Securing a Domain Name Before you Apply for a Trademark

Domain Names

We’ve already discussed the importance of seeking Federal trademark registration for your business name. Once you’ve come up with a great name for your new business, you must perform a thorough search to ensure you can use and protect that name before applying for a trademark. There is however, one very important step you should take before formally applying for a trademark – registering the corresponding domain name.

You’ve no doubt heard of cybersquatters. Cybersquatters register domain names in bad faith with the sole intent of exploiting money from the rightful owner of the trademark associated with that domain name. While there are legal causes of action against cybersquatters, these procedures are often complicated and typically expensive. Many cybersquatters are not located in the US and countries vary in their legal stance on cybersquatting.

Cybersquatters often monitor the Federal trademark register, watching for newly granted trademarks and immediately registering domain names containing these trademarks. It’s therefore not enough to simply check the availability of a domain name before you apply for a trademark. Because domain names are typically granted on a first come, first served basis, it’s imperative you register the name and any variants of it that you may want to control before you apply for your trademark. While this may seem like a premature expenditure considering your trademark application may not be successful, domain name registration is relatively inexpensive and the potential consequences of failing to register far outweigh this preventative cost.

Image by Flickr user ivanwp (Creative Commons)


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  1. Adrienne says:

    at the first sentence it seems to look like it were valid but if you prove it there is no point of this..

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