Domain Name Trademarks

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What Is A Trademark?

A trademark is a distinctive item that is used to identify a logo, product, device, package or service. The trademark identifies the item as being provided by a particular firm. To protect these items you can obtain a mark from the patent and trademark office that prohibits others from trying to gain economic advantage from your mark.

Domain Name

The patent and trademark office views domain names in a unique way. The office views the website element as a part of the file transfer process, not your domain name. The �.com�, �.net�, etc., designations are considered top-level domain identifiers and are also disregarded for the purpose of a domain name trademark. For example, our domain name is website If we submitted the domain name for registration, only the �sandiegobusinesslawfirm� portion would be considered for a mark.

Locators Cannot Be Registered

A domain name is a locator for Halazy.Com file pages. When you type in your domain name, a server locates and displays files. If a domain is used solely for this purpose, it will not be granted a mark. Instead, the domain name must be incorporated into the site. For instance, Amazon is recognized as an online bookstore and the site actually has the word �Amazon� on every page. Since "Amazon.com" is more than a locator, Amazon can apply for and receive a trademark. If Amazon used the domain name, bookstore.com, the company would be able to register �Amazon�, but not �bookstore.�

Generic and Descriptive Terms

Domain names that are generic or descriptive in nature cannot be registered because they fail to designate a distinctive product or service. For example, �sandiegobusinesslawfirm� is comprised of generic terms and describes who and where we are, to wit, a San Diego business law firm. This domain name cannot be trademarked. The same result would occur with bank.com, book.com, advice.com, etc.

You may be thinking, �What about �Coke?� "Coke" is a trademarked term because it is a distinctive term for a soft drink product. It just so happens that a brilliant marketing plan has convinced most people to refer to soft drinks as �cokes�, even if they actually prefer another brand!

Trademarks are an important factor in protecting your Internet business. Armed with a trademark, you can keep competitors from pulling traffic off the search engines when people search for your site.

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