Domain name and trade mark conflicts



A domain name in and of itself is not the same thing as a trade mark.

A domain name is part of an internet address which locates a specific space on the internet. Unlike trade marks, domain names are global and must be unique - one domain is only available to one user (ie one website).

Trade marks, on the other hand, can overlap in different industries and geographical locations. This can sometimes lead to disputes about the right to register a domain name if it conflicts with an existing trade mark.

This guide looks at the different intellectual property issues related to internet domain names. It explains the relationship between trade mark and domain name and examines the common legal issues that can arise.

It also considers if you can register a domain name as a trade mark. Finally, it suggests ways of resolving domain name trade mark disputes.

If you hold a .eu domain or want to register one after 1 January 2021, see registering and renewing .eu domain names in the UK.