Don't Forget About the Domain Name When Protecting I.P.
Updated: Mar 6, 2018
Most of the time the issue of domain name (or URL) doesn't come up when people talk about protecting intellectual property. However, it's an important aspect of your intellectual property folder. Take this story from the New York Times as a cautionary warning:
Consider what happened to Tracey Deschaine, who runs a restaurant called Dixie Picnic in Ocean City, N.J. When Ms. Deschaine opened her business in 2006, she secured trademarks on her business name and logo and on the name of her signature item, “upcakes,” which are upside-down frosted cupcakes. The problem, she says, was that even though she had obtained the trademarks, someone monitoring the activity on the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Web site had spotted her application and secured upcakes.com as the Web address, or U.R.L., before she could.“I had no idea that even though I have a trademark, someone else could just go register the U.R.L.,” she said. “I wish I had planned ahead and bought the site before I did that.”
As part of the trademark search and registration process, make sure to also check to see if the domain for your mark is available. If it's not, then you may have an issue using or registering the mark. If it is available, snap it up before filing your trademark application.
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