The recent online wars between business owners competing over domain names has given rise to an increased interest of business owners to protect their intellectual property rights to prevent infringement.

How can I protect my brand?

To protect your brand name, it is a good idea to select an appealing domain name.  A good tip to keep in mind, when choosing domain names, is to ensure that the domain name is simple and relates closely to your business or how people relate to your business. Make it easy to pronounce and spell, and avoid using too many confusing characters such as hyphens mixed with unusual numbering.

According to Intellectual Property Australia, a domain name is like your business’s online address on the Internet. Domain names allow customers to easily find your website as your domain name will distinguish your website from others. Usually, domain names are also easy to remember as they incorporate words that reflect the business name.

How can I protect the domain name?

You can protect your domain name by registering it. It is a good idea to speak with an intellectual property lawyer who can give you in-depth and up-to-date information on how domain names can be registered, and other useful information regarding your brand name that you may not know about.

It is useful to know that registering a domain name does not give you any proprietary right over the name, and you will not automatically be granted a right to use the domain name as a trademark. For this reason, we suggest speaking with an intellectual property lawyer who can provide you with legal advice on how you can best protect your brand using a domain name and other measures under intellectual property law.

What are domain prospectors?

Once you have set up a business and you are ready to launch it online, it is usually recommended to register a domain name as soon as possible. This is because, there are many domain prospectors who buy domains that might be used by businesses that are not online yet. This is because domain prospectors know that if they have registered a domain name that another business needs, the business may be willing to pay an inflated price for transferring the domain name registration to them.

Should I register variations of the domain name?

When customers type in your domain name, they often make typos, which could cause them to be redirected to a different website, thinking that they have, in fact, still accessed yours. This is a huge problem as there may be other businesses with registered domain names similar to yours and, as a result, benefit from visitors to their websites who incorrectly type the address. For this reason, many businesses often register domain names that are similar to their own but have a typo in them. This way, even if customers happen to make a typo when attempting to access your website, they will still be directed to your site and not elsewhere.

Conclusion

For more information regarding the protection of your brand name, registering a domain name and other intellectual property matters, please seek legal advice from an IP lawyer or visit the Intellectual Property Australia website at http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/

Lachlan McKnight

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