Intellectual property rights and domain names

by | Apr 29, 2013 | Law

A domain name is an address on the internet that is unique and it identifies the location of the site on the internet. There are a number of different endings, called extensions that aid in identifying the domain. The common extensions are .com, .net, .edu and .gov. There are also national identifiers; a domain name for a company in Great Britain could end in The domain name in St. Louis must meet certain requirements before it can take the extension, for example, only educational institutions can carry the .edu extension.

The registrant of a domain name is granted a license to use the name by the registrar. Registrars issue the licenses but the cost charged by the registrar depends wholly on the type of domain name and the length of time that it will be registered.

Trademarks and domain names:
Unlike a trademark, no one has any automatic right to a domain name. The registration of a Domain Name St. Louis and a trademark are two totally different things.

The rights that are granted to the registrant of a domain name are severely limited compared to the rights given to the owner of a trademark. A domain name license simply entitles the registrant to the exclusive right to the name only for the duration of the license period. In the event the domain registration is not renewed, the name becomes available for anyone who wishes to purchase it under a new license. There is no guarantee that another business cannot use the same name and register it under a similar name or the same name with a different extension.

This is in stark contrast to a registered trade mark. The trade mark is personal property and as such, the owner has exclusive right to the use of the trademark as relates to the goods and services sold under the trademark and the owner has the right to prevent any other entity from using a trademark which is identical or deceptively similar to the trademark in question.

Choosing the domain name:
When registering a Domain Name St. Louis there are four steps which must be taken.

1. Check with any of a number of domain registrars and find out if the domain name is available or whether it has been registered by someone else.

2. Check and confirm that the domain name is not the same as a registered business or company name.

3. Make sure the suggested domain name does not infringe on an existing trademark.

4. Determine which domain name extension is best suited for your business. Usually a company that trades exclusively in a foreign country with includes the country designation, if the company trades globally, a .com is preferred.

Once you have your domain name in St. Louis registered, treat it as an asset. As the name becomes more important to your trading volume, it is important that you do not lose it through negligence by missing the renewal date.


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