Should You Trademark Your Domain Name? (Beginner’s Guide)
Are you interested in trademarking your domain name? Wondering whether it’s worth it or if it’s even needed?
The short answer is yes. It will benefit you in the long run. But not every website needs to trademark its domain name.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through why you should trademark your domain name, who should do it, and how to get the trademark easily.
When Should You Trademark Your Domain?
If you plan on using your domain name as a trademark, then yes, you should register a trademark.
This means if you’re simply using the domain name as part of your website URL like https://nameboy.com, then you don’t need to trademark it. Also, in cases like these, your trademark application most likely won’t go through.
Confused about the difference between a domain and URL? Read our guide: Domain Name vs URL: What’s the Difference? (Explained).
Now if you’re using your domain name as your brand, then you’ll likely display the domain name as your website name, logo, or may be even in the tagline.
In cases like this, you can and should trademark the domain name. It will protect your business from copycats and malicious actors who want to create a similar business name and steal your revenue.
Should You Trademark Your Domain Name or Brand Name?
In most cases, business use the name without the domain extension such as .com or .net. In these cases, it’s better to trademark the brand name. So for instance, if your website is Google.com but you’re displaying the name “Google” on your site, then it’s better to trademark the name “Google”.
However, say your website is a travel business called hopon.com and you’re using the words “HopOn.com” as your brand name, then yes, you absolutely should register a trademark for your domain name.
Keep in mind that ultimately, a trademark will be granted to you if it meets the eligibility criteria set out by the trademark authority in your country.
What are the Benefits of Trademarking a Domain?
When you trademark your domain, there’s value added to it instantly. For starters, it makes your website look more legitimate.
Other benefits include:
- Protects your brand name
- It’s easier to take action against infringement
- No one else can use the same or similar name
- Avoids confusion among customers so that they don’t go to the wrong business
Overall, it adds to the trust factor of your business and protects your business name.
How to Trademark My Domain Name?
Before investing a lot of time and money into trademarks, you should do a trademark search. This will reveal whether a trademark for the brand already exists. You can use the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Trademark Electronic Search System to ensure your idea is original and has not already been trademarked.
If you find that your domain name is already trademarked, you’ll want to find another name for your business. Use our Domain Name Generator tool to find the perfect domain name that’s available for registration.
Now if there’s no trademark already registered, you should go ahead and get it done immediately. And the best way to get your trademark registered is through a lawyer that specializes in this field.
Most lawyers offer free consultations so that they can get an idea of what you need. They’ll give you an outline of the process and an estimate of how much it’ll cost you. They’ll even tell you whether your trademark application stands a chance or if it will be flat-out rejected.
We recommend using an attorney because they’ll make sure your application meets all the requirements so that you have the best chance of getting it approved.
You can also file the application yourself using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) in the United States.
The application fees range between $250 to $500. This isn’t a cheap affair, so you need to get all the technicalities right before your submit the application.
Note: The information you submit in your application (excluding payment information) will be considered public record, including your address.
FAQs on Domain Trademarks
What are the requirements to trademark a domain?
Your domain should be used as your brand identifier. So for instance, if you’re calling your brand “abc.com”, then you should go ahead and trademark the domain. But if your brand name and logo is just ABC with just the domain name being abc.com, then it’s better to trademark the brand name ABC.
Can I claim a domain if I have a trademark?
Yes. If you own the trademark, you own the right to its domain. You can start at ICANN arbitration to dispute it.
You would need to prove that the domain owner has no rights or legitimate interests in the domain name. You may also need to prove that the domain name was registered in bad faith against you. Though, this could vary depending on the laws of your country.
Does it matter who I register my domain name with?
No, you can register your domain name with any domain registrar you choose. We recommend using Bluehost or Domain.com – 2 of the top domain registrars of the world.
Can I trademark my domain before I start to use it?
You can file a trademark registration for current or future commercial use. The approval process is based on several factors like whether your trademark will be used on your website, advertising material, product’s packaging, and so on.
Other than my domain, what else should I trademark?
You should trademark your logo, product line identifiers, slogans, and any other attributes that are inherently distinctive to the identity of the business.
That’s all we have for you today. We hope this guide helped you decide whether or not you should trademark your domain name. If you haven’t registered your domain name yet, you’ll want to check out our exclusive discount offer just for Nameboy users:Claim the Exclusive Bluehost Offer
This Bluehost deal will give you a web hosting plan for just $2.75 per month and you can register your domain name for free! We hope this make it easier to set up your website right away.
We’ve also handpicked these resources for you:
- How to Register a Domain Name for Your Website (Beginner’s Guide)
- 5 Things You Need to Do Before Buying a Domain Name
- How Much Does a Domain Name Cost? (Pricing Breakdown)
These guides will help you register your domain before someone else does!
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