Is Your Domain Name A Trademark Infringement?

Written by Shelley Lowery

I recently received an email from a concerned, fellow Internet business owner, asking for my opinion on an issue that could literally destroy his Internet business andrepparttar business of several other domains involved.

He had received legal notice from a prominent company, stating that he needed to relinquish his use and rights to his web site domain name because it contained three letters that infringed upon their trademark and their domain name. This same company also contacted several other Internet business owners and made similar demands.

Should a company that registers a specific trademark haverepparttar 108310 ability to destroy numerous businesses that legitimately registered domain names? Should a company that registers a trademark haverepparttar 108311 responsibility of ensuring that a domain name registration agency doesn't issue domain names that may be a trademark infringement? Or should an Internet business haverepparttar 108312 responsibility of making sure a potential name doesn't Infringe upon a registered trademark? Where does repparttar 108313 responsibility lie?

Ultimately,repparttar 108314 responsibility lies withrepparttar 108315 domain name registrant, asrepparttar 108316 trademark laws that apply inrepparttar 108317 hard copy world also apply onrepparttar 108318 Internet.

Any company that registers a trademark hasrepparttar 108319 right to protect their trademark and hasrepparttar 108320 right to notify you that your domain name is infringing upon their trademark. Why? If your domain name hasrepparttar 108321 potential of confusingrepparttar 108322 public into thinkingrepparttar 108323 trademark holder is somehow affiliated with your web site, they may bring infringement claims against you. The courts would have to makerepparttar 108324 decision based uponrepparttar 108325 trademark laws and if your domain name, in fact, hasrepparttar 108326 potential of confusingrepparttar 108327 public.

Domain name registrants can protect themselves as well. If you have a registered domain name that doesn't infringe upon any trademarks, you too may be able to register a trademark. Registering a domain name as a trademark isn't easy, but it can be done. Although you can't registerrepparttar 108328 http://www.or repparttar 108329 .com, ifrepparttar 108330 use of your name fitsrepparttar 108331 laws criteria, it can be registered. You should consult with an attorney familiar withrepparttar 108332 Internet, trademarks andrepparttar 108333 laws prior to registering your domain name as a trademark. For a complete explanation, visit:

Think You Control Your Domain Name? Think Again!

Written by Butch Pujol

© 2001 Butch Pujol

Permission is granted for free publication of this article, either electronically or in print, provided bothrepparttar bylines and resource box are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.

Let me ask you some questions that may sound "obvious" but can have downright scary answers. Did you buy your domain name from a service? Do you know who is in control of your domain name? Have you done a "Whois" search to find out? The answer may very well shock you!

Buying a domain name is a very easy thing to do. But if you buy a domain name without any knowledge of "ownership" vs. "control", you could very well be headed down a bumpy road.

Unfortunately, most Web site owners are unaware that "ownership" does not equate to "control." Just because you paid for your domain name does not mean you have access or authority to make changes, transfers or other necessary functions. But if not you -repparttar 108309 owner - who does?

There are 4 components to a domain name:

1.Registrant: you -repparttar 108310 person who registeredrepparttar 108311 domain name 2.Billing Contact: could be anyone 3.Technical Contact: could be anyone 4.Administrative Contact: could be anyone

The registrant is you. You might assume that items two, three and four are also you. A natural assumption. Guess what… most ofrepparttar 108312 time they are not! THIS is where you get into trouble.

Who's In Control?

So whose names are listed inrepparttar 108313 "control" spots? Nine times out of ten, it is a person withinrepparttar 108314 organization you purchased your domain name from. Any inquiries about billing, technical issues and administrative questions are sent to this arbitrary person. The domain name registration company has FULL control over your URL. What does this mean?

Even though you arerepparttar 108315 owner, and you make a request for changes,repparttar 108316 confirmation request will go torepparttar 108317 administrator for verification. This person hasrepparttar 108318 full authority to approve or reject changes to your domain name.

The Dangers

Keep one thing in mind, domain registrars can, and do, go out of business. They get bought and sold just like other organizations. They are not legally required to notify you of any changes within their firm. This fact alone can cause unlimited problems with renewals, changes, sales or transfers. But that's not all.

Let's say you put in a domain transfer request. A time sensitive confirmation will be sent fromrepparttar 108319 registrar of your domain name torepparttar 108320 administrative contact. This confirmation must be answered within a certain timeframe. Now, ifrepparttar 108321 administrative contact is someone atrepparttar 108322 business you purchased your domain name from we could have a serious problem. That person might be on vacation, sick, fired, or even under orders not to respond. In any case, your transfer will be denied. Think it doesn't happen. I'm horrified to tell you it does - every single day.

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