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Legal stance on domain name??

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by ben5000, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. ben5000

    ben5000 New Member


    I am looking at purchasing a domain name for a website I want to setup for web design services. The domain I wish to purchase is available as a as it seems another company has already registered the .com version. Now the company who has got the .com is already trading in the same line of business as a LTD company.

    My question is can I still register the name without causing any legal issues or problems with the other company. Whilst we are in the same field our clients are never likely to be the same as different parts of the country etc.

    Should I just avoid this name altogether, or go ahead and not worry??

    I hope someone can help


  2. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    I don't think there is any legal recourse to using the

    When you register a .com you usually get the option to buy all the other (.whatevers) at a reduced rate.
    As you are in the same line of business it could throw up some confusion however but if you are cool with that then I don't think there's a legal issue as long as you're not trying to pass yourself off as them.
    If they do have issue then they should have bought the in the first place.

    If you go on you can tell what is taken across loads of social media and the like.
  3. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Ben

    The ONLY way you MAY get away with this is if it is a generic (is that the word to use?) term, i.e ...if not, then pick something else as you will have a nightmare if they find out as you won't have a leg to stand on unfortunately and will lose the domain.

    There are millions of names you could have, think of something else.

    I have been through Nominet's DRS procedure many many times.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  4. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    So, although I don't own "" I could take legal action against someone using it?
  5. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    It would depend on what they're using it for. If they also are an illustrator there's potential to argue a conflict of interest if you like, since one party could claim the other is causing confusion in the market. Apple are notorious for threatening legal action against anyone using 'Apple' in their business name. I recall a cafe that was forced to change it's name (or rather they probably opted to out of fear) because they had 'apple' in their name somewhere.

    Legally they probably could have retained the name since they're in a different industry but would you really argue with a business that big and wealthy? A lot of companies fiercely protect their IP only out of necessity – if they don't, later down the line another party could argue that thy didn't act soon enough and can keep trading as "Apple Tech Company" because they have been for a period of time.

    However, the domain appears to be available so why not grab it and save yourself the hassle?
  6. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    As Paul says, if they are offering the same services as you and you have been trading using the .com for a period of time then certainly, this could be classed as 'passing off' which if proven Nominet would award you the

    It costs though and if the situation isn't sorted in 'mediation' which is free then you have to pay I think £700 for a third party specialist (chosen by Nominet) to make the decision based on your points and the domain owners points, that's the risk you take as it doesn't always go your way. I have won domains I never thought I would get and lost domains I never thought I could lose.

    For such a small amount of money I would ensure you have the and .com if possible.
  7. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    Shit gets more and more complicated in design doesn't it?

    I'll probably just pick up the for my sites or alternatively just send the boys round in the van. ;)
  8. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Do it quick, I have seen discussions like this on forums then some prick buys it and tries selling it to you at a premium...
  9. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Hey... don't call me a prick :p
    Stationery Direct likes this.

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