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Getting Cease & Disist Letter. Really Need ALL Your Help! - What Do I Do?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Dan Da Man, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Dan Da Man

    Dan Da Man Elite Member Premium Member

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    So I created my own brand recently. Spent 3 months on the site and growing the brand and the main competitor in the niche found a link to my site claiming that I did the link (how can they prove that) and also saying that I am infringing on copyright and trademarks. Here is the letter :

    "It has come to our attention that you have infringed on our copyright and trademarks on your website and have engaged in defamation by making false statements about XXXXX on XDXXX.ccm(random link). You have also used the XXXX trademarks improperly and/or altered our trademarks for your own financial gain. This email serves as notice that we will be serving you with a cease and desist letter and have already contacted GoDaddy and your hosting company Host Gator with a letter requesting your account be suspended for violations of US trademarks and copyrights.

    We have taken photos of the copyrighted materials that you have used on your site in violation of US LAW and will be including those in our letter. "

    This company is big and how they found me is crazy. For example, my website name is Naturxxxx.com. They have a a product called Naturxxxxxxx.com. The second word which is xxxx, is completely different. They don't have copyright for Natur.

    There was a small part of the site that I had copied which was a customer service section which can easily be taken out but besides that, I think this is a complete scare tactic because basically they know that I know what I am doing and they want me wiped out.

    Guys, I need your help. What do I do?
     
  2. Danny1111

    Danny1111 Elite Member

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    I'm not a lawyer ... but if I was you and I thought my brand did not infringe on their copyright and you had checked all that stuff yourself

    and as you say that - no normal person would associate your site with theirs

    then I would contact a lawyer and send them some sort of notice warning them not to harass/threaten or otherwise damage your brand etc etc

    because just as someone has more money than you as you say - you have rights as well.

    It's obviously hard for me to say who is right and wrong because I see none of the information.
     
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  3. Dan Da Man

    Dan Da Man Elite Member Premium Member

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    Thanks. Yeah your right it is hard. I was just wondering if this was for real or companies do this a lot to scare people. I don't want to have to go to court and spend money on a lawyer so I was wondering if someone else had been there done that. Thanks anyways.
     
  4. unclemike

    unclemike BANNED BANNED

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    Personally, I think there just trying to push you around and you could basically ignore it.
    However I would consult an attorney over this just for secure advice. Try something like legalzoom so it does
    not cost a fortune for advice.

    Good luck fighting! Hey keep us updated...
     
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  5. acotut

    acotut Elite Member

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    If you are 100% sure that you're on the safe side,after you win the case you'll get all the money back + damages :).You live in US,right?
     
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  6. Dan Da Man

    Dan Da Man Elite Member Premium Member

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    Well, I guess I am not 100% sure. My name is not a trademarked name therefore how can I be infringing on a trademark. It's like blackhatworld.com saying no one can have blackhat in their name. I have never dealt with this so I guess I'm just looking for some guidance.

    Yes, I am in US.
     
  7. loclhero

    loclhero Supreme Member

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    Tough call here but I'd be careful, they probably have a mark on the "word" Natur.
    Search uspto.gov and see what you can find out but if they have a trademark on the word "natur" and you have that in your domain/product AND it is in competition with them, trust me, they will nail your ass.
     
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  8. Danny1111

    Danny1111 Elite Member

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    Acotut - got where I was coming from - if they have no case then they would have to drop it

    but now your raising doubt on your site -- honestly if it were me - I would go for a consultation with a Lawyer
    find out what you can and make a more informed decision then.

    Asking us - is probably not the brightest move LOL.
     
  9. Dan Da Man

    Dan Da Man Elite Member Premium Member

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    They don't have a mark on Natur. Just Natur + another word.
     
  10. ibmethatswhoib

    ibmethatswhoib Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    eBay came after me and I gave up the domain, although I had part of their name in my domain which was stupid. But the big guys have dedicated people to search this stuff out and sick their lawyers on you. Although if your domain doesn't have anything trademarked in it not sure they can do much but drain you of time and money with lawyers.
     
  11. Dan Da Man

    Dan Da Man Elite Member Premium Member

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    Well, I was asking if someone had been through the same thing as me. Obviously I would go to a lawyer but its always good to hear someone who has been there and done that. It's completely different then talking to a lawyer.
     
  12. loclhero

    loclhero Supreme Member

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    Interesting. I think you still might want to consult with an attorney though. I mean, if you google "natur" there are more than a few things that come up with that in the url but if they have the money, they can drag you to court and I'll assume you do not have funding for that. As much as it may suck, you might need to ask yourself if it's worth it. It's not like you're making tons of money with this yet (I assume).
     
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  13. Dan Da Man

    Dan Da Man Elite Member Premium Member

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    Exactly my point. I know they are trying to scare me but they are huge, I am not. I don't have lawyers or tons of money to fund them. It's really sad that the system is set up this way. Protects the big boys and discourage startups. My intentions were never to copy them and we offer a great service that is more inexpensive and better than them (in my opinion).

    Thanks for your input.
     
  14. unclemike

    unclemike BANNED BANNED

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    Exactly, The system is designed to punish small business and start ups.
    I really hope they cannot do anything to you on principle. Sorry I cannot give you real hands on advice with
    this since I never came across this problem. All I can do is give the best advice I can.

    (side thought) If you are planning on making some nice income from this. Then why not take the site down to make them happy. Move everything offshore using whatever information that makes you happy. This seems like a decent layer of protection. (If it is worth the start up)
     
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  15. epropages

    epropages Newbie

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    Even if you win, they will never stop trying to discredit you. Bail and live to sell another day.
     
  16. Dan Da Man

    Dan Da Man Elite Member Premium Member

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    That might be a good option. Thanks for the input
     
  17. tompots

    tompots Elite Member Premium Member

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    If you copied part of there site and they have a copyright on the site and its legit,
    then you better back off quick!! talk to a layer. You should also never start up a
    website in your own name if you have the intention of copying other peoples work.
     
  18. dude91

    dude91 Registered Member

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    Move your hosting offshore and move your domain to some offshore provider ! Then ask them to eat shit !
     
  19. kvmcable

    kvmcable Supreme Member

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    I've been there as I've mentioned many times. They aren't just chasing you for infringement but for defamation also. That's a whole other can of woop-ass. They've laid out more than I thought they would in an opening letter but seriously you don't any part of this. IP Attorneys (which you will need) will run you at least $350 an hour. They aren't typical general practice Attorneys. Secondly they will file the case in their jurisdiction and you must hire an Attorney there and attend depositions there. Again you want no part of this.

    They aren't blowing smoke up your ass. If this is Perkins & Cole that sent the letter you better take that site down quick. They won't stop and they're specialists at this game. They've probably already done an asset analysis on you and know more about you than your own Momma.

    Its been said here at least 100 times. Don't screw with trademarks but most have to learn that lesson the hard way. My $160,000 lesson was back in 1999. I still have a sore ass from it but I learned all about TM and Copyright law after 2 years of shuffling paper and attending Court. Most cases are filed in US District Courts which again ups the price of representation.

    Bad mistake, take down the site and move on. Learn your lesson cheaply and ignore advice of offshore or bulletproof hosting. They got your number and don't give a shit what you do - you're responsible for that site, its content and now its infringement and defamation.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  20. steelballs

    steelballs BANNED BANNED

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    On the money as usual kvmcable Great Post now to the OP my advice is to heed what this dude says because he never jives with garbage - he tells you how it is - whether you like it is another issue to discuss later - but first things first take the site down before those lawyers 'Roast Your Ass!'
     
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