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Buying domain names with trademark?

Discussion in 'Domain Names & Parking' started by xpiamchris, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. xpiamchris

    xpiamchris Newbie

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    Do companies care if you have their trademark in their domain name, even if its just a related site?

    E.g. Will they take away the domain name if i have something like "blackberrycases.com" or "iphone4cases.com" ?
     
  2. Shane1

    Shane1 Registered Member

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    It's a grey area, but there is always the potential they can come after you. It depends on things like the company, the niche, and the content. I have a lot of trademarked keywords in my domains but have only once had a problem, when the company sent a DMCA complaint that I offered a flash version of their game (they also went after the other top ranking websites for the same terms, most of which also folded and just removed the content).

    You should at least make the effort to let it be known you are unaffiliated with them, putting a disclaimer in your website's footer/legal information. A lot of times I also use the terms unofficial or fan site in my title.
     
  3. pk_69

    pk_69 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    i had a headache from amazon threatened to shut down my affiliate id for owning a domain with "amazon" in it. even after I moved content on another domain they insisted to transfer domain to them.

    pk
     
  4. xpiamchris

    xpiamchris Newbie

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    If you claim in big bold letters that you are unaffiliated with them, is it ok?
     
  5. cyrix

    cyrix Junior Member

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    As far as I understand...no, It really just depends on the company and how aggressive they defend their trademarks. Some companies won't care, where others will be right on top of you the second you reg that domain name. Its a chance game, and if a company happens to send you a fancy C&D letter from an expensive lawyer 99% of the time if you cooperate and give them the domain there won't be any problems.
     
  6. gregstereo

    gregstereo Elite Member

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    There are really two factors here (well three if you want to include your risk tolerance and savviness about locating yourself and your business in disparate parts of the world).

    Primarily, as mentioned earlier, it really varies from company to company. Don't assume that old-school companies are easier targets (witness Disney for example). Some companies are TM-hawks, while others don't really care or don't notice.

    Which leads to the other factor - it's fairly easy to fly below the radar and skim off enough sales/revenue to make a TM name worthwhile.

    And remember, on the one hand there is no actual Internet Jail where they can put you for violating a TM; on the other hand, if you choose to build and invest in a TM site, you could lose it or at the least face the onerous process of a WIPO dispute, C&D letters, litigation, and the like.

    peace - gregs.