Potential Liability for a Newly Purchased Domain
Before you buy a domain name, especially an acronym, check to see what is currently being displayed on the website to make sure it’s not infringing on another company’s mark. If you buy a domain name that had infringed on a company’s mark in the past, you could be held liable for the domain name’s past use.
Take this as an example. You decide you want to buy a great 3 letter .com domain name. You search Google for acronyms just to see how it could be used, and you find out that a major technology company is sometimes known by the acronym. When you check the domain name, the current landing page has this company’s ads (or a competitor’s). This could put a new owner in harm’s way.
Not only do I look at the current landing page and ask the owner about the landing page history, I also do some research to see what was on the page previously. I like to use Archive.org to see what was previously displayed on a website. It’s always better to ask questions to gauge potential risk down the road.
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