.
Domains.
.
Many see a domain name as having a type of trademark right, protection, and authority. this is because the domain name must be unique and are seen as one of the most important identifiers of a business, service, product, or other entity or item.
.
The uniqueness of the domain name is diminishing as we move from a limited number of domain extensions (.com, .org, .net, etc.) and begin to see hundreds of domain extensions. As such domain names can begin to look similar (www.tires.com, www.tires.co, www.tires,us, www.tires.cars, etc.).
.
Domain names do not today and never have had any informal or formal government or industry group protective value similar to a trademark. If trademark rights and protections are desired then the domain name must be registered as a trademark.
.
Domains
Business names and domain names are important identifiers that must follow the same protocols of distinctness and commercial use established for other trademarks.
.
.
.
Domain Name Distinctness
Domain Name Distinctness is not always a given with business and domain names. The more arbitrary, fanciful, and suggestive the business or domain name the more likely is unregistered and registered trade name protection.
.
Not Distinct – For instance; Harris Hardware, www.sallyhairsalon.com, Downtown Car Sales, etc. would bring business to a store or domain, but would not serve to be distinguishing as a trademark. These more common names would fall into the generic classification of names, words, symbols, etc. of business or domain identification and would not be eligible for trademark protections.
.
Distinct – See this Websites Trademark tab for further discussion of the importance of distinctness.
.
.
.
Domain Name Use In Commerce
More particularly for domain names, but any name has the requirement that it must be used in commerce. This means that any name must function as a trade or service mark by being more than just informational, but identify a source of product or services. This can be done, by using the domain or business name prominently within the website or other marketing collateral, product packaging, etc. where it serves as a product or service source.
.
.
.
Registration / Non-Registration
Again, there is no requirement for federal or state registration to enjoy some trademark protection, but it is always encouraged, and particularly with domain names.
.
Again, Commercial Use – The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that a domain name must be used in connection with the sale of products or services in order to protect the name. Meaning simply reserving a domain name does not offer trademark protection, regardless of how distinct without commercial use.
.
.
Fortress PATENTS / IP distinguishes itself from other patent service firms due to our years of direct commercialization of innovation in creative and useful arts. We invite and welcome your writings and calls to answer your questions, get acquainted, and to get started.
.