Generalistic-sounding COM domain available. Any trademark/patent issues?


I've been doing choosing of an appropriate domain name for my upcoming startup and I've identified a bunch of potentially usable names. They are available on COM. But! They are rather generalistic sounding combinations of two words. I've googled for them and it seems there is no place or a company by that name but these groups of words have been in use worldwide, not to identify a particular good or service but to creatively describe them.

Does that all pose a problem with trademarks, patents, brands etc.?

I assume that if nobody registered the name yet, then nobody wants it.

Any thoughts?

Trademark Domain

asked Jan 26 '12 at 21:41
6 points

2 Answers


You say:

I assume that if nobody registered the name yet, then nobody wants it.

While it is true that virtually all words in the dictionary have been registered as domain names, you should never assume that all the great names have been taken; as they say "Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then". Sometimes you just get lucky!

They are rather generalistic sounding combinations of two words

You have Googled the phrase, which is great. You should do a trademark search on the US government website of the Patent & Trademark office.

Actually you may have found a great domain name, and here is the reason. Under trademark law a distinction is made between a strong mark and a weak mark (Google the terms). A descriptive mark is one which describes your product but which can generally not be registered as a trademark. Examples would be car wash, new car, quality printing, big game and rock music. While one could probably not trademark these, I think you will agree that they could be quite valuable as domain names.

answered Jan 27 '12 at 00:21
Jonny Boats
4,848 points


Owning a .com in itself isn't trademark infringement, however just because the .com domain isn't registered, does not mean that the words are not trademarked.

A good place to start would be the US trademark database:

answered Jan 26 '12 at 22:12
Nick Stevens
4,436 points

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Trademark Domain