Law Offices of Roland Tong, P.C.
Premier Southern California IP Law Firm Focused on IP Litigation and Procurement of Patents and Trademarks
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Take care when choosing a domain name to avoid trademark problems

It's hard to land on a good name for your business and website. In fact, you may feel like all the best names have already been taken -- and it's precisely for this reason that you'll want to take a lot of care when selecting your name and website domain. You don't want either your website domain name or your business name to infringe on another company's trademark.

Here's what you should consider when trying to choose a domain name in this regard:

  • A trademark can be a symbol, design, phrase or word -- or a combination of these -- that a business uses to designate itself apart from other competing businesses. A business has the right to use its trademark and no other business can try to "hijack" that mark from it.
  • If your business name or website name looks similar to another business name or website name, it could create a trademark conflict. The original owner of the name or trademark will likely have the right to continue using it, while you could be forced to stop using it -- and even pay money to the original mark holder if it's shown that your infringement caused monetary losses to the other party.
  • The first person or business to use the trademark in question is the owner of it. Subsequent users must obtain permission from the original owner if they wish to utilize the mark.

The general rule of thumb that your selected website name and/or business name does not conflict with any existing trademarks. This is where a little bit of trademark research and an in-depth understanding of U.S. trademark law can be enormously beneficial to any entrepreneur who is trying to choose a name for his or her business.

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