If you incorporate a business in a state can someone still use a domain name of your corporate name?

The reason I ask is that we have incorporated and found that someone has that domain name. Can I legally make them quit using that domain name?

Asked on November 5, 2011 under Business Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

For a definitive answer, you have to check with an intellectual property attorney, who can evaluate all the circumstances, since the specific facts are critical. The short answer is that if they had the domain name before you, there is almost no chance you can stop them, particularly if they have a legitimate use for it (e.g. it's related to their name, their business, their services, even a hobby or a blog they do). If you incorporated first, then you *might* be able to stop them from using the name, if you can show that they took the name specifically to take business from you, to prevent you from using it for your business, etc.

But generally, registering or incorporating a business in a state is wholly separate from trademarking a name, and both are mostly separate from having and using a domain name. Only when there is evidence of some wrongdoing--e.g.

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