An interesting consequence of conducting your professional work online is that you soon find yourself needing to adopt a domain name. Although an online counselor might choose something based on his or her name, like wendyjones.com or doctorsmith.com, many online counselors opt for a more creative approach and register domain names that incorporate “etherapy” terms (eshrink, cyberpsych, etc.). Of course, it’s only a matter of time before someone else starts using a similar phrase and you start to wonder what kind of legal protection you have for your brand. After all, your competitor might not be as ethical as you are, or your client might be confused and head to someone else’s website. Then again, you might find yourself receiving a threatening letter from someone using a similar name demanding that you stop your own use. Naturally, we’re talking about trademarks here and in this column I want to give you some basic information on the subject. Note this discussion refers solely to U.S. trademarks and is not a complete statement of the law of trademarks.
… read the complete story ~ http://issuu.com/onlinetherapyinstitute/docs/tilt_issue5_final?mode=window&pageNumber=36
This article first appeared in the January 2012 issue of TILT Magazine ~ Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology.
Jason S. Zack is a practicing attorney in New York, New York. He is a former behavioral science consultant and former President of the International Society for Mental Health Online (ISMHO).