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How do I lock down a trademark?

Posted on 2015-01-13
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Last Modified: 2015-01-18
Hi
As the realization of my online game is becoming apparent,

I need to totally lock down its name and domain as mine.

I got a domain stolen from me by some guy in New Zealand for another project. - I think some legal issue gave him clout over me. I got a note that it was being disputed with a legal branding, but I decided not to pursue it, as I felt it wasn't my best idea. This one is. This is my life's work, I think.
I own its domain. and don't want another one stolen. I didn't secure the legal stuff in time.
What are the legal steps to completely secure its name and domain globally, trademark etc. like this person in New Zealand did?

Thanks
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Question by:beavoid
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 250 total points
ID: 40548134
You need a lawyer.   A domain is not necessarily a copyright (or vice versa). To protect a trademark, you need an enforceable copyright. You need a lawyer to help you do this.

You can normally register a domain with a Domain Registrar and that is usually adequate although a lawyer may include reference to a domain in a copyright.

You cannot "lock" down a copyright. You have to defend it.
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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 125 total points
ID: 40548149
John is right.  Copyrights and Trademarks give you a means to hire a lawyer and have a chance of successfully defending your property.  The government will not do anything but make a public record of your claim that you can use to defend it.  As for trademarks, usage does count to show that it is yours.  Keeping it a total secret gives you nothing to work with.

http://www.uspto.gov/ for trademarks (and patents).   http://www.copyright.gov/ for copyrights.
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Author Comment

by:beavoid
ID: 40548159
Thanks

I said lock down because I don't want people to challenge me on it.
Why would they? What could I do wrong?

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40548309
It just doesn't work that way.  Registering a trademark or copyright gives you the legal means to defend your property.  It won't stop a thief from trying to get away with something.  Laws against burglary probably slow down the burglary rate but they obviously don't totally prevent them.
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☠ MASQ ☠ earned 125 total points
ID: 40548317
Pay for an hour of an Intellectual Property lawyer's time, make sure they have Internet experience.

"Why would they? What could I do wrong?"

Hopefully your game will be as successful as you want.  That makes anything connected with it merchantable including any ™

Worldwide ™ protection is notoriously difficult to enforce without throwing money at it as some parts of the world, notably East Asian have far looser legislation but your IP lawyer can organise simple searches for your branding at this stage and ensure that if a legal defence needed launching that you've already identified and are aware of any pre-existing claim on names or designs.  They can also help you register your claim to the branding now.

Worst scenario is they find that the branding you want to use and have set your heart on is already in use somewhere in the world and that in that locality you may need to rebrand.
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 250 total points
ID: 40548658
You can always be challenged if you have something they want. So you have to defend.
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Author Closing Comment

by:beavoid
ID: 40556369
Thanks
I'll post a note if anything happens.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40556537
@beavoid  - You are very welcome and I was happy to help.
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Author Comment

by:beavoid
ID: 40556788
Sry 4 add.on

How do I get an IP lawyer?
Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40556798
Best thing to do is talk to several lawyers in your community to (a) find one you relate to (extremely important) and (b) knows about trademarks. You cannot "lock" a trademark down (please put that to the back of your mind) and need a lawyer who can help you protect and defend your trademark.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40556832
Look also for 'trademark' and 'copyright' lawyers.
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