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Available Brand Names: A Trap?

Should you jump on an available brand name, just because it is cool and the domain url is not taken? This website encourages you to do just that. But not so fast…. I did a quick check of some of the “available” domains listed in that website, and found at least one of those names falls under the trademark protection of another company. That could spell trouble for a less-than-diligent entrepreneur. You should pick a cool brand name for your company or product/service. But don’t pick one that infringes on someone else’s property rights. In a prior series of posts here, here and here, I discussed the hazards of jumping on a domain name before checking whether that domain will infringe on another company’s trademark. So do a proper trademark search before buying a cool domain name. Then register your own trademark (a form of  intellectual property) on that name as soon as possible to lock out your competition from grabbing the same name. Is there anything else that can go wrong with choosing a cool brand name? Well, the name might be considered merely descriptive of your service, which is a problem for trademark registration. For example, one of the “cool names” on the list above is “Retail Bird.” That might be fine for many companies, but you won’t likely get a trademark on that name if you run a pet store. You competitors must be able to use that phrase to describe their aviary inventory. Trademark rules are not overly difficult to understand. But if you don’t have the time to study those rules before jumping on “available” domain names, it is a good idea to hire the services of someone who can do that for you.

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