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Domain Names

What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is your online address on the internet. All computers on the internet have a unique identifying number – an Internet Protocol address.

This is because this address is difficult to remember, we use a domain name.

A domain name is promoted so that customers can easily find your specific goods or services. Each website has its own distinct domain name, allowing it to be distinguishable from other sites. For the most part, domain names are easy to remember because they are usually made up of a business name and a commonly understood term or language that their customers will recognise.

Differences Between Trade Marks, Business, Company and Domain Names

Registering a business, company or domain name DOES NOT give you any ownership rights over that name - only a trade mark can provide that kind of protection.

Make sure you are aware of the differences between trade marks, businesses, company and domain names. Websites can contain metatags. Metatags are terms contained on a website that hypothetically describe or in some way relate to the subject matter of the website and that are invisible to the Web surfer. These can be used illegally and can constitute deceptive and misleading conduct and/or passing off.

Domain Name Infringement

Sweeny Legal IP can prosecute domain name infringement, and defend domain name cease and desist matters. Domain names are protected by registration of a trade mark.

Contact Sweeny Legal IP for more information.

How Do I Get a Domain Name?

It is important that you register your trade mark to make sure you have the exclusive right to use that domain name for the duration of the licence period.

Domain names are licensed for a two-year period. In the global domain (known as the global Top Level Domain or gTLD) the licence period is one year. If you don’t renew your registration your licence will be cancelled and the domain name will become available for registration by someone else.

Anyone can register an internet domain name in the .au domain by submitting a registration form to an auDA accredited registrar or one of their appointed resellers. There is no restriction on the number of domain names that may be licensed by a registrant; however, an applicant must meet set criteria.

As no two domain names can be exactly the same, it is up to you to search the domain name database, to check that the same or a similar domain name doesn’t already exist in another domain (e.g. .net.au, .com.au).

Since 1 July 2002 the .au domain name market has been opened up to competition and registrars/resellers charge different prices.

Applying For a Domain Name

To apply for a .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, .asn.au or .id.au domain name, choose your preferred registrar and follow their application process.

You can apply for an .edu.au domain name through the Australian Domain Name Administrator.

You can apply for a .gov.au domain name through the Department of Finance and Deregulation.

What Can I Do If Someone Applies For A GTLD That Represents My Brand Or Trade Mark?

If you think that someone has applied for a gTLD that represents your brand or trade mark, you can file an objection with the Dispute Resolution Service Providers (DSPR) selected to administer “legal rights” objections. Rights holders may object where the applied for gTLD string infringes on existing legal rights of the objector.

Details about these procedures, such as who can file an objection, where and how objections are filed, and how much objections will cost can be found in the ICANN applicants guidebook.

Further Information On New GTLD

Further information is available at the ICANN website and the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Please see the Sweeny Legal blog  for more information on the difference between domain names and trade marks.

SEO Legal advice

The most important elements on your website are the search bar at the top. These elements should be highlighted and should be easy to navigate. Search engine optimisation is the process of effecting the visibility and findability of a webpage. This effects the searchability and final search results list in a Google search. Optimising involve editing and tagging skills. Sweeny Legal’s experience and skill in cataloguing and classifying works, involving with Boolean and keyword searching in catalogues, databases and AustLii, coupled with the necessary legal knowledge, can assist with an effective e-commerce strategy.

Branding Legal Advice

A strong brand is a sign of business goodwill and trust, which consumers identify. The key to good strong trade mark is to be as distinct as a possible, e.g. Kodak for cameras, Nike for sport brands and VW for Volkswagen.

Whether you’re are inventing a new logo or changing the logo or the entire feel of your brand, there are some key things you need to look out for to keep your brand protected. Contact Sweeny Legal for branding legal advice.

A Trade mark, a new brand or logo, Rebranding? New logo? New domain? What are the risks?

Sweeny Legal IP will recommend legal defensive domain name registering to protect your idea, business name for your product or service.

Brands Worth Licensing

Brandsworth Licensing lets you leverage your most important intangible asset, your brand intellectual property. Brandsworth Licensing can advise on the best strategy to extend your brand and advertise and market your brand, utilising the business tools and models of licensing agreements, across a range of industries to achieve your business strategy and/or extend into new lifestyle products. Brandsworth Licensing can license a mowing business, a patent, artwork, designs, music, copyright, software apps, goods manufacturing or any business.

Liability by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation