Part of my job is registering trademarks for companies. I always find it surprising that even internet savvy companies proceed with trademark registration before investigating domain name availability.
While registering a domain name is not a prerequisite to filing a trademark registration, once you file the publicly available trademark registration, domain namenappers will likely foreclose that option, absent a rather large “donation” to their International Me, Me, Me Charity. If you get to the domain name even seconds after someone perusing recent trademark applications, the cost of your $9 domain name registration can jump to $10,000 or more.
Even if you are unsure about which name you eventually want to protect, with trademark registrations running about $1,300 and domain name registration running about $9 a pop, it is worth grabbing ALL of the domain names under serious consideration.
One last caveat. With some domain name registrars betraying long-term trust for short term profit, it is advisable to purchase the domain name the first time you search it for availability. Otherwise, you may find, upon your return, that your trusted domain name registrar is not as far removed from the domain name extortion biz as you might otherwise have so naively considered.