Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Domain names are integral parts of businesses having any online commercial activity. Since the commercial activities on the Internet are increasing every day, the usefulness and purpose of domain names cannot be ignored. These days, domain names are not just names of websites of different entities, but serve as business identifiers and promoters. Some may refer to domain names as the online equivalents of trademarks. However, views differ on if domain names should be given the same treatment under law as trademarks.

1. Trade Mark:

A trade name is a name used to register a business as a legal entity within the state where it operates. Usually, this is often done at the Secretary of State or the Department of Corporations, or an identical state-run agency. A trade name must be unique within the state where it is registered. The trade name is additionally registered with the interior Revenue Service for purposes of federal tax laws. 

A trademark can be a sign or symbol which represents graphically and it is capable of differentiating the products or services of 1 undertaking from those of other undertakings. An application for registration of a trademark shall be made to the Trade Marks Registry of the Property Department). The owner of a registered trademark has the prerogative to use the trademark in reference to the products and services that the mark is registered within the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Example:

When the officer of an organization signs an agreement, he signs it as “CFO of XYZ Corporation.” Anyone who wants to see the status of that legal entity can interrogate XYZ Corporation on the records of the year of its state. For that reason, contracts normally will state the party to the contract and include something like this: “A Delaware indebtedness company” because that information allows someone to research the status of the business.

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2. Domain Name:


A domain name is an entry during a database—like a line during a spreadsheet. That entry corresponds to an online protocol address. A website name may be a website address on the web which provides you a web identity. A website name may be a human-readable Internet address, e.g, www.wilmerhale.com. It is the name that users/customers type into their Internet browsers to access your website. The proper to use a website name is regulated by name registrars.

You will obtain a website name by purchasing it from the registrar for your particular name. An application to register a website name under country code top-level domain(e.g. com.hk) or a generic top-level domain (e.g. .com) shall be made to at least one of the registrars. A website name is often registrable as a trademark if it functions to spot the source of particular goods or services.

Example:

It includes the utilization of the name on the particular pages of an internet site offering services, offline use of the name as something quite just a URL address, like the use of the name on marketing or promotional materials for services, and use of the name on the packaging for a product.

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Difference Between Trademark and Domain Name:


TRADE MARKDOMAIN NAME 
A trade mark may consist of words, designs, letters, numerals, colors, the shape of goods or their packaging etc. and any combination of such signs.A domain name must be contextual in for (e.g. www.ipd.gov.hk).
A trade mark would be registered in respect of the goods or services as classified under the Nice Classification. A domain name does not have to be registered for a particular class of goods or services.
A registered trade mark is valid for 10 years and can be renewed for further periods of 10 years. A domain name is only for a particular period as agreed between the registrant and the accredited registrar and these are subject to renewal.
A trade mark may not be registrable if it is different or similar to a previously registered trade mark. A domain name is registrable if it is not different to a previously registered domain name.
A trade mark which consists exclusively of a sign or a symbol which describes the characteristics for the applied-of goods or services may not be registrable. Symbols such as “fresh bread” in respect of bakery services. A domain name may describe the features of the application-of goods or services, e.g. “freshbread.com” for a bakery.
Trademark operates in the real world. Domain name operates in the cyber world.
Different people living in different countries may have the same trademark for different goods and services as it does not generally have a global impact on it. Domain names operates at a global level and so no two companies/persons can be having the same domain name.
Trademark can refer to or linked to a specific category of a product or products line. The domain names are not given for every single product offered by a company.
As there are no jurisdiction issues, the dispute related to a trademark can be easily settled. As the internet is very wide and does not any any boundries, so the disputes are hard to be settled.

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