When naming your business or product or service, bear in mind other people may also come up with the same name. In order to protect one self it is always a good idea to trademark your name, may it be a logo or words, product, slogan or symbol.
The definition of a trademark can mean a protected name, word, slogan, design, symbol or other unique device that identifies a product or company.
To stop someone copying your photograph or text, music etc this falls under copyright, where you have to prove you were the one that took the photograph or wrote the text.
When it comes to an idea or invention this falls under Patent Laws stopping anyone else claiming rights.
To trademark your brand you must first register it with a Govering Body and it may take anything between 6 and 18 months to be
When registering your trade mark you have to consider if you want it trade marked globally. If you register in the UK you are not protecting yourself globally, you are only protecting yourself in the UK where you have applied for the trademark. The
European Union, now has a Community Trade Mark (CTM) which
covers the mark in all EU countries. The same goes if you live in the UK but you do not want the USA to use your brand name you have to also register your trademark in the USA and any other subsequent countries.
To trademark you brand in bulk there is also the Madrid System that provides a facility to submit trademarks applications to many countries at the same time.
You cannot use trademark symbols without registering your brand first this is illegal to do. Registered
trademarks may be signified by the abbreviation ‘TM’, or the ‘®’
You can also patent your brand but this is more for invetions rather than for trademarks although in most countries, the national patent office will in most cases also administer trademarks. But the best way to go is to contact your Government for application.
Links to all Government websites can be found here:
What could happen in future is that Domain Investors buy up the domains and later on find someone has trade marked the name a littile later down the line, proving your domain to be worthless. But this is where you would have to argue what came first the chicken or the egg…
So your most probably reading a lot about UDRP so what are they exactly?
UDRPs is the short name for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, where by you have registered or you have acquired
the domain name simply for the purpose of selling, renting, to the complainant
who is the owner of the trademark or service mark of a brand name for a hign value. In other words cybersquatting.
Here is a link to an article where ‘Rick Schwartz’ got himself into a bit of a pickle.
It happens to the best of us, but to avoid such matters do your research make sure no one else is using the name and that it does not have the letter (R) or (TM) next to it.
But as it stands this Trademarking is giving the domain industry a bad name if the legitimate domainers buy the domains in good faith only to have someone else trademark that name after they have acquired it, that to me would be unfair.
So imagine www.hotels.com was bought and sold by ‘Rick Schwartz’ now picture this I have jumped on the band wagon and can see that I can make a fast buck I go ahead and trademark that word. Which brings me back to what came first the chicken or the egg. I feel I’m walking on egg shells talking about this, but something needs to be done whereby the moment you buy the domain you should have full ownership, providing no one else has trademarked it before you.
About the author
Renata is a businesswoman and published author. She primarily focuses on Digital Marketing, Website Creation, SEO, and Domain Brokering.
Renata is also the Editor of UK Domain Brokers, UK Website Designers, Cymru Marketing Journal, and Disability UK Online Magazine.
Renata offers several services for startups and SME’s.
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