Difference between a domain name and trademark

While your domain name and your trademark may be the same word or phrase, they are different things. A domain name is a human readable Internet address, e.g., It is the name that users/customers type into their Internet browser to access your website. The right to use a domain name is regulated by domain name registrars. You can obtain a domain name by purchasing it from the registrar for your particular domain name.

A domain name can be registrable as a trademark if it functions to identify the source of particular goods or services. Examples include the use of the domain name on the actual pages of a website offering services, offline use of the domain name as something more than just a URL address, such as use of the domain name on marketing or promotional materials for services, and use of the domain name on packaging for a product.

It is also important to secure the domain names corresponding to your trademarks. Similar domain names can pose practical problems for people looking for you or your facilities on the Internet and they also can dilute or weaken the distinctiveness and enforceability of your trademark. For these reasons, you may want to acquire the .com, .net, .org, etc. domain names corresponding to your important trademarks, including any variations in spelling, spacing, hyphenation, and abbreviation, as well as gripe names, common typographical errors, etc.