Legal Question in Technology Law in Illinois

My small business helps professionals prepare for a board exam . This is a standard certification exam such as the CPA or CAA accounting exams.

My business website domain name is : < boardname>exam.com ( i.e. Hypothetical example CPAexam.com).

By registering and operating that given domain name (CPAexam.com), am i infringing on any copyright law ?

Do i need to add a footer that differentiates my website from the official board exam website ?

Asked on 4/30/13, 6:26 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

David K. Staub Staub Anderson LLC
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Your domain name would not infringe on a copyright but it might infringe on a trademark. Most professional organizations have a federal trademark registration protecting the name of their professional certification program. You can check on the website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (http://uspto.gov) to see if that is true of the certification you are dealing with.

Even if there is no federal registration, the certifying organization may still have common law trademark rights in their name.

Trademark law is very fact-intensive. Seemingly minor differences in facts can cause completely different outcomes. You should get legal advice based on the specifics of your situation.

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Answered on 9/05/13, 2:40 pm

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