Jul 09, 2008
Protecting your online business name
by Bi3ard / General
Protecting your online business name isn’t too demanding process, but it is necessary. Learn how to protect it in few basic steps.
In many ways, opening a dot.com (or other extension you chose) is like opening any other business. What will make you recognizable is your business name. Your business name can be name of your brand or trade mark.
For protection, you have to register your business name according to the state and local laws. Protection of your business name is important both to make you recognizable to the potential customers and to protect your business from those who would like a piece of cake you made by yourself.
Domain Name Registration
The best bet for business name protection is through the domain name registration. That means when you buy a dot.com, no one else can buy that name. For better level of protection, it’s recommended to buy not only .com, but also other available extensions. For example if you buy mybusiness.com, try to acquire mybusiness.org, mybusiness.net and other popular domains that are available.
Keep in mind that most of the web domain registrars will offer you an opportunity to purchase other extensions during the process of registration.
If you decide to purchase just one extension (.com) and if your online business becomes successful, soon you’ll realize meaning of the word ‘cybersquatting’.
For example, if your business became recognized on national or even world wide level, soon you’ll have ‘leeches’ who would love to build their success on your own.
If you chose domain name, for example greenmind.com (because you’re running environmental friendly gardening business) and in the certain period of time you became very popular regarding gardening advices, selling green products or tools, you will be top choice in search engines, like Google. That means that more and more people will visit your site and will find out about your business.
But, during the domain registration, you forgot or you were too lazy to add other domains in the package, you will soon have cybersquatters that will purchase .org, .net, .biz or any other available extension adding your name to it, to seize your popularity and to attract people on their sites, who would usually won’t offer same service, yet spam or malicious code. That means that you will automatically lose popularity and search results will lead people on that other site. So, when someone type ‘greenmind’ thinking how to buy some quality seed from you, will be distracted to greenmind.biz, a cybersquatter site.
If you didn’t purchase additional domain extensions, don’t worry. You can do that later or if you’re not able to purchase them (lack of money, extensions are already registered...) then always emphasize extension (.com or other extension of your choice) when communicate with customers or partners or when advertise your online business.
That means that instead of telling people that your business name is GreenMind, always say that it’s GreenMind.com to avoid potential misuses.
Trademark Your Business Name
The other way of protection of your business name is to trademark it. This provides the bigger level of business name protection.
Your business name is technically protected at the starting point of your business, but trademark registration gives you a paper trail that makes legal action more feasible.
That basically means that if you notice that anyone misuse your business name, you can take legal action.
Before that, consult with an intellectual property attorney as cases of potential infringement arise.
You can additionally mobilize your loyal customers to keep an eye out for any copy cats or companies that utilize your business name.
Always approach potential violators before pursuing legal action. There are plenty of businesses on the web and it’s hard to tell if some of the business names that are similar to yours are given in purpose to ‘reap your harvest’. Maybe someone run similar business and had similar name on mind.
However if you trademarked your business name, you have right to request that the owner of other business, change his name or purchase another domain name to avoid future confusion.
As being described in the article, those are two basic steps in protection of your online business name.
Registering and trademarking are simple but important measures for safety of your business.
Readers posted 2 comments for this article
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Also I have a competitor who has Google ads that come up every time someone does a search for my main site domain.
Posted 30/11/09 - 20:12 by mdniaz
I did not know this word, but I know what it means - 'cybersquatting'. My domain beyondtheway.com is already under attack from some Chinese intruders; They want to register .cn/.asia along with my domain name. Well, sure that I don't want to end up buying these region specific domains; but, suspecting that a war is brewing up.....