Domain names and trade marks: don't confuse the two!
When starting a new business, or moving into a new specialism, it may seem like everything needs to be done yesterday.
However, when considering the registration of a trade mark and the registration of a domain name, part of the complete package for a new business, it is difficult to know what need to come first.
With the world spending 99% of their lives online, it is important that your business can be accessed online and potential customers can see that your business is above your competitors. Therefore, you need to register a domain address from which the public can access your online information.
It is also important that you protect your business brand with a registered trade mark. This is to ensure that any reputation you build is not damaged by a third party or any confusion is created between your brand and another.
In an ideal world, you will want your trade mark and domain name to coincide and have a clear link, allowing customers to find you easily.
However this may not be the case. If you register the domain first you may then find you cannot register the trade mark, because either it has already been registered or in fact the brand name does not match the criteria for a registered trade mark. Vice Versa, the domain may not available after you have registered your trade mark.
The best first step is searching. Both the domain name database and the register of trade marks in the UK can be searched to determine the position of your potential brand name.
If both are free to use, it is The Trademarkroom’s suggestion that you submit both applications at the same time. You need to be sure that the mark you have chosen is the one you wish to have your business primarily associated with. After this, by submitting both applications at the same time, it prevents any delay on the other.
A trade mark application will take longer than that to register a domain name but once your application is submitted, you have priority to register that mark over any further applications.
For more information and guidance, please do not hesitate to contact The Trademarkroom today!
By Ellis Sweetenham