How to Trademark a Domain Name2nd November, 2021
Every business should be thinking about ways to protect itself from cybersquatting and typosquatting. While it is not always possible to prevent attempts by unscrupulous individuals and entities to steal business from you through acts of cybersquatting, typosquatting, and forms of internet theft, you should consider trademarking your domain name so that you can more easily take action if your business does experience theft. How can you trademark your domain name? A domain name lawyer at our firm can explain the importance of trademarking a domain name and how to do it.
Why Should You Trademark a Domain Name?
Before you learn about the process of trademarking a domain name, it is critical to understand the importance of a trademark for a business’s domain name. Domain names frequently include distinctive words or phrases associated with the business or descriptive terms that refer uniquely to the goods or services the business provides. As such, by trademarking your company’s domain name, you can more easily take legal action if another entity attempts to steal business from you by creating a variation on your domain name or a domain name that is easily confused with yours.
Consider the retail company Target, with the accompanying domain name “target.com,” as an example for understanding the reasons for trademarking a domain name. There are many ways in which a person or entity might try to take business from Target or use the fact that customers are visiting the company’s website in order to benefit. For instance, someone might set up the domain name “target.net,” attempting to lure away internet traffic from Target’s website. Or, someone might create the domain “targetstore.com” for a similar purpose, or with the intention of trying to sell it back to Target at a profit. These are examples of cybersquatting. Yet having a trademarked domain name can make it much easier to stop another entity from attempting to profit from a known business name.
Process for Trademarking a Domain Name
In order to trademark your domain name, you will need to take the following steps, and a domain attorney can help:
- Conduct a trademark search on the website for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to ensure that your planned domain name does not conflict with an existing trademark;
- File an application with the USPTO to have your domain name trademarked, another step in the process where a domain lawyer can help; and
- Wait while your trademark application is reviewed (which may take several months).
To have your domain name trademarked by the USPTO, you will need to show that the domain name is connected to your company through a word or phrase within the domain. Your domain name attorney can explain how this works and can review the domain name you are planning to have trademarked.
Contact Our Domain Attorneys
If you have questions about having your domain name trademarked, you should seek advice from the best domain broker about protecting your business. Our firm can assist you with the trademark process from start to finish. Contact ESQWire today to learn more about how we can assist you.