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How to check whether the domain name you have chosen conflicts with other trademark existing domain names which you didn't know about.

Also, when is it legal to choose similar domain names to other existing websites that do similar functions. For example I noticed that there are a lot of sites that are just a variation of arxiv.org that essentially do the same job, yet they are not in trouble, for example vixra.org.

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This is determined by a country by country basis and different countries have different laws.

In Australia we us ASIC and IPA Australia to look up specific trademarks. All CC TLDs (Country Code Top Level Domains) are governed by auDa - the .au Domain Administration.

Australia has very specific compliance for our CC TLDs, including trademark found in Domain Name Eligibility and Allocation Policy Rules for the Open 2LDs. This covers common misspellings of a trademark termed and you may submit a complaint via the appropriate channels via auDa.

This is a common approach with most ccTLDs having some type of Governing body to self-regulate domain names and intellectual property.

Where it gets complicated is with gTLDs (Generic Top Level Domains) such as a .com, .net, .org or countless others.

This is on a country by country basis and in many instances if a business is trading in the same country as you, does not have the trademark and you do then you would probably have to write a letter exclaiming infringement.

Generally these matter are settled with some kind of arrangement or a negotiated settlement. But it can be complicated - if they own the trademark in another nation, they do not trade in your country, your protection laws in your country do not allow protection on anything beyond ccTLDs etc.

Situations like that are what lawyers are for.

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Here's a link to check trademarks in the UK... https://www.gov.uk/search-for-trademark

This link allows you to search directly with the UK Intellectual Property Office who are charged with the responsibility of maintaining all requests for trademarking within the UK.

If it is not listed on here, it is unlikely to be a registered trademark, at least in the UK.

  • You should probably explain a bit more here. Link only answers are generally considered low quality. Each trademark as a scope/limitation that should be explained and how to determine if a website would be violating a trademark should be explained. – closetnoc Aug 17 '15 at 14:09
  • @Peter, is arXiv a trademark? – MrDi Aug 17 '15 at 21:51
  • Not in the UK, according to a keyword search on the link provided. @closetnoc, I'll update my answer now. – Peter Bishop Aug 20 '15 at 10:03
  • @PeterBishop BTW- I was not trying to be a jerk. People who come to this site need a little guidance here and there- no one is an exception. It was done for me and I was trying to do the same for you- albeit maybe a bit awkward. Awkward seems to be one of my modes sometimes. Sorry. – closetnoc Aug 20 '15 at 15:32
  • @closetnoc - No worries. I'm not completely new on SE and should have known better. I get tired and lazy by the end of the day. You're not a jerk. No apology required. – Peter Bishop Aug 21 '15 at 9:16

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