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Domain Name - Trademark and other legal Considerations Trademark

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by codewizard, Jul 28, 2013.

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  1. codewizard

    codewizard Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi,
    I am planning to create a website and need some guidance about the domain name - trademarks etc. The website will be a non commercial one - free to use and no ads (at least to start with). The domain name I would prefer is currently available. I might also create mobile apps later on.
    I will like to know what considerations should I have - regarding trademark and other legal aspects, when choosing the domain name?
    Specifically:
    1. The planned name consists of two words - inspired by a popular song. However one of the words will be spelled differently (something like boyz instead of boys; just an example). The site is completely unrelated with the song.
    2. I've searched in US Trademarks (tess2 dot uspto dot gov) with Word Mark search - the particular words do not get any hits. However - I found a Trademark and a website which uses the same 'mis'spellt 2nd word and the first word is somewhat of a synonym of the one I want to use. Again - the content is completely unrelated. Note - googling with my planned domain name does not give any significant results...

    So should I bother about these or should I go ahead? Do I need any kind of permission? Should I Trademark my website domain name?

    Thanks a ton for your comments...
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Trademark law is complex and very specific. I cannot answer your legal questions without actually knowing the name so be forewarned.

    1. There are different classes of trademarks. Just because one might exist that covers, e.g. clothing, it doesn't mean that the same mark couldn't be used to provide professional services.

    2. A misspelling that is suggestive may or may not be enough to overcome the likelihood of confusion with an actual federally registered trademark. Would you think that the trademark "Pepsi-Cola" might be confusing with this mark - "Pepsee-Cola"? It sounds the same and is certainly so similar (and the first word is more fanciful and not suggestive such as boyz = boys) so that the usage is case specific.

    3. The overwhelming majority of song titles will not be eligible for a federal trademark. This doesn't mean that the one you chose may not be the exception to the rule.

    So in short, without knowing the name there isn't any trademark attorney who could give you the answer you seek with certainty. We can only provide general guidelines.
     

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