The 3-minute answer
What if someone buys a domain name or URL for my trademark?
What do you do? Do you stand a chance of getting the domain name through a trademark infringement case?
Well, like with most trademark disputes, there are a lot of grey areas to consider.
So, join us by reading this post as we explore more on trademark laws and domain names. In this post, we will look at some of the things you can do if someone registers a domain name for a brand you had already filed a trademark for.
Let’s get started!
First things first
Before we even talk about what you need to do, we always encourage new entrepreneurs to register their domain names before they file for a trademark. It’s wise to lock in your domain name or URL first since they are fairly inexpensive before you embark on a much expensive and laborious trademark registration process. The last thing you want is to get a trademark for a URL that is already taken, right?
But what if you forgot? Or maybe someone registered a slight variation of your URL after you registered your trademark?
Well, your next course of action will depend on a few things. We’ve listed them below.
When did they buy the domain? Did they buy the domain name after you registered your trademark? If the answer is yes, then you can sue them if you have enough evidence to prove your case.
But if they bought the domain before you registered the trademark, then you might hard time proving their intent was to infringing your trademark.
Typically if someone buys a domain name and does nothing with it or uses it for something unrelated to your brand name or company then you’ll have a hard time proving they are infringing on your trademark.
So if someone else happens to have your domain name, ask yourself:
If the answer to these questions is yes, then there’s an opportunity for a legal challenge.
So if someone has reached out to you with the intent of selling a domain name to you, then that might be a clear indication that they registered that domain name with the sole intent of selling it to you.
If that’s the case, you have two primary options:
To ensure that your company’s chosen or desired domain name is not purchased by someone else, make sure you or your attorney performs a comprehensive domain name search (including names of similar domains). This will help you ensure that no one has your domain name or a similar domain name that might cause confusion for your customers or cause a trademark dispute in the future.
If you have any questions on this topic or any other topic reach out to us at miller IP law will be happy to strategize and talk about it. Good luck with your business!
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Miller IP Law is a group of attorney's, based out of Mountain Green, Utah, who are excited to help you build your business and further innovate market places and economies. Please consider looking at our services, billed at flat rate, and be sure to grab a free strategy session to meet with us!
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About the Firm...
Miller IP Law is a firm that focuses on small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs/solopreneurs. We’re easy to use. We offer affordable pricing that’s transparent and flat-rate. We focus on the little guys who actually need our help. If you’d like an attorney on your team, simply schedule a Zoom call, and we’ll take care of the rest.
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