The domain name registration process relies on a first-come-first-served basis by administrators and registrars. Registration of similar domain names and similar trademarks to that Domain can cause domain disputes.
Using a domain name will establish some rights to that domain name, mainly if you publicize that domain name, i.e., on your letterhead. However, if someone has registered a domain name does not mean that they have the best right to it. If a similar trademark is registered earlier by someone, they may have more substantial rights to the Domain.
In many cases, various businesses could have rights to a domain name, specifically when a domain name describes a product rather than using the company’s name or trademark.
The two common factors that cause a domain name dispute are following.
- You can win a domain dispute if you can show that the other party registered a domain with bad intentions, including registering a domain name using your trademark to sell it to that person or passing the website off as related to that person’s business.
- Large companies with heavy pockets may be prepared to pursue a domain name by running up large legal bills. In this case, it may be in your interest to negotiate a settlement.
As disputes can be complex, you should take legal advice on your particular circumstances.