What is real
is not external form.”
The coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses to move their operations online; for that, they need a registered domain name. Firms that previously relied on physical premises and in-person sales have quickly realised that getting the right domain name is vital for their survival. They are also learning that their IP (Intellectual Property) – web domain, website design, and published website content – must be protected.
What is a domain name?
Your internet domain name is nothing more than a string of letters that corresponds to a particular IP address: it’s the digital version of your office address. For your company, that domain name represents your most important capital value. It defines your firm’s online identity, so choose it wisely. If it helps, imagine the domain name written on a sign at the front of your office – if it wouldn’t be right for your office, it’s not the right domain name for your business. Here are some things to consider when picking your domain name:
It’s essential to research this final point, as attempting to register a domain name that is already owned may lead to confusion and legal repercussions. Thankfully, it is easy to check whether your preferred domain name (or its derivative) is available: simply access the website below.
Protecting your registered domain name and IP
Whether you represent a start-up or an established firm, it is vital to register both the company name (be it a word mark or a mark containing a logo), and the domain name as a word mark. The importance of this step will become clear.
Domain name registrations must be renewed, much like car or home insurance. If you forget to pay then your domain registration will lapse, and another entity will be able to purchase your domain name.
So what happens if an entity purchases your expired domain name, but you can prove that you had activity on that site? From a legal perspective, there is a UDRP (Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy) procedure for recovering your domain name, but it only applies if the following conditions are met:
If you do not meet the conditions, you can attempt to negotiate an agreement with the other party, but there are no guarantees that this will work. This is why it’s so important to trademark your company name and domain name.
The take-home message
Having a suitable registered domain name can exponentially increase the value of your business. But the mere registration of a domain name on the domain registries does not guarantee your intellectual property rights over that domain. Another entity could buy the rights to your domain. To protect your intellectual property rights, consult with an IP specialist.
Through the trademark watch service performed for our Client, a well-known manufacturer and distributor of goods – wholefoods, organic foods and other natural stuff in FMCG sector, we have identified a very similar trademark filed at the EUIPO, covering similar goods but used in different branches – as an ingredient and not as a final ( learn more )
A geographical indication refers to the inclusion of a place-of-origin sign on a product. A geographical indication also means that a product will have certain characteristics – or a particular reputation – linked to its place of origin. In addition, the inclusion of a geographical indication suggests that the product has a certain quality. ( learn more )
Recently, we have been working on a new case in which we have managed to get a trademark registered in Switzerland. The whole procedure lasted only four days as we have applied for the accelerated examination. Thanks to the advice given to the Client, his trademark passed and was registered without any incidents. ( learn more )