Guide

Trade marks and domain names

Introduction

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, a domain name is 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 differences between domain names and trade marks. It examines why you might want to register a domain name as a trade mark, and looks at the common ways of resolving trade marking and domain names disputes.