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I know there are cyber squatting laws but how does that affect an existing business online if say another business tries to trademark my name and then demands the domain name as well? Is it necessary to protect myself with a trademark or will it just be a waste of money.
Thanks in advance for any answers on this subject.
Copywriting is important..but someone stealing your words seems less important than you having to give up your domain name or possibly your whole business unless you change your name, right?
But if you have chosen a domain name that is unique, then precedence should protect you in the event that somebody else, some time down the line, starts a business with some similar name.
If you are planning on building a large online business, though, you might want to pay a patent/trademark/copyright attorney for specific advice on the issue.
You should first understand that you technically can't trademark a domain name. A trademark can protect your business name, or the names used to identify your products or services. So you'd register your business name as a trademark, not your domain name. By extension, then, your domain name is protected because it contains your business name.
For example, if your business is Widgets World, and that's how you identify yourself in conducting business through your website at widgetsworld.com, you'd register the name "Widgets World." If someone else came along and registered widgetsworld.net, they might still be found to be infringing on your mark in a domain name dispute.
You'd only be able to register "widgetsworld.com" as a trademark if that's the name under which you conduct business. If your invoices and letterhead use "Widgetsworld.com" as your business name, it's a trademark. But it's not if it's just your Internet address but you identify yourself as "Widgets World, Inc."
It's a subtle difference, admittedly, but one that should be understood before you start spending money to pursue registration.