by Tom Makeig, a lawyer who serves entrepreneurs

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Thomas H. Makeig, with offices in Fairfield, Iowa, is a 1981 alumnus of New York University School of Law and is admitted to the practice of law in Iowa and New York. This blog does not offer legal advice, which requires confidential personal communication with a lawyer. NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC: The determination of the need for legal services and the choice of a lawyer are extremely important decisions and should not be based solely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise. This disclosure is required by rule of the Supreme Court of Iowa.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Leverage your brand with Internet domain names

You should consider taking aggressive steps to secure Internet domain names ("URL's" or web addresses) that fit your brand even as you pursue trademark protection.  It's easy to shop for available URL's by using, for example, This website catalogs who is asserting ownership to any URL that you search, and it helps you to obtain the URL for yourself if it is not in use.

The primary target of your URL acquisition campaign should be URL formulations of your business name, your product name(s) and your tagline(s). You should also consider common misspellings, and you should check the websites of close variations that are in use to determine whether they are infringing on your trademark rights, or indeed, whether you may be infringing on theirs.  When you obtain a URL, the simplest use you can make of it is to point the URL toward your main website, a task you can easily accomplish yourself without the intervention of your IT consultant. You can embellish your use of the URL by creating special pages tailored to persons who are likely to seek out the URL.

Remember to keep your trademark lawyer informed of the steps you have taken to secure relevant domain names.

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