A domain name is an alias for an Internet Protocol (IP) address, which identifies the location of websites on the Internet. Instead of having to remember a long sequence of numbers, for example, an Internet user can key in an easy-to-remember domain name, e.g., www.brinksgilson.com. Domain names are registered with an Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN ) accredited registrar.

Use of a domain name merely as an informational part of an Internet address does not, by itself, qualify as trademark use. In order to qualify the domain name must function separately as an indicator of source. It then can be registered with the USPTO as a trademark or service mark.

A domain name record is initially active for two years; however, this does vary from country to country. After the first two years, the record must be reviewed on an annual basis. Domain names can be canceled for various reasons, including failure to pay registration fees and decisions in domain name disputes.

There is no need to have an active web page in order to register or maintain a domain name record.

To find out more please access our IP Primer page.