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Domain might be trademarked, watdo

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Floopa75, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. Floopa75

    Floopa75 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Bought a domain in late February, wrote 5 articles, posted them, forgot about it. It was an expired domain with nice backlinks so when I checked it in Ahrefs in early November, I found that it was in the top 30 for some nice keywords. I also saw that it wasn't ranking in first for the brand name of the site. Curious, I typed it into Google and there's the current domain from the company in the 1st spot.

    I'm not a lawyer, but I decided to try and look through the US trademark database to see if anything came up. There is a trademarked name but the word mark is "[company name]" and my site is "[companyname]layouts.com" Probably still trademarked, right? I looked into the listed lawyer on the trademark record and he's definitely a heavy hitter in the intellectual property area. Awards, featured in big sites, represented some massive software companies, etc..

    The company looks to be about ~100 employees big, low 7 figures in revenue, etc. Basically they could f*ck my shit up if they wanted to.

    What do I do? I've sunk $470 in the last 45 days for SEO and I'm on the 2nd page now for some great keywords. Pretty shitty to think that this might be where it ends.

    Should I just ride it out? Or switch domains? I got no idea. Maybe someone can offer up a past story or 2 about an experience like this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  2. webdev357

    webdev357 Junior Member

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    Sell your domain to them! haha
     
  3. Floopa75

    Floopa75 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I don't know if that would work out well. I think if they dropped it then they didn't care about it enough to register it. But it's still their trademark.
     
  4. mynameisfrankenstein

    mynameisfrankenstein Regular Member

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    That really sucks considering your investment.

    Be honest, does the domain keyword sound like it can be it's own thing? Or is it piggybacking off their brand? If it's the former, then keep at it and feign indifference. If it's the latter, cut your losses. Or maybe you can contact them and do some rev share joint venture.
     
  5. webdev357

    webdev357 Junior Member

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    Try contacting them and working a deal?
     
  6. Vapys.Com

    Vapys.Com Regular Member

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    Is (companyname) a made up brandable or is it a dictionary word that might be covered in the "fair to use act"?
    If it's the latter and your not marketing anything associated with the TM holder you should be OK.
     
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  7. Sherbert Hoover

    Sherbert Hoover Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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  8. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I've had a bunch of domains over the years that have been trademarked names and still do.

    The worst thing they do is tell you they want the domain in a letter that will look scary initially. You get used to them after a while though and realize they are not interested in doing anything but get the domain taken down. Some do not even ask for the domain.

    The only one that concerned me was the one that was owned by Google as those guys have no soul and I closed that site the first time they contacted me. I fear the Google.

    The others I just tried to play off that all I was doing was promoting their company which was really a load of crap as I was making money off of them.

    The lawyer from UPS said to me, "That is not true. You are making money off our name with pay per click ads". Pretty astute and I told him so as I removed the domain from my host. I never gave them the domain, I just did not renew it, but they now own it so they bought it as it was dropped.

    LLbean I did not even bother to respond to and they did nothing.

    Fedex was a tad persistent and I gave in to them after about the third overnight letter they sent to me but that took a good 6 weeks so I made money off of their name in the process.

    There are a handful of others that I dealt with and, although they usually ask for the revenue I generated using their mark, nobody has ever pushed the issue and nothing came of it except me losing a domain I paid 10.00~ for.

    I'm still banking with no less than 8 brand names on my sites (one of them is a previous brand I did this with in the past) and will continue to play that game as it is easy money and easy to rank.

    @Floopa75, I bet the worst that will happen is they will say "We want the domain" or some such thing. I personally would continue to work the domain until they do (if they ever do).

    My .02 USD.
     
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  9. blogzandstuff

    blogzandstuff Elite Member

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    i once owned olympicmedalwinners.com, well i did for a short time before their lawyers got in touch and threatened to sue me for copyright infringement.
    Seems everything associated with the olympics is trademark. I spend a few thousand on legal costs, so now avoid anything remotely trademarked.
    Eventually after months it was resolved, not before it cost me big.
    Always be aware of using trademarks in domain names, it really can land you in a lot of trouble, just not worth it.
    Worst thing about it, my site didn't even have any ads on it as it was new
     
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  10. hippo123

    hippo123 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    301 that domain to a new domain and shift the content to a new domain as well?
     
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  11. Floopa75

    Floopa75 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Yeah, this is my plan of action if it goes south. It's a small site and will be less than 25 pages when I'm done with it. If I receive a notice in the mail I will just 301 the URLs to the new URLs and hope for the best.
     
  12. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    If you receive a notice in the mail ignore it as they are not serious.

    An overnight letter is something to consider though but even then don't react right off.

    Let them request several times.
     
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