I agree with the sentiment that you will need to contact a trademark lawyer no matter what, but from my understanding simply putting the in front of a name does not change its meaning.
Also, I believe that copyrighted content within a website only pertains to what actually appears on the site itself. That is to say that if you registered a different domain name that you hold claim to the information contained within and not the domain name itself.
If the domain name happens to coincide with the name of a corporation, I believe then you may run into problems.
I recently bought a website and will be applying for a trademark, pretty simple. Here's where I'm lost......
The website I wanted was already taken, therefore I put the word "the" in front of the website I purchased and also have already paid money through go daddy for when the original one expires next year I could have the opportunity to use it.
The website owned by someone else has nothing on it and there's no one conducting business with the name. Here's my question, do I trademark my website name using "the" in front of the other words or do I trademark the original idea?
Let's say someone owns hotidea.com and it's not in use, nothing is going on with the name. My only option is to purchase "thehotidea.com". Should I go ahead and trademark hotidea.com or thehotidea.com?
This is something you need to contact a trademark attorney about. Here's a couple:
Don't take anyone's word on something unless they are a lawyer. There's just too much misinformation out there.
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From the little I know about trademarks, putting "the" at the beginning of a name does not change the name. Have you looked at your states trademark website? They may have clear rules of what counts and what doesn't.
---I help entrepreneurs to start and run the small businesses they always dreamed of owning so they can fire their bosses and gain the freedom they deserve.
In the United States, trademark rights are obtained through use of the trademark in commerce, i.e. selling a good or providing a service. Simply own a domain (web address) does not in itself create trademark rights. You need to determine whether the domain owner is using the mark offline (or online at a different domain location). If you find no legitimate use in commerce of the mark, then you can file a trademark registration. Also, check the USPTO trademark database to determine if a similar or exact trademark was filed or registered. Whether you file using the "the" then becomes a marketing question. Keep in mind, the manner in which you state the trademark in you application is the basis upon which your registration will be granted and the rights in and to that registered trademark.
--- No company is small enough that it can afford to ignore trademarks. Register your trademark today starting at $149 + Gov't fee.