Before you start any business or market a brand, it is imperative that you perform a search to determine if your business name or brand is not being used by another person or company. The same is true for website domains.
Using a website domain that is exactly or similar to another trademarked brand could cost you $1,000 to $10,000 per registration (not including court cost and legal fees). For example, registering the domain name applecomputers.info could be problematic for you.
The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act is the act that protects trademark owners from others who in bad faith registers a domain with Godaddy, for example, that uses your trademarked name. There was a history of users purchasing multiple domain names (i.e., website names) in the name of well-known companies and selling the domains to the company for a large profit. Congress enacted this law to mitigate domain “squatters.”
However, infringement becomes a fact issue. The court must determine whether the actor registered the domain in bad faith. The court gives multiple factors to determine if this is the case.
Let’s avoid court if necessary. The last thing you need when starting your business is receiving a cease and desist letter.
I always tell my clients, it’s cheaper to allow a lawyer to guide you away from future litigation rather than defend you in future litigation. We encourage all of our clients to either perform a diligent search or allow our team to perform one for you.
Please contact our office if you would like more information about your brand. Our consultation is free.