I want to protect my domain name, so I've been thinking of registering it as a trademark. Does anyone know what class a website would come under (for the registration process)?

Also, do you think this is necessary? I've already found another website with the same name, but a weird country suffix added to it.

EDIT: The website would be an educational website (not sure if that helps).


Global Trademark registration is a very expensive (6K - 8K GBP per Mark), time consuming process, that is very murky when it comes to domains.

The only real protection it affords you is the ability to take other people to court (which you probably can't afford to do at the moment). You can send cease and desist letters, but many people would simply call your bluff.

If you really want to protect your online brand, you're better off buying all the TLD's you can afford (much cheaper) and hanging on to them until you're a larger company and can afford decent lawyers.

It's worth remembering that many countries, the US included, do recognise common law trademarks - so even if you haven't registered you would still have some avenues of legal recourse if there was really a problem.

Wiki has a really good article on this subject.

I'm not a lawyer in any country, this isn't legal advice, it's opinion.

  • Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. Global trademark registration does seem rather exorbitant. My fear is that while I have owned the TLDs for a long time someone may claim that they have the right to them. I've owned the TLDs for quite a long time and have been slowly developing them on a local server. I'm worried though that to anyone after the domains it would look like I'm cybersquatting.
    – TryHarder
    Jun 4 '12 at 14:15
  • @moomoochoo well, if you have an original website with original content and are not trading off a typo or stealing content then you have nothing to fear. Either way having a trade mark won't prevent someone taking you to the name registrar's dispute body. Jun 4 '12 at 14:32
  • It's original content and it WAS an original name, but recently a company started using a domain with the same name (and in the same industry). My website has been under development for about 5 years- during that time my website hasn't been running publicly. Despite that I have been using the name offline on education materials and the like.
    – TryHarder
    Jun 4 '12 at 14:41
  • @moomoochoo then check the wayback machine to see if they have records for you, but if you've been around that long then I don't think you have anything to fear. Jun 4 '12 at 15:28

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