How to Avoid Domain Name Trademark Infringement

There are many cases, especially since the beginning of the Internet, where people have chosen a domain name and have been victims of domain name trademark infringement. There are many cases (like the Nissan case) that have made headlines and it is important that you know the characteristics of domain name trademarks and how best to avoid these infringements.

It’s especially difficult when you lose a domain name because you didn’t know you were committing trademark infringement, so learning how to choose a domain name that doesn’t infringe on anyone’s trademarks is ideal.

Some basics of trademark law

Domain name trademark infringement

Before we get to how to avoid domain name infringement, there are a few basic things to know about trademark law that can help you when choosing a domain name.

The names of products and services come under trademark law. If someone else is selling a product with that name, it probably shouldn’t be used as a domain name.

Descriptive and distinct trademarks may be protected by law.

Trademark conflicts can arise when the use of both marks may confuse customers as to the source.

The first commercial user of said mark is the owner thereof. Violating some of these rules may constitute domain name trademark infringement.

Now that we have that out of the way, we can move on to how you can use the basics of trademark law to find out if you are legally allowed to use the domain name. With all the different types of businesses online, it can be difficult to know if your domain name would infringe on someone else’s trademark, but as long as you’re not in direct competition with the other company, you will generally be able to use it as long as the name is not exactly the same.

Avoid domain name trademark infringement

So how can you avoid domain name trademark infringement? The first place you can go to see if someone has registered your domain name is to check the Trademark Database. The database will be different depending on the country you reside in. This will give you a good idea of ​​who and what is a similar mark to your name.

The next thing you should check is a search engine. Search engines are great at finding things a customer might want despite misspellings and confusing synonyms. It can also tell you if there are already domains with similar names, this way you can know who and what your direct competitor is. If there is an area or company with a brand of something you are trying to compete with, for example if you are trying to sell baby toys and the brand is on baby clothes, then you might want to reconsider your domain name.

Another thing you want to watch out for is if potential customers could easily accidentally end up on your domain rather than the other person’s by accident, whether through misspellings or typos. Usually, this only applies to domains that are only a few characters apart, but if that’s the case, then you need to reconsider the domain name.

Finally, it is important to know whether the other name is well known or not. If the other website is well known enough, if there is a possibility that you will get in trouble, they will try to take you to court. These are just a few things to keep in mind regarding domain name trademark infringement.