Well I really dont know the laws regarding this but I am sure it is illegal to do that and there may also be a danger that he might be fined. So my advice is dont let him do that, he may be in danger.
The name does not look generic so operating in the exact same field with same name but different extension = potential problems. Also, having the .net means some amount of traffic leak to the .com so I would consider another name...
This is a bad idea,.
Your mate is going to be slap bang in the middle of someone elses TM with a confusingly similar domain name, hes asking for big trouble if he goes down this road,.
He's best to find another name, if he gets into a legal issue his firm's rep might get tarnished as well, theres more than just the domain squatting here.
Best advice is to find another domain, avoid the problems now rather than later, and tell him to fire his career consultant...
What you need to find out is if "XXXXXX consulting" is a TM. Keep in mind, it does not have to be registered to have TM protection...
Four words: Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. Here's a start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anticyb...Protection_Act..
Has he registered or incorporated in his state to conduct business under that name?.
You can register is seperate states the same business. However the internet makes TM law a bit more ambiguous since it's across borders and it can become a Federal Trademark.
I can have Apple Car Rental in New York and someone could run Apple Car Rental in Florida...each with their respective local TM rights.
Basically TM rights are established WHERE you do business and for what purpose. You have to find that out. Does the .com firm do nationwide business? Is the consulting type a local thing like...real estate? Or is it internet based?.