How can franchisors protect their domain names?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2023 | Franchisor Law

Golden arches and a black swoosh are two examples that likely evoke the image of their corresponding business. The branding used to gain recognition for McDonald’s and Nike are well-known and global. The marketing team behind these decisions has done their job and done it well. Those who are looking to make sure their own business retains brand recognition at this level when expanding into a franchise are wise to take steps to protect each portion of their brand. The steps are many and range from protecting the images noted above to the secrets behind the product or service itself.

One often overlooked portion: the domain name.

How do I protect my business’ domain name?

Ideally the domain name flows with your business’ brand. Although buying a domain name is relatively easy, finding one that works for your brand and is not already taken can be difficult.

In addition to buying a domain name for your primary site, it can also be advantageous to purchase additional domains that may have a similar spelling to your own business brand. This can serve as a form of defense, a way to keep competitors from getting a domain name that is close to your own.

What if a competitor is using the same name?

Intellectual property protections like these are only good if we take action to defend them when needed. If a competitor is attempting to mimic your domain name, it is important to take legal action and fight back. This could begin with a demand letter, telling the competitor to cease and desist use of the domain, and potentially escalate to litigation. These steps are important to protect the integrity of your brand.