Defensive Domain Name Registrations

A domain name is the address where Internet users can find a website—think www.BestBuy.Com, www.Target.Com, etc.  Each character that comprises a domain name creates a different address.  And, the last segment of a domain name, the .Com, is referred to as the Top Level Domain or TLD.

After countless hours, you finally find the perfect domain name—www.Trademark.Com.  Now, imagine that you are leasing a space in a strip mall and a neighboring business is named —www.Trademarks.Com, www.TradeMark.Com, www.TheTrademark.Com, www.ATrademark.Com—you get the picture.  Would you be upset?

You also have to take into account that there are over 1,000 TLDs (think .Com).  Again, what if a neighboring tenant is named —www.Trademark.Net, www.Trademark.Org, www.Trademark.Biz, etc.  Would you be upset?

If you answered “yes” to either one or both of these questions, then I suggest the approach of defensive domain name registrations.  This is the practice of registering multiple domain names across various TLDs with multiple grammatical variations.  This means the possible registrations of domain names that start with “A”, “The”, end with an “s”, contain a “-” between words, etc.  You may also want to consider registering your domain name across the most popular TLDs—.Net, .Org and .Biz.

I know, it will cost approximately $9.98 to register each domain name and you do not have an unlimited budget just to defensively register domain names.  But, that is a drop in the bucket if you do find that a third-party has registered a domain name that is confusingly similar or infringes upon your trademark.  You can attempt to reclaim the domain name through an arbitration process but just the filing fee is $1,300.  When you look at it from this perspective, you can register a whole bunch of domain names for quite a few years and still not even get close to this filing fee.

Also, please remember to calendar the date that your domain name registration expires.  You do not want to allow your registration to expire and then any third-party is able to register your domain name.

If you have any questions or wonder if a defensive domain name registration strategy may be right for you, do not hesitate to contact your trademark or domain name legal counsel to discuss this strategy.

This article does not provide legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship.  If you have any questions or would like to learn more about this topic or if you have other legal questions, do not hesitate to contact Chris Corpus, Esq. of Corpus Law Inc at Chris@CorpusLawInc.Com or 216-973-2475.  Copyright Christopher A. Corpus 2017.

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Chris Corpus

Founding Partner at Corpus Law Inc

This article does not provide legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about this topic or if you have other legal questions, do not hesitate to contact Chris Corpus, Esq. of Corpus Law Inc at 216-973-2475. Copyright Christopher A. Corpus 2016.