Out of line: protecting trademarks on the Internet


Petter Rindforth

The online environment needs to be a key consideration when developing brands and slogans, says Petter Rindforth.

Back in the early 1990s, when a new product or service was being readied to be put on the market, creating its name started with the trademark in a certain logo and/or colour. Th e mark had to look good in printed ads, in shops, on packaging and on TV. When the new trademark had been proudly presented at a press conference, it was time to consider registering it as a domain name.

Just a few years later—still in the 1990s—the creation of a new ‘name’ always started with fi nding the perfect domain name, and formal trademark applications had become the second step.

So, what happened, and what’s the diff erence? Well, too many companies realised too late that protecting a trademark online as the last action was the wrong way to go. Not only had pirates and cybersquatters already registered the new trademark in diff erent versions, but there were also situations were the offl ine mark did not look the same online, and therefore didn’t give the right message to the public and customers.

design marks, udrp, logos, walmart