Protecting domain names and your intellectual property

Domain names are an integral part of any business, so we understand the importance of protecting your web address against infringement.

What are domain names?

A domain name is the part that comes after the ‘www.’ and is a piece of intellectual property that forms part of your web identity and often your email address.

One of the main reasons that a domain name is important to your businesses is that it enables web users to discover and contact you online.

Domain names can be between three and 63 characters long, and they can include letters, numbers and hyphens. Choosing one that relates to your business can be vital to your marketing; if it’s not memorable then you may find that your web traffic suffers, and if it’s not related to your brand, then your site may be less visible in search engine results.

Registering the domain name you want involves two stages:

  1. Searching for the availability of your domain
  2. Either registering it directly or purchasing the domain if someone else already owns it.

I believe someone is using a domain name to profit from my brand – what should I do?

If someone owns a domain that is closely related to your trademark, then you may be able to claim that they are breaching your intellectual property rights.

Even if they have registered the domain legally, they may be trading on your brand or deliberately trying to pass their website off as being related to your business when it isn’t.

The law on domain names is complex and changes frequently in line with developments in technology.

Court action can be taken where there is a strong case that someone has infringed your trademark, passed their goods off as being related to your brand, or libelled your business.

If you have rights to a domain name that someone else has registered in bad faith or used ‘abusively’, then you may be able to use a dispute resolution procedure to address the issue.

If you wish to claim damages, or if someone is breaching your intellectual property rights, then court action may be required.

At any stage, it is essential that you seek expert advice when taking court action over domain name disputes, as it can be a difficult area – particularly if the defendant is based overseas.

Why choose First4Lawyers?

Expert legal services for your business needs - whether it's employment law, policies or commercial property, we can help.

Free initial case review
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Our fully trained legal advisors are happy to offer initial guidance and advice for free

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All our solicitors are pre-vetted and experts in providing legal services for business

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We offer advice with no obligation.  We never cold-call or apply pressure to our customers

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I am being accused of infringing someone else’s domain name - what should I do?

Just because someone else believes they have a right to the domain name that you have registered, they won’t necessarily be able to stop you from using it.

Domain registrars grant domain names to those who apply for them first, and your use of the domain may help you to defend it in the event of a dispute.

If you have registered the domain in good faith, and you are not infringing anyone else’s trademark with your use of the domain, then you are likely to have a strong defence to claims made against you. However, there could be an option to negotiate a settlement.

How can First4Lawyers help?

We can examine your case and help you to establish the strongest way to defend yourself in domain name disputes, or to go forward and take action against another party.
Contact us for a no-obligation discussion about your requirements.

Need a hand? First4Lawyers will...

  • Review your legal requirements for free
  • Recommend the most appropriate action based on your personal needs
  • Assign you a pre-vetted solicitor from our expert panel

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I was dealt with the most kind and caring manner by Rebeka. Also very efficient by explaining everything I had to know and connecting me to a solicitors who would deal with my claim. Thank you!

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Nice staff, very helpful and very easy to deal with. The initial part only took a few minutes. Staff also very knowledgeable and know what they are talking about.

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Spoke with a lovely advisor called Chelsea who was great. She listened to everything that I said and gave brilliant advice. Her customer service was brilliant, she was very polite and gave me all the information about what are the next steps.

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Get in touch today to discuss your requirements 08005677866

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