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Creative Domain Names

Discussion in 'Domain Names' started by perdrix, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. #1
    I often hear that all the good domain names for the top level tld's have been taken. I think it would be interesting to have a thread where DP members could post their potential site keyword and/or concept, and ask for suggestions on an available domain name that they could purchase for that up-and-coming website. I for one enjoy the challenge of coming up with fitting domain names for a site concept.

    Here's a couple of suggestions (rules) to follow:

    1. It must be a top level domain, .com, .net, or .org.
    2. The domain must be available.
    3. If the suggestion is not obvious, an explanation on how it fits with the keyword/concept would be appreciated.
    Let me provide a couple of examples of domain names I have recently purchased, that I plan to develop (or am already in the process of developing) to give an idea of what I mean.

    I want to develop a dog related site which would provide information on the different dog breeds. Keywords would be either dog, breed, or both.

    I chose dogbits.org. Using the keyword dog, and planning to play off the concept of "bits of information about dogs." Sweet... 7 letters...

    The first is an obvious solution, that a user could probably be given if they just employed the right tool for providing domain name choices. The following domain however was much harder... and the solution more involved:
    I want to develop a link directory.

    There's a ton of link directories, so coming up with a name that would make my site stand out would be difficult. I came across an alternative meaning of the word "link" in the dictionary:

    A torch formerly used for lighting one's way in the streets.

    It was the origin of this variation however that got my attention:

    [Possibly from Medieval Latin lichnus, candle.]


    A trademarkable (applied yesterday), brandable name... only 7 letters long. Now I doubt many would go looking for "lichnus" in a search engine, but then I doubt many would have gone looking for "google" or "yahoo" in search engines many years ago.

    So DP members... anyone stumped in finding a good top level domain name?

    perdrix, Oct 18, 2005 IP
  2. mjewel

    mjewel Prominent Member

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    There are millions of possible brandable names, the problem is that any recognizable name almost assuredly has prior usage conflicts. The trick is to find one that won't cost a fortune to brand. A Federal Trademark registration is not needed to own the rights to the name, you just have to be the first to use it in the applicable classification. If someone else is already using the name, they "own" the rights to the name even if they have never filed anything. That is why paying for a tradename/servicemark search is a good idea. It takes at least six years from filing before you can be granted a Federal Registration - and that's provided the examining attorney accepts the filing and no one comes forward and claims prior usage to the name. The Patent and Trademark office only checks for registrations, not other prior usage - which rights are just as strong as a Federal filing. Even if you filing gets accepted and goes out to publication, a large percentage get challenged .

    You can brand any name if you are willing to spend enough money. It's much easier to find common words that when combined, form an easy to remember or catchy phrase. A name like "Blue Cat" T-shirts would be a lot easier for people to remember than some singular word that is uncommon. Making up a name can not only create a unique brandable name, but one that will be a lot less likely to have prior usage issues ... i.e. "I-Pod". There are over 40 classifications in the US and to have broad rights, you need to file in each. You can easily spend $100K to attempt broad protection. Even if granted, you then need to defend your name against infringement- which is usually against someone with little or no money- or you can lose your rights to the name.

    I have several Federally Registered Trademarks that have been granted, one is a four letter word that I registered a long time ago. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees going after people who started using the name for a business or product. It's never a large company with deep pockets because they are smart enough to check before they use a name.

    Be creative and play with combinations of words and then check for prior usage before spending a lot of money or time on a name. You don't want to spend ten's of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars branding a name only to have some mom and pop business that operated out of their bedroom come forward in year 5 and claim you have infringed upon their name - and stop you from using it, and maybe even forcing you to pay them damages.

    I had a guy open up a business using my trademark and then pleaded with me to sell him the name when we asked him to stop using it. He claimed he would lose over $10K if he had to change the name and wanted to give me a couple of thousand for the trademark. Not only didn't he even spend a couple of hundred dollars for tradename search, he didn't even spend 5 minutes checking the internet.

    Infringement doesn't even have to be an exact match - it can be a similar sounding word/phrase or even a foreign spelling. It doesn't matter if it is your real name i.e. Mike Rowe trying to use MikeRoweSoft.com. It really takes an attorney who specializes in intellectual property rights to give you a good opinion on the chances of using a name that won't conflict with anyone else's prior usage.

    Personally, I would try to go with catchy, easy to spell and remember names/phrases with a unique usage (i.e. Apple wasn't unique, but an Apple Computers was. Instead of trying to concentrate on a real word no one has ever thought of using before, try playing with words and phrases. The Ziegler's made a small fortune with the "Banana Republic" name for a clothing line. When I first started looking for a brandable name, I made up words using combinations of letters and was very surprised on how many made-up words were already being used by someone. It just takes time to find the right name/phrase - and then you wait six years hoping no one is able to challenge your right to use the name. While registering a domain name doesn't automatically give you legal rights to use the name, it does establish a date which you started using it. A date that can be used in court to prove who used a name first.
    mjewel, Oct 18, 2005 IP
  3. iskandar

    iskandar Well-Known Member

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    If I need a brandable, unique and short domain name, I just use robobunny tool.

    For example, for keyword "money" it suggests these words :
    (Some are useless but others may sound nice)

    moneyform (money-form) having the form of money
    neomoney (neo-money) new money
    promoney (pro-money) supporting or favoring money
    moneyosis (money-osis) abnormal condition or process of money
    overmoney (over-money) excessive money
    hypermoney (hyper-money) above or beyond money
    moneyferous (money-ferous) producing or containing money
    moneylogy (money-logy) science, theory or study of money
    decamoney (deca-money) ten money
    intermoney (inter-money) between or in the midst of money
    carnomoneyess (carno-money-ess) a female flesh or meat money
    kilomoney (kilo-money) thousand money
    moneyine (money-ine) made of or resembling money
    polymoney (poly-money) more than one or excessive money
    moneyologist (money-ologist) one who studies money
    moneylogy (money-logy) science, theory or study of money
    overmoney (over-money) excessive money

    You can try it with 2 keywords too ..

    But normally because I do not have the marketing money to promote a site with brandable domain name I just put my selected keywords in the domain name.

    Does not sound nice but certainly helps in SERP.
    iskandar, Oct 19, 2005 IP
  4. perdrix

    perdrix Peon

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    Trademarks are always a sticky issue, which is why its best to choose something very original. Your post was very relevant to the problems at hand with trademarks, and the expense it can cause. I guess a lot depends on exactly what you plan on doing with the website, and how big you expect it may get. If I had a site doing xx,xxx a month income, I would want the name trademarked, as it is only likely to get bigger. However, in the case of my example with dogbits.org I wouldn't spend the money or time trying to trademark it. It all comes down to what you expect to do with the website.

    I like the robunny tool, but it would be nice if that same tool would check for the availability of the domain, using a user inputted tld list. For instance, in your example of money domains, the few I checked were available as .org, but not .com, which would be my preferential choice for that type of a website.

    perdrix, Oct 19, 2005 IP
    Epica likes this.