The dramatic rise in the online sale of goods and services makes the internet a valuable resource for any individual or company that wants to develop or expand its market share.
Most businesses now find it essential to have a website where they can promote and market their goods and services. To establish a website, a business must first acquire a domain name, which is the unique, virtual address that allows internet users to find their particular website.
Ideally, a domain name should reflect or incorporate the name or trade mark under which a business operates. However, since domain names are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, many businesses find that that the domain name they would like to use has already been registered by another business. This means that they must either adopt an alternative domain name or, if possible, acquire the existing registration from the registrant.
If it can be established that the registrant has no legitimate entitlement to the domain name and has, for example, knowingly registered a domain name which incorporates another company’s registered trade mark, it may be possible to have the trade mark owner substituted as the proprietor of the domain name.
If the domain name has been registered legitimately it may be possible to buy the domain name for a fee.
Remember, owning a domain name does not automatically give someone the right to use that domain name and, in certain cases, the use of a domain name could infringe an existing trade mark right. Before adopting a domain name we recommend that you search for potentially conflicting trade marks to ensure that your chosen domain name is available and free to use.
Useful sites include: the Irish domain name registry (IEDR)