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Domain Names

Fort Lauderdale Domain Name & Intellectual Property Attorney

Domain Names

Domain name registration is coordinated globally by a nonprofit organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which develops policy related to websites’ unique identifiers. The organization’s goal is to keep the Internet secure while promoting competition.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is a unique address that allows you to reach an organization or another entity on the Internet. For example, consider my domain name, flintiplaw.com. The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical naming system for computers, services or any resource connected to the Internet. DNS translates domain names, such as flintiplaw.com, to the numerical IP addresses that locate computer services and devices.

DNS assigns levels to the various components of a domain name, from right to left. So in flintiplaw.com, the top-level domain name is “.com,” which makes “flintiplaw” the second-level domain name.

How do I register a domain name?

Many companies offer domain name registration services. Before choosing a service, ICANN recommends checking its list of accredited companies, which can be found on ICANN’s website. It is important to understand the company’s registration process and to check out its terms and conditions before making a selection.

How long does my registration last?

Your initial registration will not last indefinitely. Registrars may offer initial and renewal registrations in one-year increments.

What top-level domain names are available to me?

The following is a non-exhaustive list of top-level domain names:

  • The .biz domain is restricted to businesses (operated by NeuLevel, Inc.).
  • The .com domain, while originally intended for commercial businesses, is a generic domain (operated by VeriSign Naming & Directory Services).
  • The .info domain is not restricted. It is available for websites that contain information about your organization, products, etc. (operated by Afilias Limited).
  • The .name domain is restricted to individual use (operated by Global Name Registry).
  • The .net domain is often used by Internet service providers, but it is also a generic domain used by organizations and individuals (operated by VeriSign Naming & Directory Services).
  • The .org domain, although originally intended for noncommercial organizations, is not restricted (operated by Public Interest Registry).
  • The .pro domain is reserved for certified professionals (operated by RegistryPro).
    The top-level domain name you choose will depend on the type of website you want.

What happens when domain name disputes arise?

Disputes often arise when a domain name includes someone else’s trademark. The trademark owner may demand that the domain name owner give up the domain name. If the domain owner does not voluntarily give up the name, the trademark owner may avail himself of ICANN’s quick and inexpensive arbitration system, which is regulated by the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy. Domain registrants must agree to be bound by this policy.

Note that the contact information of domain name registrants is publicly available. This makes it easier to enforce trademark, consumer protection and other laws, as well as to resolve technical problems with particular websites.

Choosing the proper domain name and then selecting the best registration service are important decisions regarding your website. I can help you select and register your domain name as well as resolve any domain name disputes that might arise. Contact me today at (954) 812-0660.

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