Technology: Domain Name Liabilities

Domain names are valuable intellectual capital assets in today's ecommerce enabled economy. However, ownership of domain names is not always clearly understood by everyone who uses a website to do business. Just because a business has been using a domain name for years does not mean that the business owns the domain name.

Domain name are valuable for several reasons. First, they are unique - each domain name represents a unique IP address or, in other words, a unique location/address on the Internet. Second, domain names often are comprised of words or phrases that consist of valuable trademarks (e.g.,, and Third, businesses spend significant amounts of monies marketing their domain names to drive traffic to their websites. But what happens when the proverbial "digital rug" is pulled out from under the business and one morning they wake up to find that their website is replaced with a single page directing visitors to some other website?

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Alan Wernick

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