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Protecting Your Name Without a Registered Trademark

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Common Law Trademarks had limitations because they only protected you in the geographic area where you were doing business. If you opened up a Pizza shop in New York, the name was yours in New York. The internet changes that because the internet is global. An online store is selling products worldwide, so it’s likely it comes down to who got to it first and what’s being done with it.

Someone with a Common Law Trademark that predates a registered Trademark has a stronger claim to the mark. So, again, what it comes down to is usage and not just registration. What we’re going to do here is go over things you can to prove usage as well as ward off potential infringers.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Nobody wants to go to court so the goal is to prevent things from even getting that far. The best way to do that would be to prevent access. A burglar can’t rob your house if they can’t get inside.

What that means in this internet age is buying up digital real estate so no one else can find a place to establish a business. Here’s how we do that.

Claim your brand name on every online platform you can think of, here’s a list to start you off:

Any other new buzzing platform you hear people talking about, be the first one there and take ownership of your name in that space.

Next is Domain registration, your “.com” and “.net” because if someone can’t build a website under the name, they can’t really establish themselves with it. You should register as many top-level domains as you can afford on GoDaddy.com

List of Top-Level Domains to Register

  • .com
  • .net
  • .tv

Lacking the ability to build a presence on any of the major platforms or a website, anyone else that wants to use the name

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