name registration and copyright infringement
Domain name registration and copyright infringement
A very important question arises in the early stages of development
of a web site - what would be the most appropriate domain name?
Domain names are representative of the address for a web site, and
there is a rising trend of incidents of disputes over domain name
registration with increased usage of Internet.
There are numerous factors that have led to a crisis of domain
registration disputes and this, in turn, has led to a rapid increase
in the reported cases of infringement of domain names. Several companies
have taken legal action against other companies or individuals over
alleged copyright violation on the domain names.
There are some basics that you should understand before
choosing a domain name registration:
1. Use of two similar trademarks should not confuse customers about
the products or services.
2. If there is a legal conflict over use of similar trademarks,
the first user is likely to win the case.
3. The later user would to give up his claim if he cannot proves
his point and may have to pay the first owner damages.
You should apply these principles to your domain registration
1. The best method to avoid conflict of trademarks is to search
the trademark database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at
www.uspto.gov. It provides you with all registered and pending trademarks.
Try to search for your proposed trademark as well as other similar
names and variant spellings. 2. You must be able to justify your
reason for using the name. Your domain registration should principally
consist of a name you are using as a trade name, trademark or corporate
3. It is better to select more than one name since you are not
sure about the availability of the required domain name.
If on searching for the desired domain name, you find that the
name has already been registered but there is no content being displayed
at the domain, try to find out the details of the owner of the domain
registration. It is possible that he/she may be genuine and have
yet not published any content.
But it is equally possible that the owner does not plan to develop
a web site and is willing to give you the domain at the original
price. You must confirm that the seller has ownership rights for
that particular domain name registration.
The regulations governing copyright issues for domain names are
governed by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
It is very likely that you would lose right of your domain name
registration if you have intentionally chosen a name similar to
another domain name so as to confuse potential visitors to the site.
For example, if your site deals in consumer electronics goods made
by a Samsung competitor, do not choose the name "samsungbusiness.com"
since a court is most likely to pass a verdict that you selected
this name to divert attention of Samsung customers.
There could be others reasons of losing a domain registration:
1. You have never carried out any business under that name 2. There
is no person in your company similar to that name 3. You are planning
to sell that domain name to your competitor for financial gain.
If your domain name is same as your name then you may be allowed
to continue to use it, despite of the fact that it is similar to
someone else's domain name. But the usage of such a name is governed
by certain condition set by court. For example, Mr. Suki Nokia,
who runs a cosmetics business, may be allowed to use the domain
name "nokia.kr" but he would barred from using his site
to demonstrate any electronics-related information or advertising.
A very useful tip to buy all three of the top level domains - .com,
.net and .org. You should buy all possible misspellings of your
domain name before anybody else takes advantage of this fact.
If on searching, you find similar names, ask yourself the
1. Will the products/services on your site compete with the products/services
on similar domain names?
2. Will your distribution channels for products be same for products
being sold under the similar domain names?
3. Will your site distract business away from the site with the
4. Is the other name quite famous?
If you get negative answers to all these questions, you can feel
confident to go ahead with your domain name registration without
any worry of a legal hassle.
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