1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Building a Similar Site on an Expired Domain - Is it Legal?

Discussion in 'Domain Names & Parking' started by hopkism, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. hopkism

    hopkism Newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2015
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    5
    Occupation:
    Historian
    Location:
    Canada
    Home Page:
    I'll try to keep this simple and yes I know, probably few of us here are legal experts but I need some feedback.

    I want to create a casual blog that reviews one of my favorite hobbies (yes there will be affiliate marketing down the road but not yet) regularly. In looking for a domain name, I found an awesome name that is short, sweet, and expired. Four years ago there was a website built on it that was also reviewing this same hobby. They were creating reviews and even had a message board for users. It never really took off for them and they just let it drop. It has amazing backlinks though, great PA and DA.

    My question is, should I buy the domain and develop the similar site with all of my own content? I did a USPTO.gov search and found no trademark for the brand. Thankfully the word is an acronym and I have a different use for the letters than the original owner. I found the previous owner through social media searches and he's a full time web designer working for a large company with a whole host of skills. Maybe I should contact him?

    Your thoughts are much appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2015
  2. mixing

    mixing Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2014
    Messages:
    279
    Likes Received:
    33
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Home Page:
    I think you should be fine. If it's a generic term and if it's about a general hobby you probably won't run into any issues.
     
  3. Gioware

    Gioware Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    31
    as long as design/content is owned by you - yes.
     
  4. blogzandstuff

    blogzandstuff Elite Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2015
    Messages:
    6,422
    Likes Received:
    2,999
    Occupation:
    blog creator
    Location:
    UK
    yes that's ok, you are not using their content and they let is expire. Nothing to stop you from buying it
     
  5. ChanzGrande

    ChanzGrande Elite Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Messages:
    2,487
    Likes Received:
    1,179
    Occupation:
    Accountant
    Location:
    Northern Woods Counting Money
    Go for it! It sounds like a great opportunity for you, and there is nothing wrong with being in the right place at the right time.

    Way to go. You could contact him if it will make you feel better, or if you think a collaboration would better suit your model, but I think I'd just build it and call it good. There is no sense sharing profits in this situation just because somebody else tried to do something but failed for whatever reason.
     
  6. hopkism

    hopkism Newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2015
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    5
    Occupation:
    Historian
    Location:
    Canada
    Home Page:
    Thanks for the feedback guys. I decided to go with it. Perhaps it was obvious to you but I just wanted to make sure it made sense. Even if I change my mind on the "brand name" and don't like this acronym, I have a domain name in the exact same niche with tons of backlinks and some good authority. I can go the PBN route or I can just do a permanent 301 redirect.
     
  7. ziy1978

    ziy1978 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2014
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    18
    i had like problems, i done similar site on expired domain
    later, i received that old owner want come back domain and he go to UDRP dispute (it's was cost $1500 for his), also he used lawyer from USA which specialised at internet laws (don't sure how many it's cost, but don't cheap i think) which wrote 10 very proffessional pages why i must come back domain, but i won dispute.
    So can say main thing - if old owner don't have trade mark, they he don't have chances (of course if you will answer at dispute right)
     
  8. Iroquois

    Iroquois Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2015
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Marketer
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I recently picked up an older domain name myself. It's been owned by a couple of people in the past and never really took off.


    Like you, I did the USPTO search, and a couple of other searches to make sure I wouldn't have some previous owner coming out of the woodwork in a couple of years with a claim on my domain. Local newspapers, Lexis/Nexis, trade journals, local colleges, etc.


    Nothing meaningful turned up, so I went ahead with my plan for a new authority site.


    Overly cautious? Maybe. But it's a good name and has potential for 3-4 revenue streams. No reason not to spend an extra couple of hours on due diligence.


    Good luck with your new site and project.