Can You Trademark A Website Domain?
Simply put, yes, you can trademark a website domain name. The Internet has allowed not only large corporations to earn a profit via the instant access of the web, but it has also allowed thousands of small businesses to claim their share of the pie as well. You’ve worked hard to establish a market. And you don’t want someone making a profit off of your name or identity. One of the best ways of protecting your business identity is by trademarking your website domain name.
Why Trademark a Website Domain Name?
Trademarking a domain name offers you legal recourse against any entity that registers a similar domain name to yours. If someone steals your customers by utilizing a similar website domain name to sell similar goods or services, you may have strong legal grounds to take their domain name away from them if you have a federal trademark registration for your business name.
How do most people find things online? They use a search engine. And search engines are easily manipulated using search engine optimization techniques, so it’s not difficult for another entity to steer customers searching for you to a similarly named site. This can not only cost a business significant money, it can damage a reputation. What if your thieving competitor then rips off your client or gives them shabby goods or service, all while the client believes she is doing business with you? Registering your domain name can help mitigate such situations by providing you with federal trademark rights to the exclusive use of your business name. The cost of registering a trademark can be just a fraction of what the potential liability could be if you leave your business unprotected.
With a trademark protecting your website name, you have legal recourse to take action, should someone try to steal your business and website domain name online. If they manage to fool your customers you can potentially seek recourse for any damages in federal court and recoup your losses, and you can potentially have the infringing domain name transferred to your ownership. Accordingly, if your company relies on the Internet for profit, trademarking your domain name could be one of the wisest business decisions of all.
- Does a Trademark Registration Give You Rights To the Corresponding Domain Name?
- Can You Trademark a Username?
- Can You Trademark a Hashtag?
- Can You Trademark a Business Name?
- Domain Name Case Law [External Resource from Harvard.edu]
The Process for Trademarking a Domain