Call us today0800 160 1298
 
 

Advantage Litigation

Welcome to Advantage Litigation Services. We provide affordable access to commercial litigation.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Trademarks and website domain names – how to protect yours

Posted by on in Uncategorized
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 331
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

Simply put, a domain name is your website name, the address on the internet where users can access and see your website. Whilst computers use IP addresses, which are a series of numbers to identify unique devices and locations on the internet, domain names were developed as it is difficult for humans to remember strings of numbers.

When you have an idea for a new product, service, or business, one of your early tasks will be to find a name for it. A domain name can be any combination of letters and numbers, and it can be used in combination of the various domain name extensions, such as .co.uk, .com, etc. Every domain name is unique, and your domain name must be registered before you can use it.

Trademark Protection

If you are able to, it is well worth speaking to an expert in in trademarks to help you choose a name, and to check that your proposed name is legally available to use, and most importantly, whether it is distinctive enough to function as a trademark.

In the UK, you are unable to obtain trademark protection of descriptive names. A good example of this is the Tesco supermarket chain and their Clubcard loyalty card scheme. Tesco, even with the financial and legal resources available to them, has been unable to register ‘Clubcard’ as a trademark because the registry considered Clubcard as being too descriptive. The result is that any other business is free to use the name Clubcard for its own loyalty card program.  

So, you’ve established that your chosen name isn’t descriptive; the next step is to make sure that the name is actually legally available for you to use, at least within your domestic market in the UK. If the name is legally available, you can now take steps to protect it and ensure that you have exclusive rights over it. However, its important to remember that simply registering the name on it’s own is not enough as trade mark registrations can be cancelled if someone with better rights over the name objects to your registration. Once it’s clear the name you have chosen is legally available, it means you now have a unique online brand. If others are “passing off” your brand by registering your name as a domain, you are in a strong position to recover it from them.

Preventing future problems

Failiure to register your name can lead to real headaches further down the line. For example, what if you find out years later that someone else has been using the name perfectly legally and as a consequence, you can’t use the name and need to change the name and all the brand value that you have accrued? Your business could suffer a substantial drop in customers, revenues and profits very quickly, as well as having to go through a potentially expensive renaming and rebranding process, with all the PR, marketing and awareness activities that need to go with this. As well as losing your old domain name’s natural SEO authority (the ‘ranking’ that Google and other search engines give your domain name that increases over time), it is not always feasible to redirect the old domain name to your new domain, potentially making it more difficult for your former customers or potential new ones to find you when searching online.

Trademarks reduce the risk of consumers being confused about the source or origin of goods or services they buy. Make sure you get good advice before you start using a new name, or if you find another business using yours illegally, make sure you take appropriate steps to protect this vitally important asset.

If you are thinking about taking legal action regarding a trademark infringement but are worried about the costs involved, Advantage Litigation Services have the skills and expertise to help you find a way of funding commercial litigation without risking your personal finances or those of your business. Click here to contact us today or call 0800 160 1298 to see how we can help.

 

Get in touch

  1. Your Name(*)
    Please let us know your name.
  2. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.
  3. Company Name(*)
    Please write a subject for your message.
  4. Your Phone Number
    Invalid Input
  5. Message(*)
    Please let us know your message.
  6. Anti-Spam, please enter the characters shown
    Anti-Spam, please enter the characters shown
    Invalid Input

Latest News

  • In a move that many observers will see as a victory against the increasing ‘stealth’ privatisation of the NHS, healthcare provider Circle is set to lose its contract to the Nottingham NHS Treatment Centre, despite taking legal action to get the decision changed. Circle broke new ground in 2012 by becoming the first private and for profit healthcare business to be placed in charge of running an NHS hospital. Despite this contract, at Cambridgeshire’s Hinchingbrooke hospital, returning to NHS control in 2015 due to rising financial pressures, Circle had successfully run the Nottingham NHS Treatment Centre since 2008. Despite receiving high CQC ratings for patient satisfaction and having hit NHS targets for patient treatment, the firm – who claim to operate as a ‘John Lewis style social enterprise’ – lost the contract in April this year. Circle has been criticised for taking... Read More

  • A recent judgement at the High Court in London has seen the Post Office being ordered to pay over £5 million in legal costs resulting from its ongoing legal dispute with former Post Office workers. The legal action was bought by 557 former Post Office workers, many of whom were sub-postmasters, who claim that they were falsely blamed for financial shortfalls at various small Post Office branches throughout the UK. The former workers claim that a software error in the Post Office’s computer system – called Horizon – was responsible for the discrepancies which resulted in many staff losing their livelihoods. The claimant group includes Tracy Felstead, a former Post Office employee from Shropshire who in 2001 was jailed for six months after being convicted of stealing £11,500, and has always protested her innocence. The first trial, which opened in November... Read More

  • London’s Court of Appeal has ruled that a judge in a recent libel claim had ‘seriously transgressed’ the fundamental principle of neutrality and had ‘bullied’ a Litigant in Person (‘LIP’) whilst they were giving evidence at trial. The case in question, Serafin v Malkiewicz & Ors, was a libel action involving a Polish language publication called Nowy Cza. The claimant was a LIP – meaning that he was representing himself rather than using a solicitor or barrister – and was giving evidence at the trial. The trial judge, Mr Justice Jay, was accused by the LIP of making: ..frequent gratuitous interjections during the trial, hostile to the claimant, putting the claimant under enormous pressure and making it extremely difficult for him to conduct the litigation”. The LIP’s plea was upheld at the Court of Appeal on three grounds: 1. That the judge’s conclusion that... Read More