain name problem. That said, if youve already invested heavily in branding that relates to the domain name you wantfor example, if you own an established local business and want to add a websitethe effort and expense might be worth it.
First, youll need to find out who owns the domain name you want. If the website is live, is there contact information listed directly on the website? If theres contact information on the site, thats the easiest way to reach out. If not, you can check the WHOIS registry. However, the domain owner may have privacy enabled, and you wont find their contact information.
Sometimes the domain you want is both privacy-protected on WHOIS and lacks a contact form on the site. In those cases, or if you just want to save time looking up the site owner, you can use a domain name broker service like Sedo to make an offer for the domain name you want. Be prepared to negotiate if the owner is interested in selling.
Once you complete the purchase, youll need to register the domain as your own and transfer it to your web hosting service.
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When To Use A Domain Broker
By using a domain broker, you are able to conceal your identity, which can help provide leverage in the negotiation. For example, if a domain investor is approached by ABC Co. to purchase a domain name and after a quick search the investor finds that ABC Co. has $100 million in annual revenue chances are the price will go up. Another challenge is trying to negotiate a domain name sale on your own without giving away your identity. Unfortunately, an email that says: To Whom It May Concern, I have a surprise sum of money Im willing to offer you but Im not willing to let you know who I am! sounds a lot like a phishing email and may be ignored.
Get More Local Support With City
Believe it or not, .nyc is one of the most popular domain extensions in the Internet. If your business relies on a local customer base, using this type of extension can actually give you a boost in search results if people in that city are searching for your type of business. Aside from improving the quality of search, having a city-based TLD can also encourage individuals to act locally. Its a chance for small to medium enterprises to promote camaraderie and community spirit. Furthermore, it signals that you are a local business, thus, making potential buyers feel as if it is easier to make a purchase from you. City-based TLDs offer high value, top quality and genuine identity online.
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Resolving A Domain Dispute With A Uniform Domain
Another common legal action to resolve domain disputes is by filing a UDRP complaint. UDRP stands for Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy. It is a process established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers for resolving disputes over internet domain name registrations. A copy of the UDRP can be found at ICANNs resources page.
The UDRP dispute process is a private arbitration proceeding. It is similar to a lawsuit, but instead of a judge or jury, there is a panel of one or three arbitrators. Other differences include the streamlining of the litigation process, such as less formal rules and procedures concerning discovery and the admissibility of evidence.
A UDRP dispute process starts when notice of the UDRP dispute is sent to the respondent . Almost all domain registrars require domain name registrants to agree to use the UDRP dispute process in their terms of service. But this is only binding on the registrant, not the victim of cybersquatting. In some cases, this can be an advantage for you, especially if the registrant is overseas or beyond the reach of a local courts jurisdiction.
After the parties are notified and a complaint is filed, the respondent can file a response brief. Then the complainant can file a reply brief responding to the registrants arguments. After that, a panel hears the arguments from each side.
In a UDRP dispute, as the plaintiff, you will always need to show:
Services Overview And Comparison
GoDaddy is one of the most popular domain registration services. GoDaddy is very easy to use due to a large number of video tutorials available on its official YouTube channel. For example, you can watch a step-by-step domain name registration guide on GoDaddy here. Users of all levels are able to easily register domains on GoDaddy.
GoDaddy provides hosting services with unlimited storage and traffic, as well as MySQL database support. GoDaddy provides a website builder and a one-click installation.
GoDaddy features the largest domain name auctions.
- Long waiting time on phone tech support
- Cannot change themes without losing content
- Users with little experience and simple projects
Excellent service, it also offers domain registration services along with hosting. Even beginner users can get support using detailed video tutorials for all occasions on its official YouTube channel. For instance, this guide helps you quickly navigate and begin domain registration on Bluehost. Bluehost is designed so that all users can quickly view the demo and understand Bluehost domains and how its services work. Bluehost has a simple and intuitive navigation system, and you can easily configure your email and hosting settings in one click.
- Convenience and ease of use
- 24/7 tech support
- Short-term cooperation is not the cheapest
- Lack of tech support by phone
- Beginner users and professionals
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Do You Know What Com Actually Stands For I Didnt
Though the .com is the most sought after domain extension it doesnt have any impact on any technical details regarding your site. Historically, the .com stands for a website meant for commercial intent or commercial enterprise.
The next most popular extension is the .org which historically means non-profit organization. After that you have .net which means net infrastructure such as Comcast, or Cox and then you have .mil which is military, .gov which is government and lastly .edu which is education.
See If You Can Purchase It
This is clearly the most obvious option. And if you love your domain name this needs to be your first option. However, keep in mind that you may not be able to purchase. But you will never know if you dont try so make sure you look in to it.
Another issue with this option is that if you do have the option to purchase it, you may not have the cash to do so. However, there are some circumstances in which you may be able to purchase a domain name for a cheaper price. For example, if the current owner isnt using it.
If you find yourself in this situation you should get in touch with the site owner. But how do you find the site owner? Well, lucky for you there is a tool for that! Try inputting your desired URL into Whois. Its free to use and it clearly shows whether your URL is available or not. If not, it also offers some suggestions for similar names. Here is a screenshot of results when SEO Shark is searched:
This tool explains that the domain name SEO Shark is not available . However, it gives options of similar names, as well as this you can click Whois to find out more details about the owner of the website. Unfortunately SEO Shark is not going to sell its domain name!
If I Already Have A Com Should I Consider Other Domain Name Extensions
Even if youve been in business for a while and already have a .com domain, its a good idea to purchase alternative domain extensions for your business name. Domain experts actually recommend purchasing multiple extensions! By claiming as many domains associated with your brand as possible, you not only ensure that your customers find you easily online, you also help protect your brand and its reputation from domain trolls and cybersquatters.
With more than one domain, you can use web forwarding to point your visitors to other online destinations associated with your business, such as social media accounts. This broadens your web presence and gives your customers more opportunity to explore your business.
If you need help finding similar domain matches for your current domain name, you can try out our free website grader tool and it will automatically churn out similar domain names that will benefit your brand online. Not only that, you get a full report on how your website is working for you. If you need more help evaluating the free report generated for your business, you can always call the Web.com support team at 800-862-8921and they will be more than happy to help you with your domain questions.
Should You Go With A Domain Extension Other Than Com
As you create a brandable domain name, youll probably notice that you have more choices if you go with an extension other than .com. There are dozens of other extensions or top-level domains as theyre also called, like .net, .org, .biz, and .xyz.
Your new domain can have a different extension, but its not advised. Most people, especially those in the U.S. are used to a .com domain. If you use another one, you could lose potential website traffic or hinder your SEO.
If you have time to educate customers and spend a little more on marketing, using a different extension might be an option for you. There are even specialty extensions available if youre interested. However, if you decide to go outside of the .com world, the next two popular extensions are .net and .org. Consider trying those.
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What If I Still Want The Domain
As you might have guessed from the process outlined above, there are a few options for reclaiming an expired domain name.
At that point, you can either renew the domain name , redeem the domain name , take your chances with the auction house, or purchase a backorder. Without a doubt, the safest route is to either renew your domain name immediately or pay to have it redeemed.
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Couldnt I Just Get A Username On A Big Web Platform
Having your own domain name, even if its not perfect, is a far better option than building your online presence on top of another services URL, e.g. yourshop.shopify.com or facebook.com/yourcompany. This practice of building your brand, service, or web presence on another organizations platform is an example of sharecropping, and can be problematic for a number of reasons.
With this sharecropping setup, the platform youre hosted on:
- controls how your presence can look or function .
- can change services or raise rates, leaving you little recourse, since not accepting/paying could mean losing your site.
- can control how much exposure you get. Thereve been lots of articles about issues with brands on Facebook getting ever-lessening exposure of their content to their fans if they dont pay for advertising.
- can limit your access to analytics, making it hard to know how large your audience is, what theyre doing on your site, or where theyre engaging when theyre there.
- can simply take your site offline without much notice, explanation or recourse if you are deemed to have violated terms of service or other issues. It can take a lot of time and frustration to get these issues sorted out, and all the while your site is unavailable to anyone.
You can always switch domains later, but its a good idea to start with a web address you control while you build up your search engine visibility.
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Wait For The Registration To Expire
If the domain you want is actively being used by the owner, its registry expiration date wont matterthe owner will almost definitely renew the registration. However, if its a parked domain, you might be able to swoop in and buy it right after the current registration expires.
The WHOIS database is where you can find out the expiration date. If its not long from now, you could shelve your domain name decision until you find out if the one thats about to expire is getable.
You can time the domain purchase attempt yourself, or you can pay a domain backordering service to handle it. Companies like NameJet have processes in place that let them automate an attempt to acquire the domain, so it occurs as close to the expiration date as possible.
You can never know the owners plans for the domain. The reasons for parking a domain can change over time a formerly important domain name might lose its value to the owner, compelling them to release it as soon as the current registration expires.
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees when youre waiting out a domain expiration. As with most of the approaches that involve doggedly pursuing your first-choice domain name, your mantra should be, Hey, its worth a shot!