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After reading a blog post by Elliot last week, I thought it would be useful to show you a website that I regularly use to check trademarks. In Elliot's post, he references an article in which 15 common English words or phrases are shown to be trademarked.

Those words are:
  1. Astroturf
  2. Auto-Tune
  3. Band-Aid
  4. Botox
  5. Bubble Wrap
  6. Dumpster
  7. Jumbotron
  8. Kleenex
  9. Onesies
  10. Ping-pong
  11. Popsicle
  12. Realtor
  13. Rollerblade
  14. Seeing Eye Dog
  15. Tupperware
Fifteen common words or phrases that you may use every day and not realize that they're trademarked. You may even register domain names which use these common words or phrases. That would be a mistake. As you may know, trademark holders are well within their rights to defend their brands, and that means that this may result in a UDRP being filed against your domain name.

Ignorance of a trademark isn't a valid excuse either - I don't believe you can file this as a valid defense against a UDRP. A fundamental legal concept is that ignorance of the law is no excuse, and that's particularly important when it comes to cybersquatting laws or trademark infringement. Ultimately it's up to you to check any domain name you own or are looking to acquire for trademarked terms.

This is where a very useful website called Trademarkia comes in. Trademarkia is the largest visual search engine for more than 7 million trademarked logos, names, and slogans. Aside from simply searching for active trademarks in the USA, you can also search for European and International trademarks.

Within a matter of seconds, you can find out whether there is an active trademark on a term used in a domain name that you own or are looking to acquire.

For example, let's say that I may be looking to acquire the domain name NewYorkRealtors.com. With one simple search at Trademarkia.com, I can see that there are a number of different trademarks for the term Realtor and Realtors across a number of different industries.

I can see that there is an active trademark for the term Realtors in the real estate industry, which has been filed by the National Association of Realtors, and the trademark has been registered and renewed since 1947. Also, a subsequent search on UDRPSearch.com shows at least 19 UDRPs filed against owners of domain names containing the word "Realtor" or "Realtors."

This information, which has taken less than a minute to find, would tell you to definitely steer clear of that term.

When it comes to your domain investments, I believe that you should be taking as much care as possible to avoid investing in any terms that contain trademarks.

It won't rule out a UDRP completely, as was proved by yesterday's news of the UDRP being filed against the generic domain name Camilla.com, but a wider knowledge of trademarked terms is always helpful in domaining.
 
The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.

Acroplex

Top Member
DomainGang.com
Impact
2,769
Trademarkia is a meta search engine. One should use USPTO.gov to search for both live, dead, and pending trademarks. That's just a start, as a trademark can exist without being registered. They can also exist in various other locales, such as the UK or Europe as a whole.
 

mad409

Always thinking outside the box!
Impact
4,117
I reged a name the other night and it didn't show up on Trademarkia. After doing further reasearch it appears there is a TM listing at USPTO. This is a good example of checking multiple places. The mark when active on the same date I reged the name therefore Trademarkia doesn't appear to be in real-time and even tonight the mark isn't showing up.
 
Impact
5,700
Trademarkia is a meta search engine. One should use USPTO.gov to search for both live, dead, and pending trademarks. That's just a start, as a trademark can exist without being registered. They can also exist in various other locales, such as the UK or Europe as a whole.

Madrid Protocol
 
biix