Domain Registration Without Copyright Violation
The selection of a domain name registration is one of the most important features in the development of a web site. Domain names are representative of the address for a web site, and disputes over domain names are becoming more common with increased penetration of Internet.
Various factors have led to a crisis of domain names and this, in turn, has led to a rapid increase in the reported cases of infringement of domain registration. A number of companies have taken legal action against other companies or individuals over alleged copyright violation of the domain names.
There are some basics that you should understand before choosing a trademark or domain registration:
1. Use of two similar trademarks should not confuse customers about the products or services
2. If there is a legal conflict over use of similar trademarks, the first user is likely to win the case
3. The later user would to give up his claim if he cannot prove his point and may have to pay the first owner damages.
You should apply these principles to your domain name registration process.
There are some basic guidelines for choosing a domain name:
1. You must be able to justify your reason for using the name. Your domain name should principally consist of a name you are using as a trade name, trademark or corporate name.
2. It is better to select more than one name since you are not sure about the availability of the required domain name.
3. If the domain name that you are looking has already been registered but there is no content being displayed at the domain, try to find out the details of the owner of the domain. It is possible that he/she may be genuine and have yet not published any content.
4. It is also possible that the owner does not plan to create a web site but is willing to give you the domain at the original price. You must confirm that the seller has ownership rights for that particular domain name.
Choosing a domain name registration that is same as or quite similar to another well-known trademark, may lead to legal action. The regulations governing these issues are dealt by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
It is very likely that you would lose right of your domain registration if you have intentionally chosen a name similar to another domain name so as to confuse potential visitors to the site. For example, if your site deals in consumer electronics goods made by a Samsung competitor, do not choose the name "samsungbusiness.com" since a court is most likely to pass a verdict that you selected this name to divert attention of Samsung customers.
There could be others reasons of losing a domain name registration:
1. You have never carried out any business under that name
2. There is no person in your company similar to that name
3. You are planning to sell that domain name to your competitor for financial gain
If your domain name is same as your name then you may be allowed to continue to use it, inspite of the fact that it is similar to someone else?s domain name. But the usage of such a name is governed by certain condition set by court. For example, Mr. Suki Nokia, who runs a cosmetics business, may be allowed to use the domain name "nokia.kr" but he would barred from using his site to demonstrate any electronics-related information or advertising.
In the traditional world, two companies may have the same name if they do not conduct a similar business. For example, Roxy Electrical and Roxy Laundry can coexist comfortably. However, in the web world, both Roxies cannot own the "roxy.com" domain name. The laundry Roxy could register under "roxy.laundry" and the electrician under "roxy.electrical."
A very useful tip is to buy all three of the top level domains - .com, .net and .org. You should buy all possible misspellings of your domain name before anybody else takes advantage of this fact.
The most appropriate way to choose a domain name is to satisfy your own marketing requirements but at the same time do not conflict it with anyone else's domain name.
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