Do you have a successful or soon-to-be successful Internet business?
Congratulations. You have a wonderful website and orders are pouring in hand over fist. Maybe they have been for a long time.
You registered your domain. Maybe you didn’t register a trademark, but that’s okay, isn’t it? Who has the time to bother with that when you have a business to run?
After all, you’re living the internet lifestyle that so many people only dream about.
Then one day, from out of the blue, you get a certified letter from an attorney. He notifies you that your domain name infringes on his client’s federally registered trademark. It further stipulates that you must immediately cease and desist from using your domain name along with any and all references to “their” trademark.
The letter continues by demanding that you transfer your offending domain name to his client and pay his client damages that are equal to all the profits you made with your online business.
Your Internet dream has just turned into a nightmare. Unfortunately this nightmare scenario happens every day.
The attorney’s cease and desist letter is essentially an invoice for $ 25,000 to $ 50,000 – or more – that you will pay if you want to defend against the trademark infringement lawsuit that will probably follow.
The letter is not a joke. It is not someone fishing for a little bit of extra cash. It is from someone who has registered a similar domain as a trademark. A person that will take the appropriate action to prevent you from infringing on what has become their legal rights.
In other words, if you do not concede to the trademark owner’s demands, if you do not cease and desist from running your business, you can expect that a follow-up infringement lawsuit will be filed against you.
And to think, you could have stopped this problem before it began by simply registering your domain as a trademark as soon as your business started showing signs of success.
If you do not protect your domain name from theft today it is possible that you can lose your website and all of your profit tomorrow.
What is a Domain Registered as a Trademark?
A registered trademark gives you the rights to use your brand in both the brick and mortar world as well as over the Internet.
A domain name is an Internet IP address that identifies a website.
When you register your domain as a trademark, if a conflict over your domain ever arises, you’ll be in a very strong position to defend your brand. Just registering your domain does not give you the same protection as registering your domain as a trademark.
A trademark sets you apart from your competitors and secures your identity and intellectual property.
If you don’t register your domain as a trademark it is easy for both “cybersquatters” and your competitors to use a name similar to yours (whether intentionally or innocently) and benefit from all your hard work. When you register your domain as a registered trademark you both protect that name and prevent other parties from registering similar domain names.
The their report to the National Association of Chiefs of Police, the FBI estimated that more than $ 433 billion was lost due to intellectual property theft.
Registering your domain as a trademark will protect your property.
If a competitor tries to use it now you will then have the right to send a cease and desist notice to them and challenge them further if they continue. It legally protects your property both in your immediate area as well as throughout the United States.
How Can You Register Your Domain as a Trademark?
You can apply for the registration of a trademark on your own. However, you will have to make sure that it complies with all of the rules and regulations regarding trademarks. It’s a rather complicated, time consuming process.
For example, every trademark application has to specify the class of goods or services for that registration. There are 8 classes of services and 34 classes of goods. If you initiate your filing in the wrong class you will waste a lot of your time, energy and money.
Approximately 35% of the people who begin the trademark registration process do not finish it because of objections that arise during the process.
There are a number of attorneys and companies that can help you to register your domain as a trademark. Some are better than others.
Do a search on the Internet. One of the companies that you will find is Trademarks411. They’re a well established company that specializes in registering domains as trademarks. And they have put together an affordable, quick and easy process to file for your domain trademark registration.
Whomever you decide to use, shouldn’t you get started today?
Wendy Moyer is a professional writer.
By kdaubon from Pixabay