Choosing a domain name is often an agonizing process, add to the fact that you need to select a non-infringing domain name, it becomes even more complicated. With choices being very limited due to the fact that many unique names have already been registered, trying to find a marketable domain name is often a daunting task.
Once you decide on a domain name, and attempt to proceed with registering it, the registration service will inform you if it’s already used, and if it is, will offer suggestions of available names. If this is the case you can communicate with the registered owner and possibly negotiate purchasing the domain.
It’s common marketing faux pas to use a suggested domain name because it isn’t always the best option from a marketing standpoint. If your initial choice is available, however, you may want to consider registering similar domains and setting up redirects to your main site.
A good example of this is the 3M Company which holds the domains www.3m.com and www.mmm.com. It’s also important to purchase the top extensions for your site. Try to obtain the domain name with the .com, .net, and .org; extensions so you can also set up redirects, and still grant your customers the ability to access your website. Misspellings should always be avoided as well so customers can easily locate your website.
Make sure when choosing a domain name that you do not choose a name similar to a competitor’s name. You do not want to confuse potential visitors of your competitions page into thinking that they have arrived at a page owned by them. Instead, it may bring attention to your site by those who would rather prefer to do business with you inside a courtroom.
Also, you must consider that if you share a corporate name with another company, doing business in the real world, but in a different industry, infringement isn’t an issue. However, online guidelines state there must be a clear distinction between the two companies.
For example if you owned a company that sells computer peripherals named ABC Computers and there is a company that does plumbing work named ABC Plumbing, you need to differentiate between the two when choosing your domain name. You might choose ABC-Computers.com while the other company uses ABC-Plumbing.com to avoid an infringement issue or overall confusion.
These are several key points to consider when selecting a domain name. Proper research is a necessity that can’t be substituted. While it’s important to read guidelines before making a final decision regarding registering a domain name, it does not account for every situation. Should you have a question about a particular situation, it may be best to consult with an attorney to ensure that your domain name is compliant with copyright laws before proceeding.