by John Rake
Q: What legal issues should I be concerned about when marketing my goods/services over the internet?
A: Creating a web presence involves several trademark and copyright issues. Before deciding on a web address, you should brainstorm a number of distinctive domain names and “clear” these names by searching for similar trademarks and domain names. After deciding on a web address, you should consider registering for multiple top-level domain names (e.g. domainname.net, domainname.org, etc.) and filing a federal trademark registration. When creating a website, use your own words and pictures, ensure that you own the copyright for your website content by negotiating for an assignment or license from your web developer, and consider registering for a federal copyright if the material is valuable.
Originally published in the Portland Business Journal.