Why It Pays to Trademark

Felix Lau
Jul 12, 2017

Cycling fans may know Greg LeMond as the only American to have won the Tour de France 3 times, but today he’s an inventor and businessman who just recently announced a partnership with Deakin University to develop cheaper carbon fiber.

Although LeMond may not have won on carbon fiber, it was introduced to the Tour de France by another American, Lance Armstrong. He was the first person to ever win the Tour de France with a carbon fiber bike back in 2003, although he has since been stripped of his titles. Today, every contender that participates in the Tour de France uses a carbon fiber bike. Carbon fiber is not only used in bikes, but has many other applications. Most of the fastest sports car companies like Koenigsegg and Ferrari use carbon fiber to build their most expensive cars. 30% of all carbon fiber is used in the aerospace industry because it is lighter and stronger than it’s metal counterparts.

LeMond first announced a business venture involving low-cost carbon fiber in August 2016. His company “LeMond Composites” sold Grail Carbon Fiber, a product that offers all the advantages of typical carbon fiber, but at a much lower price. Unfortunately, a month later in September 2016, over 60 now-disputed domains were registered by Frederick Stinchfield II. For example, Stinchfield registered a domain titled "LeMondIndustries" which features derogatory information about the athlete and his new business. Luckily for LeMond, he had already trademarked LeMond and Grail as part of the venture, which will be helpful as he is now suing Frederick Stinchfield for upwards of $6.6 million in a federal county in Minneapolis.

It's always a good idea to register the domain names you think you'll want to use for your business before the announcement. However, there will always be additional iterations of your business name available, especially with so many domain extensions on the market today. This is why it pays to trademark your business name before you launch. Having a trademark can help ensure that if someone does register a domain that you didn’t think of, you will have a much higher chance of getting the domain from them. In LeMond’s case, because he had trademarked both "LeMond" and "Grail" the court is more likely to grant him ownership of the disputed names.

Want more information about what you can do if you're in a similar situation? Get more information about ICANN's Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP).

Why not make it easer on yourself and register domains you may use in the future today?

Posted by Felix Lau