Creating your new business, formalizing a new business idea, or simply marketing your existing business can become even more complex given the use of the internet, blogs and social marketing. Prior to the internet, what name to use for your company was not as complex. Today, many business owners must consider the name of the business, whether the domain name is available, how will it be marketed both locally and globally, possible blog names and/or social marketing ideas.
The addition of the internet, blogs and social marketing has made it much easier for small businesses to reach customers. It is much easier today for a start-up business to be able to reach a larger audience due to the reach of the internet. This can also create more issues regarding naming rights.
Naming rights for businesses, website domain names, blogs, etc. are all covered under separate areas of law. For example, if a new business was being created in the state of North Carolina, for the most part, state law will dictate what naming rights are available and what laws apply. State law would also apply as to trade names which the company might use.
However, federal law might dictate naming rights for domain names and blogs. The federal law could include trademark law and a law which was enacted in 1999 by Congress which is entitled the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. The law covers lots of issues including provisions for companies to take over or secure domain names that are confusingly similar to their names or valid trademarks. In order to be successful, the company must establish that the domain name holder acted in a way that would be considered bad faith.
If you have questions concerning naming rights, starting a new business or developing a budding idea, please feel free to contact us.