Questions & Answers

Posted by Prasanna on 2015-05-07 13:43:00
Title: Domain Name - .ca or .net?
Category: Operations

I'm trying to register a domain name for my business address, but the .com version of it is already taken. Would a .ca or .net address be equally effective?


John Simpson
2015-05-19 14:34:00

Hi Lakshmi

It depends on what you mean by “effective." If you mean how it resonates as a marketing tool with customers and potential customers, then that’s a marketing issue that probably depends on what your business is. Some perceive “.net” as less prestigious than “.com” or ".ca." But if by “effective” you’re referring to legal issues, then your entitlement to register the .ca or .net version depends on whether the owner of the .com version uses the domain name as part of the branding for its own business and whether its business is similar to yours. If it is, then you could be exposed to liability for “domain name passing off” or trademark infringement by using the .ca or .net version. On the flipside, try to register as many variations as you can (including the .com if it’s for sale) as well as social media identifiers to prevent others from infringing on your trademark rights.

Good luck,

John Simpson, Principal, Shift Law