Myth 6: Domain name is the same as trademark

Computer_WorkstationOne of the more popular misconceptions is that when you buy a domain name, you're buying the right to use that name. In some sense, it's true - you have the right to set up a website at that particular address. But that doesn't mean that you'll be able to run your business from it if your name is too similar to someone else's. Acquiring a domain name is entirely different than acquiring a trademark, and there’s no guarantee that you will even be able to use a domain if you purchase one that potentially infringes upon a competitor’s registered IP. 

Some enterprising individuals think that a slight tweak from an address ending in .com to one that's .net is enought to escape possible infringement. Unfortunately for those people, using a different top level domain or using a clever alternate spelling isn’t enough to protect you from a cease and desist letter. Just as you might not appreciate another company using a similar domain name with a different TLD, others won't appreciate if you attempt to do the same, and many display their displeasure in a litigious fashion.

Before launching a website, make sure you do a professional name search to see if your desired domain name is available and that it doesn’t run the risk of infringing on anyone else’s. Some simple research at the outset can save you the hassle of wasting money on branding and a domain name that you can’t use.


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