the legal aspects of
I do not profess to be a legal expert. For full and accurate information on specific details of legal issues with regard to domain names you should contact a qualified lawyer/attorney. For this reason I've kept this chapter short - effectively pointing out those topics about which you should seek qualified legal advice.
2.01 DOMAIN NAMES YOU SHOULD NOT REGISTER
efore registering any domain name for your business and/or organization you should perform due diligence on that name to check that it is not a registered trademark, patent or recognized brand. Of course, you might argue that 'owners' of such names should have already registered the relevant domain names - but perhaps they have registered only their country TLD and you are in a different region. What you don't want is a court case several years down the line when that organization diversifies into your country, or they finally get round to enforcing their trademark and you have to change your domain name on a site for which you have spent years developing its online brand.
In most cases a simple Google search on the term will be sufficient - but if big money is concerned, having qualified folk check the relevant legal registrations (eg patents) is advisable. And don't forget new trademarks are registered every day, so if you come up with a 'unique' domain name it will be worthwhile taking the necessary steps to secure it for the future.
DOMAIN NAMES IN PRACTICE :
calling the wrong [i]tune
In 2000 the domain name itunes.co.uk was registered by CyberBritain Holdings. This was some three years before Apple registered the itunes.com domain name and launched iTunes in the States (the UK campaign following a year later), but only a month before the iTunes trademark was registered. Early in 2005, Nominet responded to Apple's complaint and ruled that the name be transferred to Apple. It would seem that Nominet considered that the registering of the name was more than a lucky guess - though CyberBritian's offer to sell the domain to Napster, a competitor of Apple's iTunes service, and also that for a short time redirecting itunes.co.uk to napster.co.uk would seem to have had some bearing in the decision.
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Copyright copyright 2009 Alan Charlesworth. All rights reserved.
International Standard Book Number: 978-1-4452-0538-0
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