As your Internet business grows, value of your domain name increases. The issue of a domain name trademark should move to top of your list. You need to guard against unscrupulous competitors that may try to incorporate your domain name in their meta tags to obtain search engine rankings under your name. If you have a domain name trademark, you can go after these individuals and compel search engines to remove their listings.
What Is A Trademark?
A trademark is a distinctive item that is used to identify a logo, product, device, package or service. The trademark identifies item as being provided by a particular firm. To protect these items you can obtain a mark from patent and trademark office that prohibits others from trying to gain economic advantage from your mark.
The patent and trademark office views domain names in a unique way. The office views “http://www” element as a part of file transfer process, not your domain name. The “.com”, “.net”, etc., designations are considered top-level domain identifiers and are also disregarded for purpose of a domain name trademark. For example, our domain name is http://www.sandiegobusinesslawfirm.com. If we submitted domain name for registration, only “sandiegobusinesslawfirm” portion would be considered for a mark.
Locators Cannot Be Registered
A domain name is a locator for file pages. When you type in your domain name, a server locates and displays files. If a domain is used solely for this purpose, it will not be granted a mark. Instead, domain name must be incorporated into site. For instance, Amazon is recognized as an online bookstore and site actually has word “Amazon” on every page. Since "Amazon.com" is more than a locator, Amazon can apply for and receive a trademark. If Amazon used domain name, bookstore.com, company would be able to register “Amazon”, but not “bookstore.”