Choosing your domain name
The choice of Top Level Domain – such as .uk
The choice of Second Level Domain – such as .co.uk, .plc.uk or the new .me.uk
The name itself – such as bbc.co.uk
Having decided on your domain name, you then need to check whether it is available or whether it has been registered already by another user. This is done by using the WHOIS service, an on-line search facility that provides details of domain name registrations in a matter of seconds. To use this service click here for a .uk name and click here for othe tld’s.
Also, bear in mind that when you register a domain name, you are agreeing to abide by Nominet’s Terms and Conditions for Domain Name Registration. These require that you declare that the registration does not infringe the rights of others and are in addition to any contractual agreement that you may have with your registration agent (ISP).
Nominet’s Terms and Conditions also stipulate that care must be taken to avoid infringing the rights that a third party might have in the name. This applies to businesses and individuals alike. Although a company may have traded with a similar name for many years – and, in the case of sole traders and partnerships, with exactly the same name – only one can use it as a domain name.
If a company believes that the registration of their company name, brand names or registered trademarks as a domain name by a third party constitutes an infringement of trademark or an act of passing off, Nominet advises that they seek qualified legal opinion.
Nominet UK cannot offer legal advice but may be able to help parties in dispute over a domain name through its mediative Dispute Resolution Service.