Friday, September 28, 2007

Trademarks and Domain Names

Be careful of registering a domain name before doing a quick check at the USPTO office database ( Although you may think you have come up with a 'unique' name for your company/idea, it is your responsibility to make sure that name is not registered as a trademark and/or used in the same manner that you plan to use it. Failure to do so may bring a Cease and Desist letter after you have launched your product and already poured money into your idea - causing you to have to expend more money to fix any issues and possibly revamp your website.

New Laws

New Zealand police are using a new method to propose a new law - they are asking the public for input via a 'wiki' website:

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Domain Dispute - .UK Domains

An interesting proposal from the .UK domain name registry, Nominet, with respect to making domain dispute processes easier for the complaining party by essentially giving them a default judgment if there is no response from the respondent / domain owner:
This would be interesting to apply to all domain names, not just .UK domain names, to assist trademark and business owners in a timely manner, if the other party is not looking to contest the claims.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Privacy Policy

If you ever go to a website that requests your e-mail address, take a moment to check out their privacy policy, if one is posted. This should give you a good idea of how and when your e-mail / contact information will be used and ways to remove yourself in the future.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Domain Disputes

There are several ways to dispute a domain and come to a resolution. Cost and time are usually the factors to determine which method to try.
Typically, sending a letter to a registrant (which is public information that can be found using a Whois database) of a domain to request a resolution is the cheapest and quickest method to resolve a dispute, if the registrant agrees with you.
If the registrant does not agree with you, a UDRP (domain dispute arbitration) will typically be the next cheapest option, if you are a trademark owner, there is bad faith by th part of the registrant, and your mark is strong enough to succeed against any 'generic' claim while being confusingly similar to the domain name at issue.
The alternative to UDRP is to go to court. This can end up being much more expensive and take up a lot more time, however, this venue will allow you to sue for monetary damages, while the options above merely give you a chance to get the domain back.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Cut and Paste Copyright

It may be tempting to cut and paste material you find on someone else's web page and just place it on yours, but beware. Unless you fall in to one of the 'fair use' categories, you may be cutting and pasting text, pictures, or other material that is subject to another person's copyright. That right may allow them to pursue your for any unauthorized copying and/or damages.