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Conduct Trademark Searches Before Registering A Domain Name

Checking if a keyword violates a trademark is important before registering a domain name. Why? Trademark rights are considerably intertwined with the registration process of domain names or URL. Since URL is an effective way of establishing the brand identity of a product or business in the Internet, issues like more than one party trying to incorporate the same trademark into a registered domain name or challenge of declaring trademark rights over a domain may arise.

Conducting trademark searches before registering a domain name is also important for domain name registrars. Given the large number of domains being registered everyday, effective trademark searches for all applications becomes a burden among registrars. And because of the immensity of work involved, registrars are concerned with the potential liability that may arise once they conducted searches but still had unintentionally registered a specific domain name not to the rightful owner. Registrars are afraid that they might be sued and accused of “contributory infringement.”

Where to do trademark searches? You can search records of InterNIC, an accredited domain registrar for any name that is the same with your proposed mark by searching the various forms of domain names that could be formed from it. If you haven’t found any matches, you can still check from any accredited registrar. You can check list of registrars from Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN. ICANN is the organization that accredits domain name registrars.

Don’t be lured by Internet ads selling their search services on the Internet. The following list of search options is guaranteed effective by a company that maintains searchable trademark records. You may check from these:

Platinum Plus – US Federal State, Common Law, ccTLDs (233 countries), gTLDs (.aero, .biz, .com, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, .net, .org, and International files (Canada, WIPO, EC, and UK)

Gold Plus – US Federal State, Common Law, Canada, ccTLDs (233 countries) and gTLDs (.aero, .biz, .com, .coop, .info, .name, .name, .net, .org, )

Gold – US Federal State, Common Law, Canada, and Domain Names (.com, .net,

You can access some of this information for free. However, for you to make a reliable decision, you will need to hire an experienced trademark lawyer. A typical trademark lawyer charges from $ 1,200 to $ 1,800 to register a trademark. However, you may do a prior trademark search through the Internet using the information above. The trademark lawyer will do the extensive search for you.

Trademark searches before registering any url saves you from disputes over trademark ownership. It also gives you peace of mind since you know that you are legally the first one who uses a domain url and trademark of a particular product. Keep in mind also, that domain name registration does not allow you to stop other business or any entity from using the name for its business, product or service. But, it gives you the right to use a particular Internet address. Your registered domain name will only function as a trademark if you already actively use it with the sale of goods or services, and customers can already associate the name with your business.


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