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[Help] Using trademark in domain name is illegal?

Discussion in 'Domain Names & Parking' started by Allermann, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. Allermann

    Allermann Newbie

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    Hi fellow white- and blackhatters,

    I want to ask if using a trademark like Apple or Sony in my domain name is legal?

    I've seen a ton of sites like "Sony46flatscreen", not owned by Sony (also mentioned in this forum several times. These sites are for instance promoting sony tv products with affiliate and adsense.

    Is this trademark infringement or legal? And if so, to which extent?
     
  2. Theodore

    Theodore Power Member

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    To be honest my own personal opinion no its no illegal. You have the right to name your domain whatever you want no one owns the internet and hence people can give there domain whatever name.

    But with all the big brand names like Apple and Sony they prob will throw u a `nice` email saying can you please take down the domain and then probably threaten you with legal action if you dont.

    But i do remember my ICT teacher saying his mate regestered a site saying harrypottermovie5.com and warner bros did the same but he said he didnt have to he wasnt legally obliged.

    So its basically take a chance game sorry
     
  3. Allermann

    Allermann Newbie

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    Ok, just seen many sites.

    I just don't get it. If I help promoting a new product, the company should be happy?

    However, if I deside to buy, lets say HTCmobilephonesdotcom, would I get a chance to remove it again? Or will I be sued right away?
     
  4. youssef93

    youssef93 Senior Member

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    Let me clear up this for you as I've dealt with similar situations.

    The sad fact is that whatever your purpose, once you put the brand name in the domain you risk big trouble.

    Law, though, only gives them the right to come after you if they can prove your 'bad intention' and if your domain is inteneded to mislead or confuse users making them think that the website is owned or otherwise affiliated/endorsed/operating under license with them.

    Although that seems good news for you, it usually isn't as lawyers find loopholes anyway.

    Bottom line, any domain having a brand name IF caught and IF they wish, you're in trouble.

    And no, they dont just sue, they warn you first by demanding that you 'remove content and leave the domain till it expires' and they will require that you confirm in writing back to them that you will comply.

    If you ignore them, they would file a UDRP and have your domain turned over to them.

    Policies differ with different brands but what i'm saying is that they DO have the power. Might be a stupid idea but if you see many people doing it why not contact someone from legal at Sony?