This morning, Jason Del Rey published an article on re/code about a company called Button that has raised a significant amount of investment money. According to Del Rey, “One startup trying to ride that wave is Button, a New York City-based company which is today announcing a $12 million Series A investment less than a year after its launch.”
I presume it was unintentional, but the re/code article did not include an outbound link to the Button website. I searched Google, and the first result was W3Schools’ HTML button tag page. The second result was the Wikipedia page for “button,” but it has no relationship to the startup. Following these two entries are some images, and the startup called Button is listed below that (they use UseButton.com).
While reading the article, I recalled hearing about the Button.com domain name. If you visit Button.com, you can see the Domain Holdings inquiry page. A quick check of my email history shows that it is being brokered by Tracy Fogarty of Domain Holdings. In my opinion, the startup should work out a deal to buy this valuable domain name that matches the name of the company.
One of the downsides to using a keyword like button as a brand is that another company could also use that brand for something else. That likely means someone else might be able to buy and use the Button.com domain name without legal issues. They couldn’t offer the same service/product as this startup, but they could do something completely different.
On the other hand, if the company had been named “Bluttons” or something else made up but didn’t have the matching domain name, it would be more difficult for someone else to buy and use the domain name. If the domain owner was unwilling to sell it for a “reasonable” price, it would be difficult for a third party to buy it and use it without infringing on Bluttons’ trademark rights. Presumably, that is not the case with a keyword domain name like Button.com.
Perhaps some of this latest round of funding will be used to buy Button.com. I think it would be wise to own the domain name that matches its brand.