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Is it legal to use other websites' names to describe your own?

Discussion in 'Business & Tax Advice' started by seomadness, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. seomadness

    seomadness Junior Member

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    For instance, I want to put something on my website similar to:

    We are like the Facebook meets Pinterest of Latin America.

    in my about page. Do you think I can get sued for using their names to describe my own?
     
  2. seomadness

    seomadness Junior Member

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    Can anyone help with this?
     
  3. -ReX-

    -ReX- Power Member

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    You will get sued if you use their name anywhere on your site and your site gets popular
     
  4. WizGizmo

    WizGizmo Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    That is simply untrue. How many people do you think have mentioned the name "Facebook"
    on their website. As long as whatever you mention is true, you do not need to worry about
    a lawsuit. Besides, you are "small potatoes" to them. I doubt they would even take the time
    to respond to your statement.

    "Wiz"
     
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  5. openaidbh

    openaidbh BANNED BANNED

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    Yeah, it's not like Mark Z has his lawyers going around googling "Facebook" to see what comes up lol. You're fine, hell they might even buy you if you get big enough :)
     
  6. poweronics

    poweronics Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Very true indeed. They do not have time to search for every website having their names on it.
     
  7. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    I think there are a lot of concepts to consider simultaneously. There's freedom of speech/expression, there's "fair use" and then there is using someone else's brand to make money, which deprives them of the benefit of their intellectual property. All of these concepts have to be considered when trying to decide where the line is, and if something has crossed it.

    In the real world, someone sends you an email and then you get to decide if you are going to comply or ignore it and risk possible legal trouble. They can't sue an entire planet of people. Part of suing involves whether or not you've got something to sue for, i.e. money.

    And, in another section of "the real world" that description is kind of lame, from a Marketing perspective. Yes you can do that, but why would you want to. Your "thing" either has it's own qualities which can be described and marketed, or is a pale and ignorable imitation of something else.

    I'm selling shoes. They are sort of a cross between Nike and Converse. Not quite Nike, but not full-fledged Converse either. A Nike-Converse fusion, of sorts. It's the best of Nike plus the best of Converse, all rolled into just one pair of shoes that really aren't either Nike or Converse. But you will love the Nike-like qualities of my Converse-like shoes when you buy them. Just remember the brand-name of these wonderful Nike-Converse crossovers. The brand name is:

    "Forgettable"
     
  8. seomadness

    seomadness Junior Member

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    I understand where you're coming from B. Friendly but I don't think it's lame to describe your website this way. Many startup companies have done this to describe their websites to investors and got funded. Investors want to know in a few words what your website is. For instance, Offermatic is described as Mint.com meets Groupon and they received $4.5 million dollar investment. Getaround is described as Airbnb for Cars and received $3.5 million dollar investment. Farmeron is described as Google Analytics for Farms and received $1.4 million seed funding.

    I'm not saying by describing your websites like this you have a higher chance of getting funded, but it gets to the point and describes your website in a few words. An investor will know what your site is about in a few seconds but I think I might not do something like this on the about page. Maybe when describing it to investors only.
     
  9. mrfred1

    mrfred1 Newbie

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    Hi Seomadness

    Your original question and your response to B.Friendly are odds with each other.

    Originally you asked could you liken your site to another and say so publically onsite, well I would presume you could but more to the point why would you, as an example you could say this site is like Facebook but then the visitor might think well if it is like facebook why not just go to facebook, you don't want to be the same as or like some other site, you want your own identity so that you stand out.

    Think back over time and remember how many sites "like or the same as" the big names have appeared and then disappeared.

    Now as to likening your site to others to invite investment then that is perfectly acceptable, all businesses will adopt that tactic to spark interest in potential investors.

    To the public you want be original, Ebay is another perfect example, how many auction sites "like" Ebay have come and gone in the past few years, so instead of saying we are like Ebay say instead we are the new face of online auctions (or something along those lines), let people know you are different not the same.