Trademark for Domain Name


2

I am currently in the process of building a website and would like to know how I can register a trademark for the name of my website (to avoid possible problems with the competition).

What I am looking for is a step-by-step guide on how to register a trademark for my website and also some concise explanations on what registering a trademark really means and what it does and doesn't do to protect the name of my website. Additionally, I would like to know what countries people usually register their websites in?

I do not currently have a company and if I founded one then it's name would be different from the name of the website. Can I register a trademark without having a company?

Update:
I have already registered the domain name. I am asking how to trademark it.

Trademark Domain

asked Apr 10 '12 at 06:53
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Ben
136 points
  • Find a copyright attorney - the procedure can be rather complicated. – Dnbrv 9 years ago
  • @dnbrv **Trademark, not copyright.** Not trying to be mean, just thought I'd point that out to you. – Annonomus Person 8 years ago

2 Answers


3

(1) Don't confuse registering a domain name with registering a trademark. A domain name is just a website address that people use to find you (e.g. "www.delta.com"). A trademark is a mark that you use in connection with the sale of goods or services and gives you the right to sue people if they use a mark which is confusingly similar. (e.g. "Delta Airlines").

(2) Step-by-step Guide: http://inventorspot.com/trademark_application_1 That's how you do it in the US. Other countries will be different.

(3) Once you register your website, it's good globally. But, I think you're asking about registering a trademark.

That's done country-by-country and is generally done only in the countries in which you are conducting business using the mark or intend to do so within the next few years. The process for overseas trademark applications varies by country. If you really want to do this, find a US law firm that associates with overseas trademark attorneys.

(4) Yes, you can register a trademark without having a company. You would then transfer the mark over to the company once it's created. Probably easiest to form the company first, though.

Note that getting a trademark registered can get complicated if the US Patent and Trademark Office decides that it's too close to somebody else's mark.

answered Apr 10 '12 at 07:05
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Chris Fulmer
2,849 points
  • Thank you for your answer. (1) I already registered the domain name. What I would like to do now is keep others from using my domain name for their own businesses and avoid being sued. (3) I currently live in the UK, but the website is intended to be used worldwide and I expect the competition to be mostly US-based. So where do I register? And most importantly, how much does it cost? – Ben 9 years ago
  • If you registered the domain name, then it's yours; no way for others to use it. Registering the trademark in the US will run you $275 if you do it yourself. – Chris Fulmer 9 years ago

3

Couple points I would add:

  • The fastest thing to do to avoid other people using your domain name / business name is to buy up likely variants to keep them out of other people's hands. So if you own the .com, buy also the .net, .org and .co.uk, etc. These will immediately make it much more difficult for others to operate using your same name regardless of whether you've got trademarks or not. There are increasingly zillions of TLD variants, but so concentrate on buying a few of the more popular ones in the countries you expect to operate.
  • Trademarks are good, but I would try to avoid spending too many hours / $$ trying to trademark early on, especially if you are talking about multiple countries. Trademarks don't really help you very much if you've not got an established thing to protect. Founders often have an overdeveloped paranoia that their idea will be copied the microsecond the idea leaks out. The likelihood is it won't. Instead, you are likely to have considerable time to protect it as the business ramps up. It's also important to recognize that if you don't have a viable business, the trademarks aren't really going to protect you. Successful execution is the most effective protection there is. If your idea is compelling, but your business is weak, competitors will swarm over and around you and kill you off no matter how many trademarks you have - all they need is a different name since the trademark isn't actually going to protect the business concept per se.
answered Apr 11 '12 at 06:24
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Jlk3
339 points

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