Similar Domain Names Can Lead to Trademark Challenges

| May 4, 2020 | Trademark Law |

A generation ago business owners did not spend much time building their entities’ online presences because the internet was not a tool widely used by the general public. However, now many New Jersey residents are online before they even get out of bed in the morning as they check their email, browse social media, and catch up on the big news of the day. Making one’s online existence easy to find and clear to remember is a critical part of sustaining a business in the 21st century.

One way that businesses distinguish themselves online is through their websites. Each website has its own domain name, which is a set of characters and symbols that takes searchers to the business’s site. Domain names often correspond to businesses’ names or product focuses and must be different from their competitors.

When two domain names are similar in structure, consumers may be confused and unable to get to the sites they wish to visit. A company may lose business if another entity creates a closely related domain name for its website that draws focus and spending away from the original enterprise. To this end, predatory domain names that infringe on the trademark rights of other businesses are wrongful and may be stopped through trademark litigation.

As readers may know, a trademark is a picture, symbol, word, or set of words that distinguishes the products of one entity from others. Trademarks may be registered with the government, but a trademark may become protected once it is used by a business. As such, a domain name may be trademarked by a company and when another uses something that infringes upon it, legal action may be warranted.

Stopping domain name trademark infringement is not always easy but may be a critical step toward protecting an entity’s success. Not all attorneys work in the fields of intellectual property and trademark law, and those businesses that are struggling with related problems should seek out professionals who know and understand these complex legal issues. This post offers no legal advice and is provided as information for its readers.

Schedule A Consultation