Domain name protection of international trademark


How strong / weak is owning a .com and / or other common domain extensions (.org, .net) as a means of protecting an international trademark? Assuming that the domain name does not infringe upon someone else's trademark in international territories (and if it does then counting out protection in that territory).

As a startup with relatively little cash, we are weighing the pros and cons of registering trademarks in international territories vs. simply (and possibly naively) owning a .COM.

Trademark Domain

asked Sep 9 '12 at 20:58
11 points

2 Answers


In the United States, registering and using a domain is a great way to establish trademark rights. In the US, you get common law trademark rights simply by using the mark. There are also additional advantages to registering a US mark that are listed here.

Trademark law is different in other countries. Some countries give you no or very few rights without a registration.

There is an international system for obtaining trademark rights in many countries called the Madrid system. Most startups do not do this unless their trademarks are very important to their business.

If trademarks are very important for you, consider the Madrid system or research what is required in the countries that are most important for you. If the US is the most important, then you should be able to get a US trademark for about a $1000.

answered Sep 10 '12 at 03:54
1,936 points
  • Thanks for the information. I will research the Madrid system. – Josh 9 years ago


I am not a lawyer, but I believe the domain name gives you zero protection against trademark claims. You need the actual trademark yourself.

Even better than my opinion would be asking a lawyer.

answered Sep 9 '12 at 23:21
Joel Friedlaender
5,007 points

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