Trademark of Domain names

  • December 03, 2016
  • Registrationwala
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When internet was in its nascent stage, the domain names were just used for being a representation of a particular website. However, with the growth of information technology and expansion of global through internet, these domains not just serve the purpose of being just a representation of the company, they also are used to promote the business and help the masses identify the brand through them. The commerce on the internet is an ever-expanding entity; hence the domain names are used in publicity of the business. Roughly speaking domain names are these days equivalent to trademark or service mark. You can always register your domain names as trademark and make sure they help your business grow.

When it comes to domain name, it is the easiest form of IP (Internet Protocol) address. The technical IP address is mostly not known to a general user. Well of course, that can be found out by anyone but under normal circumstances a common user does not fret over knowing the technical IP address.

DNS (Domain Name System) is used to assign and manage the address of the internet servers.� The first part of a domain name is called Second level and is usually the prerogative of the applicant of the domain name. While the second part of the domain name is called 'Top level Domain' (TLD). The TLD is further divided into two sub parts � Generic Top-Level Domains (gLTDs) and Country Code Top-Level domains (ccTLD). Org, Gov, Nic, Com are some of the popular Top-Level domains

�In layman terms domain names do online what trademarks do offline, which is to represent the company to its user, or consumer, base.� Trademark is a graphic representation that draws people towards a particular business. On the other hand, domain name drives traffic towards your online business or venture. It is also a virtual presence of your business... Properly registered trademarks and domain names can have major benefits...

A trademark ensures that a particular brand is promoted and protected, while a domain name makes sure that the business or the venture is protected from any authorized use of the services provided under that domain name. Trademark enhances the face value of the product. On the other hand, a domain name makes sure that your business or profession can be easily traced by consumers, even from a remote location. The reach of the trademark is limited and can cater to the audience of a locality. While domain name has a wider reach and can make your product go worldwide. Hence it is evident that a duly registered domain name goes a long way in taking the business global without costing big on the pocket of the owner. One thing to be noted while we are at this is that domain names can be protected as trademarks at both national and international levels. However, it is compulsory that it fulfils all criteria that is needed for it to be registered as trademark. A unique internet domain that is able to act as a source identifier for the service and product it trying to sell can be registered as a trademark. It is also noteworthy that the domain name should not be misleading in nature and must refrain from deceiving the consumer.

Before moving on further, here is what the Supreme Court of India observed in Satyam Infoway Ltd. Vs Sifynet Solutions Pvt. Ltd case. The issue was brought to court�s notice to determine whether or not a domain name can be recognized as Intellectual Properties such as Trademarks:

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