Quick Answer: Is It Illegal To Buy A Competitor’s Domain Name?

The practice is legally restricted to domain names that use words you can find in the dictionary.

But some companies will buy up variations or misspellings of other well-known sites—like, say, Micorsoft.com.

Those sites aren’t legal, but they can still turn a profit before the trademarked party notices.

Can you get sued for having a similar domain name?

Yes you can get sued. The issue is whether your use of the domain name violates the trademark rights of this competitor. Trademarks identify the source of goods and services.

How do I buy a domain name that is not being used?

It is easy to register a domain but difficult to get a site up and running. Try contacting the registrant. You can find registration information at www.whois.net. Find out if there is a reasonable explanation for the use of the name and if the registrant would be willing to sell it to you.

Can I buy a domain name that is trademarked?

If you own a trademark, you own the right to its domain. If the domain name is registered already in bad faith by someone else, known as “cybersquatting,” you don’t need to pay to have the domain returned.