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Avoiding IP issues when creating a website

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2018 | Business Litigation

One of the tools entrepreneurs in Missouri can use to promote their business is a website. However, there are certain copyright and trademark pitfalls they should avoid.

Using a trademark that belongs to someone else is one mistake that can be avoided by conducting a little research before launching a website. Internet searches should be conducted, including searches on foreign databases, to see if another entity is using a desired name for the same or related service or product. The rightful owner to a trademark can send a cease-and-desist letter, so the resources spent creating content centered on the brand may be wasted.

Another common mistake entrepreneurs may make when creating their online presence is selecting a name that cannot be legally protected, registered or enforced. This can result in building a business around a name or trademark that another company may use to create a similar name or trademark, creating confusion and complications.

Once a name has been selected, the business owner should file to have it registered as a trademark. With a federal registration, there is a presumption of ownership, validity and the right to pursue financial damages against a party infringing on those trademark rights.

The failure to coordinate the adoption of a trademark and the registration of a domain name could also cause complications for an entrepreneur. This can be avoided by arranging the purchase of a domain name and the filing of the corresponding trademark to ensure that they are both available in countries in which the business is to operate.

Individuals who have disputes regarding intellectual property may seek legal counsel from an attorney who practices business litigation. The attorney may be able to file lawsuits to prevent parties from infringing on the trademark rights of clients and to stop instances of business fraud and unfair competition.