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BHW I NEED HELP! Notice of Instagram Trademark Infringement

Discussion in 'Domain Names & Parking' started by Xaggerating, May 30, 2017.

  1. Xaggerating

    Xaggerating Junior Member

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    I got an email recently saying all this stuff and I wanted to know what I should do or if whether it is a scam or something. There is more to the email but if someone can help that would be amazing. My domain does not have the word Instagram in it. I am just curious to what I should do or if I should ignore it or if this is even real or a hoax


    To Whom It May Concern,

    We are writing concerning your registration and use of the domain name **********, which contains the Instagram trademark.

    You are undoubtedly familiar with Instagram and its worldwide renown in providing photo sharing and editing services and related products and services through a number of channels, including through its mobile application software and its website available at Instagram.com.

    Instagram owns exclusive rights to the INSTAGRAM trademark, including rights secured through common law use and registration in the United States (Reg. Nos. 4,170,675 and 4,146,057) and internationally. Instagram is a global leader in photography software for mobile devices, with over 30 million registered users. These users have uploaded more than 1 billion photos for editing and sharing with others either directly or through their social media networks. Due to Instagram’s exponential growth and immense popularity, the Instagram brand, is frequently, if not daily, referenced in the media and pop culture. Its fame entitles it to broad legal protection.

    We have recently discovered that you registered the domain name ********** which incorporates the famous INSTAGRAM mark. Instagram has an obligation to its users and the public to police against the registration and use of domain names that may cause consumer confusion as to affiliation with or sponsorship by Instagram, dilute the distinctiveness of its INSTAGRAM mark, or otherwise tarnish the mark. Accordingly, in addition to civil actions, Instagram and its parent Facebook have filed numerous proceedings pursuant to ICANN’S Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (http://www.icann.org/en/help/dndr/udrp) to secure the transfer of infringing domain names. Moreover, the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act provides for serious penalties (up to $100,000 per domain name) against persons who, without authorization, use, sell, or offer for sale a domain name that infringes another’s trademark.

    While Instagram respects your right of expression and your desire to conduct business on the Internet, Instagram must take action to stop the misuse of its intellectual property. As you can imagine, various third parties around the world have attempted to wrongfully capitalize on Instagram’s reputation by registering domain names that include or are derived from the INSTAGRAM brand. Such names are confusingly similar to, dilutive of, and can tarnish the INSTAGRAM mark.

    We understand that you may have registered ********** without full knowledge of the law in this area. However, Instagram is concerned about your use of the Instagram trademark in your domain name. Accordingly, we must insist that you immediately cease using ********** and disable any site available at that address. You should not sell, offer to sell, or transfer the domain name to any third party.

    Please confirm in writing that you will agree to resolve this matter as requested. If we do not receive confirmation that you will comply with our request, we will have no other choice but to pursue all available remedies against you.

    Sincerely,

    Edith
    Legal Dept.
    Instagram, Inc.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  2. HoNeYBiRD

    HoNeYBiRD Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  3. Xaggerating

    Xaggerating Junior Member

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    thanks for finding those links for me. Someone suggested that because there is no contact number or last name that it is suspicious. Another friend said that someone's lawyer said that because it was sent via email it has no legal authority but I am pretty sure that is wrong. I literally DO NOT have the word Instagram in my domain name
     
  4. Phenomix

    Phenomix Regular Member

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    I believe having the words "insta" or "gram" infringe if your website is related to something about Instagram. Does your domain name contain one of those words?
     
  5. Debian

    Debian BANNED BANNED Premium Member

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    Tell "edith" to go shove that email right up her ass.
     
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  6. Xaggerating

    Xaggerating Junior Member

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    yes it does but my site does not deal with instagram
     
  7. Xaggerating

    Xaggerating Junior Member

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    lol, I needed some comic relief :p
     
  8. Debian

    Debian BANNED BANNED Premium Member

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    Always happy to provide comedy hour. :)
     
  9. AceWallGromit

    AceWallGromit Regular Member

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    I can only offer help if I know your domain name that they object to. PM me the domain or I can't offer advice.
     
  10. ThatSEO

    ThatSEO Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    So it doesn't use the word Instagram as a full word?

    It doesn't promote or have anything to do with the social network at all?
     
  11. Debian

    Debian BANNED BANNED Premium Member

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    You don't have to look too hard for it. Its already staring you in the face literally.
     
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  12. Xaggerating

    Xaggerating Junior Member

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    that is correct
     
  13. propipper

    propipper Junior Member

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    Giving the standard disclaimer of you should seek the counsel of a licensed attorney to answer your questions.

    You can view the licensed trademark searches here.

    I trust you're not living up to your name by exaggerating this out to BHW. If you're talking about the website in your profile, then I can see how they could make that distinction. Not that this is a valid and authentic email but going back to the standard disclaimer, this is something you should ask a trademark attorney instead of on a forum.

    Hopefully you're like a lot of other IMers and have a backup domain.

    I saw this and always live by this now (go to 2:10). Why build one when you can have two. Only, one of them can be kept secret and bail you out when you run into this kind of problem.

     
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  14. Skyebug77

    Skyebug77 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Reply Back and tell them you will sell them the Domain for $10,000, otherwise your willing to proceed protecting your rights and ownership of the domain.
     
  15. Xaggerating

    Xaggerating Junior Member

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    I am not too sure that would work out too well.
     
  16. webczar

    webczar Newbie

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    This is a classic case of them bullying you. Notwithstanding the services that you provide, which they may take issue with, there is no likelihood of confusion. Now, here is your dilemma. You have to decide if you want to defend the domain, or if it is worthwhile to fight it.

    I was in a similar situation, where I had a site with the word book in it. I decided to fight, hired an attorney, and we went back and forth for about 2 years. It wasn't cheap. Some months the attorney bills were well over 30k. You have to decide if it's worth your time and money. In all likelihood, I don't think they would have a chance if they took it to ICANN or court....it would still cost you something to defend it...Also, keep an eye on your registrar emails. I have seen them approach registrars and hosting companies, trying to bully them into taking down the domains. I think you could fight it and win, but is it worth it?

    You could also do nothing, and maybe they will do nothing. If you take that route, I would grab a backup domain, just to be safe. How much organic traffic does the site get?
     
  17. AceWallGromit

    AceWallGromit Regular Member

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    There are some other websites using similar variations of the word instagram and I saw some doing Adwords campaigns.

    The email you got could be a competitor trying to scare you out of the business.

    Whenever I get a letter about one of my infringing domains it always has detailed contact info including name of law firm and street address and phone and fax numbers. If your letter didn't it could be a warning it's not legit.

    It could be an intern at instagram doing some time wasting stuff sending out emails as a make work project.

    Just make sure you have a plan B in place in case a real legal notice forces you to change the name.
     
  18. Skyebug77

    Skyebug77 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    If it is the same domain name you had in your info here, it will work. There was enough uniqueness t the name you could put up a good fight. For them, spending 10 k to get the domain name is cheaper than fighting it.

    They might reply back one more time with another threatening letter, but when they do reply back the same. I think @MisterF can tell you about a similar experience he has had.
     
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  19. Xaggerating

    Xaggerating Junior Member

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    What are the odds they would actually pay 10k? lol
     
  20. Skyebug77

    Skyebug77 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Most of these letters are just to bully people. Dont respond to them too much, keep it short and simple. Tell them you own that domain, the domain is unique and does not infringe on any other similar services or products. Then state to them if they would like to buy the domain you will sell it to them for 10k if they are interested.

    They will reply back threatening again. Just email or mail back the exact same thing.

    Either they will pay you or they will leave you alone.

    PS. Be sure you dont have any IG logos and such on the website.