Unlike new trade marks, designs, and patentable inventions, domain names are NOT a form of intellectual property right that is monitored by a Government agency. This means that protecting your brand online and within domains can be difficult.
As a business owner, it would be wise to be on the lookout for copycat businesses imitating your website, that may mislead or deceive customers into buying their products.
It is therefore important that you seek expert legal advice in relation to the defence, maintenance and dispute of domain names, to give your business the proper legal protection, together with any trade marks and other intellectual property protection.
The new .au direct domain name is a shorter, simpler domain name that is available to Australian citizens, permanent residents and organisations incorporated in Australia or holding an Australian Business Number. It can be used to complement your current .com.au domain name.
It’s vital that you register your .au domain name with your domain registrar (i.e. Godaddy, Bluehost, SiteGround etc.), both to maintain comprehensive protection of your brand and to prevent others from misusing or passing off your reputation as their own. You can perform a domain name search to see if your .au domain name is still available. Registration of a .au domain name is open since 21 September 2022.
With more and more business names being snapped up, domains, social media handles, company names, the chances for businesses to be stepping on other toes are increasing.
For help with .au domain name disputes involving your brand, please get in touch.
Our team at Progressive Legal understands the domain space and can assist in protecting your rights and business name.
Domain hijacking is a form of cybercrime where the attacker takes control of a domain name without the owner’s consent. This can be done by hacking into an account, or by guessing and entering the correct password. The attacker then changes the contact information for that domain to their own, and redirects it to another website.
Domain squatting is the act of registering a domain name that is similar to an existing trade mark or company name with the intention of selling it at a later date.
Domain squatting is unethical and sometimes considered an unlawful practice. It can also be considered as cybersquatting if the domain name is registered with the intention of profiting from someone else’s trade mark.
Business owners may search online for a cybersquatting lawyer when trying to resolve cybersquatting disputes.
Domain Phishing is a type of phishing attack that targets domain registrants. It is done by sending emails to the registrant with the intent to steal their login credentials and gain access to their account.
Watch this short video and learn from Ian Aldridge, our Principal Lawyer: “With the Internet and the explosion of new ideas, copycats are unfortunately becoming more and more common. It could be that someone’s using your business name, your logo, a new product name or your tag-line.”
Generally, you can resolve domain name disputes in several ways:
A domain name lawyer can assist in protecting your rights and business name.
In the event that someone buys your domain name, there are a few key steps you should take in order to resolve the situation.
First, preserve the evidence of your research and how you came to realise that someone bought your domain name.
Then, contact us.
We will try to resolve the matter with the buyer, without compromising your legal rights to file a claim/ take legal action against the buyer.
Finally, if our correspondence is ignored by the buyer, you should consider instructing us to file a claim and take legal action against them to recover your domain name.
No, domain names themselves do not constitute an intellectual property right. They are just a string of characters used to identify a website. However, your domain name may contain a word which may be considered as intellectual property.
Examples of intellectual property include:
“Ian and his team have restored my faith that there are decent lawyers out there. […] They have assisted me with everything from my local and international trademarks, distributor agreements, and all the website T&C and disclaimers so i can rest assured that i have all my legal bases covered!”
Sabrina J Parr, Keeko Oil