Domain Name Disputes & Brand Protection Strategies
A professional website can be a useful tool for marketing, remote sales transactions and communications. But domain name disputes can affect your brand reputation and your profit potential.
The experienced attorneys at Peacock Myers, P.C. can help you strategize domain name/online branding protection and prevent and resolve domain name disputes.
Understanding Domain Names
Domain names provide a unique Internet location identifier. They comprise a generic top level domain (gTLD) suffix, such as .com, .org, .net and .edu (e.g., PeacockLaw.com). To ensure domains are unique, they must be registered with a registrar authorized by the Internet Committee for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Registrars maintain a database of registered domain names, which you should search to ensure that a desired domain name is available before proceeding with the registration process.
Types of Domain Name Disputes
Trademark law prohibits the use of domain names that are likely or intended to cause brand confusion among consumers. Although no two domain names may be identical, similar sounding or looking domain names may constitute trademark infringement. Disputes may arise as a result of:
Typosquatting—registering a domain name with a common or likely misspelling of another domain name.
Cybersquatting—registering a similar domain name, often with a different gTLD suffix.
Typosquatters and cybersquatters may offer to re-sell the misspelled/similar domain name to the owner of the correctly spelled/authoritative domain name at a higher price.
Steps to Minimize Domain Name Disputes
There are steps you can take to help prevent domain name disputes:
- Register domain names similar to the domain you intend to use
The attorneys at Peacock Myers, P.C. can advise you on “peripheral” domain names, including common misspellings, to register to best protect your brand.
- Protect your domain name with a registered trademark
Your lawyer will can file a trademark application in tandem with your domain name registration, providing brand protection while the trademark registration is being processed.
- Register your trademarked domain name with the Trademark Clearinghouse
The Trademark Clearinghouse is part of the new gTLD system. When registered with this entity, trademark holders will be automatically notified of attempted registrations that may constitute trademark infringement. The Clearinghouse will also notify registrants of unavailable domain names.
In the event of domain name disputes, ICANN stipulates that parties resolve the issue through binding arbitration. If the domain name dispute entails trademark infringement (as defined in the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act), other intellectual property litigation options, including trial, may be available.
Protect Your Online Reputation
The lawyers at Peacock Myers, P.C. can help you protect your online brand reputation from accidental or malicious threats. As a full-service intellectual property law firm, we help you develop a global branding strategy and build your IP protection portfolio. Our attorneys can help you acquire the domain names, registered trademarks, etc. to successfully leverage your Internet marketing tools.
If you want to prevent domain name disputes or need help addressing trademark infringement, contact Peacock Myers, P.C.
The attorneys at Peacock Myers, P.C. can help you prevent and resolve domain name disputes.
Call 877-998-1506 to speak to a trademark lawyer.
New Mexico’s Largest Intellectual Property Firm