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eBay trying to bully us [email protected] about a domain name

Discussion in 'Ebay' started by albertking222, May 12, 2016.

  1. albertking222

    albertking222 Newbie

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    We have a domain name that includes the word "ebay" in it. So do many of our competitors.

    This is not our forum it is a side sort of satellite website that has very little traffic.

    Ironically, this particular domain name isn't even being used for any commercial purpose, just discourse.

    So anyway Modee Modeeworld is handling it he's a lawyer but this is the email we got and yes it is legitimate. We're not cybersquatting though - we have the site in question up and running. Modee is preparing a response that explains that the site is not being used in bad faith, or, incidentally in this case, for any commercial purpose.

    Modee explained to me that they must establish three elements to prevail:

    (i) the domain name registered by the domain name registrant is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant (the person or entity bringing the complaint) has rights; and
    (ii) the domain name registrant has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name in question; and
    (iii) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith


    What circumstances are evidence that a domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith?
    Paragraph 4(b) of the UDRP Policy sets out the following examples of circumstances that will be considered by an Administrative Panel to be evidence of the bad faith registration and use of a domain name:
    (i) Circumstances indicating that the domain name was registered or acquired primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the domain name registrant's out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
    (ii) The domain name was registered in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that the domain name registrant has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
    (iii) The domain name was registered primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
    (iv) By using the domain name, the domain name registrant intentionally attempted to attract for financial gain, Internet users to the registrant's website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the registrant's website or location or of a product or service on the registrant's website or location.

    and these are straight from ICANN.

    This Edith must get around she has been sending out these letters for years. :rolleyes:

    eBay and PayPal have not always won these sorts of disputes. They tried against paypalsucks.com and lost.

    ---

    We are writing concerning your registration of ebayXXXX.com which contains the famous eBay trademark.

    As you undoubtedly know, eBay is the leading provider of online person-to-person trading services and related goods and services. eBay adopted the name and trademark eBay in September 1995 and, since that time, eBay has actively used the eBay name and trademark in connection with its online trading and related services, including maintaining the web site ebay.com The coined term eBay is one of the most famous trademarks on the Internet. eBay owns exclusive trademark rights to the eBay name in the United States and internationally, including related common law rights. Accordingly, eBay enjoys broad trademark rights in its name.

    eBay has made a substantial investment in developing and providing its services. As a result of eBay's pioneering efforts and its devoting substantial effort and resources to providing only high quality services, the eBay name and trademarks are widely known among the consuming public worldwide, and the name and trademarks embody substantial and valuable goodwill.

    Accordingly, we were concerned when we learned of your registration of the ebayXXXX.com. As we hope you can understand, protection of its trademarks is very important to eBay. We have filed several successful federal court actions in the United States against companies and individuals employing the famous eBay trademark in their domain names, as well as numerous proceedings before the World Intellectual Property Organization's arbitration panel. eBay prevailed in each case and the domain names at issue were all ordered to be transferred to eBay.

    In addition to the above, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") has recognized the fame of the EBAY trademark and has, in the past, rejected a number of trademarks that have improperly incorporated the EBAY mark into them (such as "ebaysecurities"). Like your domain name, "ebaysecurities" incorporated the entire eBay trademark, adding only a generic term to eBay's famous mark. The USPTO recognized that eBay is a famous trademark and denied registration of ebaysecurities. eBay is concerned that any use of the domain name in question, is likely to cause confusion as to whether you or your company's activities are authorized, endorsed or sponsored by eBay when, in fact, they are not.

    We understand that you may have registered ebayXXXX.com without full knowledge of the law in this area. 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 eBay respects your right of expression and your desire to conduct business on the Internet, eBay must enforce its own rights in order to protect its valuable and famous trademark. For these reasons, and to avoid consumer confusion, eBay must insist that you not use the domain name for any purpose, do not sell, offer to sell or transfer the domain name to a third party, and instead simply let the domain registration expire. In the meantime, the domain name should remain inactive and should not point to any content.

    Just to be clear, eBay does not desire to interfere with any legitimate business you may be conducting. We are simply asking that you offer those legitimate services under a name, mark and domain name that is not likely to confuse consumers to believe that your company on one hand and eBay on the other hand are related and/or affiliated.

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

    Sincerely,

    Edith
    eBay Legal Department
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  2. toml3030

    toml3030 Elite Member

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    If you have unlimited budget and time you will probably win in the end, but the problem is going to be if they ever got serious about it

    1. eBay has a lot more $ than you, so spending $100K to put you out of business is nothing to them

    and

    2. Since eBay is now aware that you are using the term "eBay", them not doing anything may set a precedent that they may not want to establish. This is why Disney sued some crappy day care center for putting up murals of Mickey Mouse; not because a crappy day care center putting up a mural of Mickey Mouse is a big deal, but because them not suing for using Mickey Mouse might set a precedent that costs them real money down the line.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  3. albertking222

    albertking222 Newbie

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    There is a member on here venfayon who writes about how he got the identical letter in February 2014, from Edith / eBay about his domain paypalcoffee.com At that time eBay owned PayPal. In the thread he writes that he wrote back and said fine I will take it down, but he did not because over two years later I see his site up and still selling "PayPal" coffee. Can't get more commercial than that.

    Also there are many many active sites out there with the word ebay and paypal in their domain name, so what precedent does that 'stablish? We are not the only ones.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  4. bimmerime

    bimmerime Regular Member

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    YOUR DOMAIN REDIRECTS TO EBAY. did they take it?
     
  5. albertking222

    albertking222 Newbie

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    What domain redirects to eBay? I did not post the URL or mention the domain name in question in this thread. All I said was that the domain name includes the word "ebay" in it.
     
  6. toml3030

    toml3030 Elite Member

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    We once got sued my a multinational corporation because they claimed that they owned a letter of the alphabet for exclusive use in logos. I kid you not. After about $7K in legal bills, we settled on terms that I can keep using the logo but I can never get into grains, bread, or related food items business.
     
  7. albertking222

    albertking222 Newbie

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    Modee Modeeworld determined that this Edith sends out 6 of these "enforcement threats" per minute. Now as to whether she does this all week long 8 hours a day, we don't know, but the cases (cease and desist emails) are numbering close to 430,000 of them so far. Certainly eBay cannot afford nor does it have the time to pursue a half million supposed offenders. Which anyway our satellite site with the word eBay in it remains up and will not be taken down because it is an informative noncommercial site and they have no cause to take it down.

    This could even be some kind of automated script that just sends an email to every new registration with the word eBay in it. However we are aware of many that she missed, so the script isn't even that thorough.

    Basically, eBay is taking action against commercial offenders only, or those who register multiple offending sites.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2016