The domain name of your website is actually a very important one. Having your own domain and establishing your own website URL is something that every webmaster should do so that people can actually access their webpages. Of course, you will need to get a hosting provider for your website to be visible online.
A good domain name is not only easy to memorize but it is also actually necessary for SEO purposes, among others.
So, you choose your domain name and after a couple of months, looking at your website analytics has shown you that you are doing good and then it happens: you are given an infringement letter!
What is an Infringement Letter?
An infringement letter is a letter that is sent by an attorney to tell someone to refrain from doing anything illegal. Copyright infringement is one of the clauses that is usually found in such letters and it means that you should stop using the domain name because it has actually been used by others.
It is the same as putting up your own business and using a business name that has already been registered and trademarked. If you still use the name, you will be given an infringement letter stating that you are actually engaging in copyright infringement.
Infringing a Trademark?
Do you know Coca Cola? I bet you do because it is one of the most popular cola brands in the world today. Go to any restaurant and order a coke and you will find that you will be given Coca Cola or any other cola products.
You might think that using the term ‘coke’ is legal simply because you have deemed it as an umbrella term, but that is actually not the case.
You see, there are companies that would trademark names that are similar to their brand, such as in the case of Coca Cola. Coke, therefore, is definitely one of their trademarked things, which means that you can never use their name in anything that might relate to them, especially in a domain name.
When you are still persistent and you happen to use one of the trademarked names on your website, then you can expect to be given an infringement letter for that.
So, How Can I Avoid This?
If you are using a trademarked term in your domain name, then you can expect companies to go after you. If you do use a trademarked term, then that could also misrepresent the products that you are selling.
You might think that you gain more traction by using a popular term, but the opposite is true. People will deem your website as a fake and if that happens, you can expect a poor SEO performance across the board.
To avoid this from ever happening, you can use tools such as Wayback Machine and Whois to allow you to know which domain names have been taken and which ones are trademarked. Then, you simply have to come up with a unique domain name that doesn’t use and trademarked term and you are good.