Before you buy a domain name, especially an acronym, check to see what is currently being displayed on the website to make sure it’s not infringing on another company’s mark. If you buy a domain name that had infringed on a company’s mark in the past, you could be held liable for the domain name’s past use.
Take this as an example. You decide you want to buy a great 3 letter .com domain name. You search Google for acronyms just to see how it could be used, and you find out that a major technology company is sometimes known by the acronym. When you check the domain name, the current landing page has this company’s ads (or a competitor’s). This could put a new owner in harm’s way.
Not only do I look at the current landing page and ask the owner about the landing page history, I also do some research to see what was on the page previously. I like to use Archive.org to see what was previously displayed on a website. It’s always better to ask questions to gauge potential risk down the road.
And though relatively rare for acronyms, I’d also check the uspto.gov trademark database; both issued and pending.
Agreed with that. I check the USPTO upon most domain purchases. Even if I am confident the domain is generic, it’s always good to see what you might potentially be up against down the road.
You can also check over at DomainTools — they provide “historical thumbnails” and not just the whois data.
They have 10 records for domaininvesting.com for example going back as far as 2007.