Domain Names

 

Although domain names are not, strictly speaking, a form of intellectual property, these are protected by the law of passing off and trade mark infringement.  In today’s online world, domain names are increasingly significant as the identifier of your business on the internet.  As such, domain names can be a valuable commodity and, as an extension of your brand, may also need to be protected.

For any new business start up’s, a consideration of the domain name that is going to be used is essential as you will need to ensure this coincides with the trade mark or trade name you decide to use (and possibly register).

Domain name disputes

In the same way as an infringement of your trade mark can be damaging to your business, wrongful use of a domain name whether identical or similar to yours may also infringe your intellectual property rights.  

If a domain name is confusingly similar to the name of your trade mark, you run the risk of potential and current customers being deceived into purchasing the infringers goods or services, or into thinking your products are associated.  Not only is there the possibility of lost sales revenue, but if the infringer’s products are of lower quality that yours, the risk is that your brand’s reputation could also be unjustly harmed.

Domain name disputes can often be resolved relatively cheaply by alternative dispute resolution without recourse to the Court system, so seeking advice from an expert IP solicitor in this field is recommended at an early stage.

If you have any questions or need advice from a solicitor with regards to Domain Names or protecting your Domain Name IP rights, Caven can put you in touch with a specialist Intellectual Property solicitor in your local area free of charge so please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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