Reserving a domain name which features your business name or brand is critical to trading or marketing your goods or services online since it is the name that people use to find a website; for example, our domain name is insigniatrademarks.co.uk. Every website has a unique identifying numerical address called an IP address, which is assigned automatically on creation of the website. As it is much easier for people to remember words than a long list of numbers, the domain name is associated with the IP address, and used as the primary tool to search for your website instead.
How to Choose a Domain Name
When choosing a domain name, it is advisable to pick one that relates to your business name or the products and services that you offer. You should also try and choose a name that is catchy and not too difficult to spell, so that it is memorable to customers and can be found easily.
At this point it is necessary to check that the domain name you want is is not already registered and is available to purchase. But it is important to remember that filing a domain name is not the same as filing a trade mark application – it gives you no right to use a name or to stop others from doing so.
Therefore, before you start using a domain name, or building your brand around one, it is vital to make sure it does not include the trade mark of a third party. If a domain name is free for your use, you should apply for a registered trade mark to ensure your continued freedom to use.
Infringing Use of a Domain Name
If your rights as a trade mark owner are being infringed by a third party’s domain name you can object to this and, if necessary, file an action for trade mark infringement. Alternatively, where it can be shown that the domain name registration is abusive, it is possible to seek to acquire or cancel that domain name by initiating dispute resolution proceedings before the relevant Registrar.
Blocking orders are increasingly being used as means of stopping internet piracy and where a website has content which infringes your design, copyright or trade mark rights, you may also wish to apply to the relevant internet service provider (ISP) for a blocking order to block access to the offending website.
If you need assistance with a domain name or website issue contact us here.