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It is pretty safe to say these days that most, if not all business/companies have an online presence. Whether it is a highly functional and user friendly e-commerce website, a plain web page, a blog type site, or just social networking pages such as Facebook and Twitter, Australian business owners realise the importance of being ‘found’ online. Internet users will lose interest fast if you are not organised enough to have an online presence. Hence, trade mark and domain name registration is vital if you want to manage your online presence and keep customers!
Internet users typically use search engines to find brands they are looking for – “google it” today means “web search” to every day Aussies right? Similarly, instead of searching a lot of people will simply type the brand/business name they are looking for in to their internet browser as a domain name (ie. www.ipwealth.com.au) expecting that what they are looking for should realistically appear in the corresponding website given a brand name should/would ordinarily be registered as a domain name. However, unfortunately (and annoyingly) it is not uncommon to do so and not find what you are looking for!
In these instances the user is likely to find…
- the domain name will be ‘parked’ with random, unrelated advertiser content listings which are useless and sometimes offensive;
- nothing appears (the domain is unused and available for registration);
- the website of a competing product/service, or unrelated trading entity appears…etc
Either way, by not owning the corresponding domain name, the brand owner is potentially missing out on sales, and/or their customers are getting very confused and irritated by not being able to find you within a few clicks! Some people even snub businesses as being unprofessional if they do not own the brand as a domain name!
One of our clients, Easy Living Home Elevators, had a direct competitor register the domain name of their most popular lift product. Easy Living was losing thousands of dollars in sales, and their customers were very confused – it was also embarrassing for the company after so many years of use of the product name to have to explain the circumstances to customers! After making a formal complaint and registering the trade mark in Australia, we finally ensured the domain name was transferred to its rightful owner.
To set the record straight, domains will never be more important or more valuable to a business in comparison to a federally granted trade mark registration. However, domain registration is now a fundamental form of intellectual property registration, which must be seriously considered as early as possible (ideally prior to launch of the business/brand). Business owners should be securing trade mark and domain name protection before even considering a business or company registration, or engaging a designer to start on a logo or website design.
If for some reason your brand is unavailable as a domain, you need to talk to us – we can use your trade mark rights to get the domain name transferred to you, or we can look at any other options that may be available to you. We can also advise you on the available domain name extensions which you should be registering – ie. .com.au, .com, .co, .org etc, and we can even register and manage these domains for you, so you don’t have to worry!
This month we are offering a FREE domain name audit for the first 30 businesses that contact us and mention this September news offer. We will provide you a list of available domains in which we recommend you register now!
As always, if you have any questions whatsoever regarding your intellectual property, please do not hesitate to contact your IP Wealth Account Manager or our team on 1800 857070