The battle over trademarks doesn’t just happen in the supermarket or in the airwaves. Business owners and entrepreneurs can also fight over names and logos on the internet. When someone establishes and sets up a website, this person puts his foot inside the ring and puts his chosen logo and brand name to a test. And once the chosen brand name or website has a twin on the internet then that’s the start of trademark conflicts online.
This is something any webmaster and business owner should avoid since online conflicts over logos and brand names online can be costly and can pull the two businesses. For this reason, a person trying to venture into online business should do prior research first before deciding on a certain brand name or trademark. Here are five tested suggestions that can allow an entrepreneur avoid unnecessary conflicts online.
• Before setting up the website, make sure that the chosen site name or domain name has been verified if this is unique. General terms are most likely to have a duplicate, so general terms should be verified. Specific names like names of celebrities and famous people should be avoided as well.
• A Similarity Search should be made prior to the setting of the website. Through this, the entrepreneur will know if there is a conflict with another name online. A simple similarity in name and logo could lead to legal troubles. And we all know that this is costly especially on the part of the new player.
• To ensure that go original over a trademark for a product or service, make sure that you check out any national databases. Some governments including the European Community maintains a database of trademarks registered within their territory.
• If you have decided on a brand name or trademark and you think that you are alone in thinking that this is yours, it is best that you register the trademark under your name. This way you can gain legal protection for your trademark. Logos, graphics and even brand names can be protected by registration. In the United States, you need to file and register the brand name or trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This office has a website where you can electronically file your application. And the site can be used to follow-up on the status of the application.
• Once the trademark or brand name has been associated to you or your business, it is a must that you monitor the trademark. It is a must that you check if you rights are being abused or trampled upon. And when that happens, you need to act quickly in order to do what is legal.
With the mushrooming of online businesses and websites, there is a big chance that your idea for a name or slogan has already been used. For this reason, proper research should be conducted first in order to verify the uniqueness of your chosen trademark. This is a necessary move in order to avoid a costly battle online.