What If Someone Has Your Domain Name?

Can someone take my domain name?

Trademark can’t be used after the fact to take away your existing domain.

A common law trademark is valid for the first person to use a mark in commerce – in the class they are using it.

What if a domain name is taken but not 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.

Who actually owns a domain name?

The legal owner of a domain name is the person and/or organization listed as the domain’s registrant or owner contact. Domains typically have four contacts: registrant/owner, admin, technical, and billing.

However, domain flipping is legal. Buying domain names has been a legal practice ever since the Internet came into being in the 1990s. Legally, buying and selling domain names is quite similar to real estate property transactions in the offline world.

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.