There are many US based startups that probably have their trademark registered in the US. Thats great news to a certain extent, but it would be even better if trademarks are registered outside of the US. Well, it really depends on how much the founder is willing to invest in protecting their domain. We must take into account that trademarks may be used to take advantage of the site’s popularity and whether we are willing to reduce that probability or just take a chance depends on the owner’s choice. In fact, it is best to act fast when thinking of registering other domain names as they can be bought by sites that want a piece of the revenue pie.
Facebook.com recently got caught in such a scenario. The social utility site connects people with friends and others. People use Facebook to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet or have met in the past. The viral site has established itself well among users across the globe. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that a similar domain name “Facebook.fr” has been setup redirecting users to the main homepage. At first, it appears to be owned by facebook, but now the domain loads Facebook Paris, which is hosted on Ning.com, a service that allows you to create your own social network.
At this point, it is not quite apparent whether Facebook is aware of this and what their plans are to address this issue. They may send out a “cease and desist” letter or they may decide to purchase the domain name outright. It all depends on whether their trademark was registered outside US and the measures they have taken to protect their intellectual property in the case of a legal battle. All in all, its best to protect property that you see as valuable just like any tangible property you own.
Click here for Facebook.com