The advent of internet introduced the world to numerous virtual possibilities. From communicating online it has become possible to conduct a business online. In order to access any site on the internet, you need a domain name. A domain name is nothing but an IP address that enables a person to find a site on the internet.
In the contemporaneous times, a domain name has assumed more significance than just an IP address. With a flourish of online commercial activity, a domain name now performs the role of a business identifier. It serves as a point of identification about the business for the people who seek to access a particular site for that business. For example, www.intepat.com is a domain name. The word “Intepat” in the domain name serves the purpose of identifying the business. The IP address, therefore, is no longer just the means of getting to a site, it serves to identify the business to which the domain name belongs to. In other words, it is an online identity.
Does a domain name require registration?
Domain name registration is compulsory if you want an IP address. You can get a domain name registered with any Domain Name Registrar Company. The period of validity of the domain name depends on the individual contract with the Registrar. Domain names are registered and protected at the global level by only one organization, ICANN. For a domain name to be registered the only requirement is that there must not be a similar domain name that is registered. Registration of a domain name does not have requirements to be distinctive and not descriptive and so on. A domain name registration allows the owner exclusive use of the domain name. In the sense that no other person can use the same/similar domain name.
Can a domain name be registered as a trademark?
It most definitely can. However, for a domain name to be registered as a trademark, it must be ensured that the domain name meets all the requirements that are important for a trademark registration. As long as a domain name is distinctive and it is used in a way so as to identify the source of the particular goods and services, it can be registered as a trademark with the Trademark Registry.
Why get a domain name registered as a trademark?
A lot of people might have the same doubt. If a domain name registration endows a person with the exclusive right of use of the domain name, what is the point of a trademark registration for the domain name?
The answer is because of the fact that a trademark registration gives the domain name complete protection. Take for example; a domain name is similar to or infringes a registered trademark. In such an instance, in all possibility, the domain name has to be surrendered in favor of the Trademark. Getting the domain name registered as a trademark ensures that the domain name is indeed unique and distinguishable, in all respects. The other important edge that trademark registration gives over and above domain name registration is claiming damages. The maximum you can gain from a domain name dispute is the transfer of ownership. In a trademark infringement case, you will get damages if your trademark has been infringed upon.
In the times where the reach of internet is far and wide, it is always better to endow your domain name with wholesome protection by trademark registration.