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I'm interested in registering a domain, let's just call it myna.me but myname.com is already taken (but not in use).

What might be the concerns of registering a .me if the .com version is already taken?

This will be for a web app I'm working on which is in a niche market within web design. I'm sure I can market this using the .me TLD because it fits perfectly into the brand, and most of the marketing will be done directly within the web design community. So I'm not too worried about word of mouth confusing the TLD.

Could this negatively impact anything for me, or should I worry about the .com owner suddenly trying to compete or steal traffic from me?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Registering myna.me for a web app in a niche market is just fine, especially if you think it works well as a brand for your marketing.

Web designers should be more aware that the .me ccTLD is often used for personalized websites. Many large corporate sites (e.g., Facebook, Google, Visa, etc...) have also registered .me domains for URL shortening purposes too. See this for an example list.

If the owner of the myname.com isn't in the same industry and is already operating a website, it should be less concerning as to whether they'd change their site to compete with yours, or do this in attempt to redirect traffic from your website (should it become that popular outside your niche).

As the other answer points out, if there is a trademark for myname in your country, that might be more of a concern; However if they are in a different industry, it would be difficult for them to assert that you did not have a legitimate interest in the domain or registered it in "bad faith", which is two out of three elements needed to succeed in the UDRP domain dispute process.

In short, if you're concerned with competition, I'd suggest looking to see if other domain extensions were taken and what websites they contained to gauge if they were similar and might potentially compete with your site. Then do a trademark search in your local country for myname to make sure that it isn't protected there. By the way, something as generic as myname would be difficult to trademark because it's commonly used, as apposed to something more specific such as abcname.com.

Lastly, it's always a good idea to register your trademark as soon as possible to establish the priority right for your mark, and to avoid potential domain disputes down the line with those who might register it.

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Very thorough. Thank you. –  Mark.C Jul 9 '13 at 7:00
    
No problem - good luck with your site! –  dan Jul 9 '13 at 7:10

Doesn't matter. They can compete if they want to regardless of anything. And they can't steal traffic regardless of anything. But if myname is trademarked they can take your domain from you. That's what you should be worried about.

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