I was wondering, can I use any of the following words in a commercial domain relating to that specific industry?


Python doesn't seem to be trademarked as this word and also there seems to be other websites using it in their name.


This seems copyrighted and almost certainly not likely.


Ruby is sometimes called Ruby on Rails. Again it seems to be used on other commercial sites, but that doesn't mean it is OK to use.

My question is, am I going to be alright to run a commercial site using any of these domains, or is having these words in my domain ultimately going to cause me issues?

  • FYI, Ruby isn't called Ruby on Rails. Ruby on Rails is a framework built on the Ruby programming language. – Andrew Lott Sep 27 '13 at 9:07

Short answer: Yes

Long answer: Copyrights protect works, and trademarks protect marks (i.e., a recognizable sign, design or expression which identifies products or services), so trademarks are what you should be concerned with when registering domains.

Since they're so widely used, the names of programming languages are typically in the public domain, unless developed as a proprietary language and trademarked (e.g., Microsoft's Visual Basic),

Although trademarks containing these names might be filed for specific products or services, that doesn't preclude using them in a domain name for other products or services, especially if they're not confusingly similar to other marks.

For example, "Perl" is trademarked in the U.S. by The Perl Foundation as:

Computer software for use in cross-platform software application, software component and website development; computer software for use in developing, analyzing, coding, checking and controlling other computer software; and computer software that implements a procedural and object-oriented programming language.

Providing that you do not utilize a domain that's named similarly to "Perl" for the same purpose as above in the U.S. (or other countries where it's trademarked), then The Perl Foundation would not be able to demonstrate that you're infringing upon their mark.

To wit, Perl.com which discusses the uses of Perl, is registered by another party, and so is StrawberryPerl.com. Both Python.com and Ruby.com are not associated with their respective programming language either.

In summary: Just make sure that your domain names are not confusingly similar to trademarks and the products or services they're registered for, in the country in which they're registered, and you should be fine. If you have any other concerns, contact a lawyer who specializes in patent & trademark law.

  • 1
    Superb answer, thank you so much for taking the time to explain that. – Jimmy Sep 26 '13 at 8:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.