To establish a website, the owner must first register the site name with a domain name registry.

As a general rule, you can register any domain name that isn’t already registered, without regard to whether the name is in fact a trademark owned by a different company. This has led to a number of instances where companies with famous marks have initially not been able to use these marks because someone had already used the name to identify another site.

Courts have generally sided with the trademark owners in these disputes and ordered the domain name user to stop using the offending name, even when no goods or services were being offered on the website.

See also…

Intellectual Property and Internet Law