Thinking of rebranding or starting a new business? Research the name you think you might want to use and get your names now. Is it taken as a domain name? Is your name taken in a social media platform like Facebook or Pinterest? What is a good variable of the name that you like that is free from possible infringement problems? It’s important to get your names now and take hold of your information that is associated with your business. I cannot stress how important this is especially with Facebook earning a huge 2.8 million dollar judgement against cybersquatters or typosquatters that unfairly lured people to pages that looked like Facebook but were just fake sites.
Tips from the lawsuit:
Key Lessons: The Facebook case provides important guidance for companies that find themselves the victim of online trademark infringement. Such companies have a number of weapons available to protect their brand, including pursuing claims for trademark infringement, unfair competition, and cybersquatting (under either the ACPA or UDRP). As a preemptive strategy, companies should consider obtaining branded domain names and social media accounts (with a reasonable number of variants) before a would-be infringer beats you to the punch.*
Deep Pockets to Pay Lawyers or Get Your Names Now
It’s just easier to grab your Facebook user name, Twitter ID, Domain url and Pinterest name right away – even before you tell your neighbor or boyfriend/girlfriend your hot new name and or buzz word. Keep it close. Buy the names – make sure YOU are in ownership of the names, not your web person (that is a big problem too!) and then you can rest assured that your project will not be stolen from you right from the start. Planning ahead with your user, domain and platform name choices will mean smoother operations later on in your business growth.
I caution you to stay away from using slang expressions with a domain or other platform user names. Slang expressions are not universally recognized. People in Southern Louisiana don’t go by SOLO do they? Then why do people in Northern Colorado have to continue to use NOCO? Only locals get it. My advice? Don’t do it. Google sees the first word as “no”. That’s not a good word for your domain. People searching in this area use Fort Collins (1.5 mil) versus NoCo (201,000). Get the string of words with the highest potential for traffic and the lowest competition.
Use Google Keyword Tool and Google Trends for Naming Assistance
Google has a handy tool to help with this word game called the Google Keyword Tool. It gives you real data to see what people are typing in – don’t guess – let Google tell you what’s hot and what’s not. And as an additional tip, I suggest you take a peak at using Google Trends. Can’t decide if a word is trending up or down in popularity and want to use the hot word? Go to Google Trends and put the two words in the box separated by a coma and see who is trending up and which word is soon to be obscure in our language. Here’s one I just did on the two words updo and hairstyle. Choose couch or sofa, hybrid or electric car, or ice cream and frozen yogurt. It’s an interesting way to see the trends because on huge upswings Google tells you what the event was that propelled those words into mainstream popularity – including the date. The sooner you get your names now – the more relaxed you can run your business. Do the research!(Below: Updo, Hairstyle)
Get Your Names Now for Future Projects
Even if you don’t have time to set-up Pinterest or other social platforms – go ahead and claim the user names. As you are very busy growing your business you might not notice that someone else is using a name almost exactly like yours and they are in the same industry. This causes confusion and frustration as you might assume the other owner did this on purpose, yet the two of you might not even know about the other business. Do searches, research names and put your name “to the test” as well – meaning, see if it looks correct – or does it spell out another series of hidden words? One of the worst words to use is “Therapist” because when you look at all the letters in lowercase it is “therapist” and what do you see? The rapist. Yes! This happens because “the” is so common in our language. Be careful and be aware of the words and names your use for your not only your business names but the user names and acronyms associated with your business.
Here is a link to the Business Law Insider article about this landmark cybersquatting case. Remember to get your names now!
*this quote is reproduced from BusinessLawInsider.com and is published by R | McHale Law, a full-service law firm whose corporate practice represents clients on a wide variety of IT and intellectual property law matters, including privacy and data security, trademark, copyright, trade secrets, technology licensing, and other proprietary protections. See their site for counsel on all things web related. (I am not affiliated with this firm, just liked the article and thought it would be good information to share).