I dont know where to post this so if this is in the wrong forum then pls feel free to move it
I own a company (say webhostingcompany.org) and I find out that competition bought the .net version of my domain. I have filed for the copyright of the domain name and my service provider name but i havent received any confirmation so im not sure if i could use that. This is wrong in so many ways, considering he uses the same 'catch phrase' if you could say, and MY potential clients might mistake his website for mine. The last time I checked the domain with the .net version, it was about to expire and now, I find out that he backordered and monitored the domain. It was recently purchased (Jan. 2004).
This man who bought the site has caused so many problems for me in the past. I think he has some sort of grudge.. I bought the company he used to co-own and refused to give him the domain name of the said company (because I paid for it!) and i found no reason why he would need the domain name unless he'd like to restart the business- which would lose the whole purpose of me buying it. Then, he changes the DNS of all the clients' domains that were hosted under them. Lastly, he uses promotions such as 'If you move out of [webhostingcompany.org], [other companies], then receive ..' However, he took this down after complaints from the companies he listed and myself- or else he wouldve been reported to BBB, licensing offices, etc.
Im waiting on my lawyer but Id like to see what you all would say. Thank you.
It's actually funny because I have been researching these laws for the past couple months. I want to protect myself because I'm starting a new business (not web hosting).
First, you cannot copyright the domain. The only thing you can do is trademark it. Here are the snags:
First, it's very difficult to trademark a domain name. The US Government doesn't issue TMs out very often because many times the domain contains words that are not able to be trademarked.
Second, it's very very expensive. It will cost you nearly $400.00 every 10 years. Not so bad. However, after the 5th year you have to file a document intending to renew. On the 8th year you have to renew and pay. If you miss any step the TM will no longer be valid for you. Period.
The easiest thing is to purchase all domains relevent to your company. I bought the .com and .net. I don't need any others. Also, there is no law that says someone can't purchase your name w/ a different suffix. Just as long as he doesnt cause any damage to your business by that site's content.
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