New gTLDs trademark concerns are some of the issues to be resolved for the most prominent expansion of the Internet since its inception. If one owns a domain name; be it a dot.com or other extension, one wants to ensure that one is protected from trademark infringements, and defended against accusations of infringing on a trademark. If one does register a trademark in their country of residence, one is not necessarily protected against trademark issues in other countries. Even though the internet is a global environment, one’s registration of a domain name does not guarantee that one has the right to use a business name or a set phrase. To be sure that one is not setting oneself up for trouble, one should perform trademark search before registering a business name, and prior to buying and using a domain name online.
Before registering any domain name, at any extension, one should thoroughly research the business name upon which the domain name is based. As well, one should retain the services of a noteworthy Intellectual Property Attorney who specializes in Trademarks and Copyrights.
The issue of trademark infringement arises for the same trademarked name. Also, if the same logo, or company image, is being represented, then there may be an issue for exploration. Potential concerns include: other similar trademarked names, in other languages, which when translated would be the same as the English equivalent. The Canadian Trademark website for registration is: cipo.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr01369.html. One should speak at length with a representative from this office, in addition to consulting with a lawyer, before applying for a trademark, and definitely before registering for and paying for one.
A savvy business person should consider that if one plans to have a website that will potentially sell digital goods, to international clientele, then one is essentially operating in every country where one sells one’s products. Therefore, one should research registered trademarks in all of the countries where one plans to sell one’s goods. To create multiple-country trademark registrations one can utilize the services enabled by the establishment of the Madrid Protocol, which provides for international registration of a trademark.
For international trademark registration details – Madrid Protocol System – one should visit the main website for the World Intellectual Property Organization: wipo.int/madrid/en/. This website lists information about the registration of a trademark in 70, or so, international cities. This website lists workshops for intellectual property lawyers. It also displays a listings of international expert attorneys who have extensive experience, with international trademark matters.
Currently Canada is not a subscriber to Madrid Protocol Registration System. Over the next few years this may change. One can view a list of participating countries on the following link, by selecting to open the List of Members PDF: wipo.int/madrid/en/members/. Should one endeavour to register a trademark through this process one should definitely consult with and retain a recognized Intellectually Property Attorney. One who owns a domain name and who has a business that operates internationally may require international representation, in addition to a great global marketing campaign. For the best marketing campaigns one should certainly benefit from the services of The Big Pitch – bigpitch.ca