Protect Your Domain Investment: Avoid Trademark Infringement

Experienced domainers, or domain investors, will tell you that one of the most critical mistakes to avoid when buying a domain name is to purchase or register a name that could be flagged for trademark infringement. Domain names that might be construed to infringe on trademarks are not only bad business, they may, in fact, cost you thousands in legal fees and damages.

To cite an example: DC Comics, creators of the Superman series, previously filed a domain dispute against the party who had registered and owned the domain “ManofSteel.com”. “ManofSteel.com” had not been developed, and was likely a parked page that displays ads and search links.

DC Comics trademarked “Man of Steel” in 1999. The trademarked status of “Man of Steel” was considered grounds to award DC Comics the domain. The domain owner did not dispute transfer of the domain to DC Comics. In a case where the domain is simply taken the infringing domain owner may be getting off lightly: courts have been known to award plaintiffs up to $100,000 per domain name violation.

The lesson? Conduct your due diligence before buying a domain name: ensure that the name you select does not infringe on any trademarks. Visit the United Sates’ Patent and Trademark Office website for more information.  Likewise, when starting a new business, explore trademark protection for your business and domain name(s) by registering your entity with the Patent and Trademark Office.

When you buy a premium domain from BuyDomains, you can be assured that we conduct due diligence with respect to trademarks before offering a name for sale. This process can help to alleviate concerns regarding potential trademark issues.

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