Domain Names and Trade Marks

We’ve previously written before about the difference between a trade mark and a business name. Just like a business name though, a domain name registration by itself doesn’t stop another person from using a same or similar name.

A domain name is another name for your website address. For example, our domain name is trademark-lawyer.com.au. In Australia, all domains ending in .au are administered by the .auDA organisation. They set down a number of rules establishing what can be registered, and who can register them. Registration can be done at any authorised domain name registrar.

Not every domain name may be registered, however. An Australian Business Number or an Australian Company Number is required to register a domain name ending in .com.au. In addition to this, the domain name must be connected to the business. There are some other limitation as well, but generally speaking, as previously mentioned, a domain name registration by itself does not prevent a you from stopping a competitor from using that domain name as a trade mark or business name.

We’ve written about trade mark registrations before – as previously mentioned, a trade mark registration grants certain legal rights to the the owner of the trade mark. A registered trade mark can prevent your competitors from trying to register a similar trade mark in a similar field.

It’s worth considering registering your trade mark at the same time that you register your domain name. In addition to this, you can register can register a domain name as a trade mark as well.

If you need any help, we can advise you whether your domain name can be registered as a trade mark.