Having a website may be very important for the success of your business. With this, you may need to register a domain name, which is a unique name that is associated with an IP address. However, not every domain name may qualify for trademark protection. Continue reading to learn how you register a domain name trademark and how an experienced New Jersey domain name dispute lawyer at Ingber Law Firm can help you in doing so.
Does my domain name qualify as a trademark?
Since a trademark is usually a name or other device that is identifiable, generic domain names usually do not qualify for trademark registration. With that being said, a domain name must meet the following criteria for trademark registration:
- Your domain name is distinctive from competitors of the products or services you are selling.
- Your domain name earned its distinction from your consumers’ association with the products or services you are selling.
- You were the first one to use your domain name from the competitors of the products or services you are selling.
- You were the first one to associate the domain name with the products or services you are selling.
How can I register my domain name trademark?
Once you confirm that your domain name qualifies as a trademark, you may proceed with registering it. First, you must confirm the availability of the domain name by searching the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) website for the list of approved registrars. Then, you must confirm that your desired domain name is not a protected trademark of another company selling similar products or services.
After this, you must submit your trademark application with your contact information and the required fee. Soon after, you will, hopefully, have exclusive rights to use the domain address.
How can a conflict arise with my domain name trademark?
Just because you have earned these exclusive rights to a domain address does not necessarily mean that other parties are banned from using this name for their products or services. In other words, a domain name owner cannot necessarily prohibit a trademark owner from using the name, and vice versa. However, the following are circumstances in which prohibiting this may be warranted:
- If another company uses a domain name that is similar to a federally registered trademark and is engaged in a business that is selling similar products and services.
- If another company uses a domain name that is diluting or tarnishing the reputation of the famous federally registered trademark.
To avoid any conflict surrounding your domain name trademark, it may be in your best interest to seek legal counsel from a skilled Essex County, New Jersey intellectual property lawyer. Call us today.