Assignment 3: Domains, Trademarks, and Patents
- Find potential domain names for your product. Check existing domain names and make sure you have some choices available to you. List the names that are available. Describe your success rate with finding alternate domain names. (You may use networksolutions.comLinks to an external site.
- Select your first choice of available domain names, then check for common misspellings of the name as well as common twists of the name. Estimate the dollar cost of a) purchasing all the domain names including transferring them to an ISP (Internet Service Provider). Your goal is to have control of all the domain names so that common misspellings or common twists still lead to your product.
- Think about search engine optimization (SEO) and identify popular keywords that shoppers might use when trying to find a product like yours. List the keywords you feel you must use. Sites such as Wordtracker can give some ideas on what are good keywords. Provide an estimate of what these words might cost. Check out Google, Yahoo, MSN, or any other site to get an idea of what search keywords cost. You do not have to search all sites to find out what keywords cost – but a few sites will give you an idea of the popularity of keywords. (Question for thought – you do not need to answer this in your paper, we’ll discuss it in class: If an advertiser is charged only if a potential customer clicks on a keyword, should keyword advertising rates be based on the popularity of a keyword on a search engine? What should be the basis for the price of a keyword you as an advertiser is willing to pay to advertise on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN?)
- If relevant, do a patent search as indicated in Question b, below. Some products or services seem to be impossible to patent. In that case, do a trademark search as indicated in (a), below. You must answer either a) or b).
a) TRADEMARKS: Search the uspto.gov Links to an external site.database and find an available trademark for your product. Fill out the trademark form (but do not submit it to the patent office!). Include the application in your report. Include a table that describes a list of competing trademarks and features (use the “search” under the trademarks on main USPTO.gov webpage and search using the different approaches to searching). Search for similar sounding names, similar keywords or descriptors or similar looking products and services, etc. This is a free-form exercise and you may use your creativity as to how best to search. The rule in trademark infringement is that anything that appears to be similar should not be trademarked. However, the same name in widely different product categories might be trademarked by two different firms.
b) PATENTS: If your product is patentable, your written part will consist of a one-page table and a one-page discussion of how easy or difficult it is to get a patent for your product. You will need to include the downloaded patent information about patent details as an Appendix. However, please provide very specific points on product characteristics – do not make general statements.
Written reports should show professional quality. They should be well-written and well-organized. Use paragraphs and topical paragraph headings. Where appropriate, organize your report by the questions asked in the assignment. It is a good idea to state the question as a paragraph heading, then give your answer to the question. Then reread the question and answer together to be sure your answer addresses the specific question. Leave a space between paragraphs. Bullet points are allowed.
Reports must include a cover sheet, like what you would use if submitting a printed report. Your cover sheet should include the Course Name, Assignment Title, Date of Submission, and the full names and nicknames of each member of the group. Only ONE group member should submit the report on Canvas.
Prepare your report in a word processor with a spelling and grammar checker. If your English is not strong, you are likely to need stronger grammar checking than what is available in MS Word.
When your report is fully proofed and is formatted the way you want it, save your final version on your computer, then also save it as a PDF file. Submit your PDF before the deadline at the link in Canvas for the assignment’s submission. All written work must be submitted online as a PDF file. Only ONE group member should submit the report on Canvas.