If you are currently the owner of a specific domain, you might want to know if you are the owner of its trademark, too. People often tend to confuse the two, but there are differences between owning a domain name and owning a trademark. Just because you are the owner of a domain does not mean that you own its trademark. It is possible to own both, but you would need to take extra steps to make sure that you are the owner of both the domain and the trademark when you have a business and a website for it.
What is the Difference Between Owning a Domain Name and a Trademark?
When you are the owner of the domain, you are the one who owns the name of a specific website. As an example, if someone owns a website called ThisIsMyDomain.com, it belongs to them because it is registered to them. If someone creates a trademark, they may own the rights to that specific phrase, but they cannot use it for their domain name because it is already being used. While there is a difference between owning a domain name and owning a trademark, there is a way to make sure that you can own both.
What Does a Person Need to do to Own a Domain Name and a Trademark?
If you own a domain and you would like to own the trademark because you do not want to have to worry about someone else trademarking the name in the future, you would need to hire a trademark attorney to complete a detailed search to find out if the domain has already been trademarked or used in commerce. If nobody has trademarked it or used it, you can take the next step to obtain the trademark.
The Trademark registration process is lengthy and complex. You must hire a business lawyer to handle the registration for you so that you do not risk a rejection from the USPTO examiner.
Why is it Beneficial to Own Both a Domain and a Trademark?
When you have federally registered and trademarked your domain name, you can keep others from attempting to replicate that domain name or use something that is similar. When you are trying to brand your business, the last thing you need is someone to come along and attempt to steal your ideas while using a name that imitates the one you have created on your own. If you own a domain and a federally registered trademark, you can protect your business and website by making it much harder for people to try to steal your traffic or the number of customers you currently have. Although it does require taking extra steps, it is important to have that federally registered trademark for your domain name if you want to avoid having any problems in the future.
Need help applying for a trademark now that you currently own a domain? Let the Benkabbou Law Firm assist you. Our experienced business lawyers look forward to working with you.
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