1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Legal or not legal? That is the question

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by pitbully, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. pitbully

    pitbully Regular Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    198
    I hate to make another annoying "Is this legal" thread, but I ignorantly have 2K invested in a domain that I planned to use for this website only to find out there's a possible complication. I'm hoping at least one of my BHW brothers can help me out here with some legal knowledge.

    Say there is a website called "******Advice" (at ******advice.com) which also has a forum under the subdomain forum.******advice.com... Now let's say I own the domain ******adviceforum.com and the keyword phrase "****** advice forum" gets a lot of monthly searches on G, which I would have to assume are mostly people looking for the previously mentioned forum.

    If the site ******advice.com doesn't have any trademarks on any of their names, is it legal for me to use my domain to start a forum called "The ****** Advice Forum" at ******adviceforum.com?


    Any feedback would be great and much appreciated.
     
  2. cmghoops32

    cmghoops32 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    56
    If there are no trademarks I see no other legal boundaries
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. pitbully

    pitbully Regular Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    198
    If I start the forum, are they able to trademark that name after the fact and then sue me? Or are they unable to trademark it once somebody else is also using it?
     
  4. gb

    gb Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2014
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    151
    I'm not a trademark expert, but you might find this resource useful: idearights.com/trdmrk.htm
     
  5. cburton81

    cburton81 Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,722
    Likes Received:
    714
    Occupation:
    Self Employed
    Location:
    NY United States
    Home Page:
    You need real legal advice to know everything for sure but it would appear that if there are no trademarks then it should be ok.
     
  6. qbooth1

    qbooth1 Newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    7
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Electrician
    Location:
    Atsugi, Japan
    Home Page:
    I'm no expert in trademarks, but I so know a little bit about them. And when it comes to trademarks, it's 1st come, 1st serve. They even made a movie that has a similar story line called "Syrup".
     
  7. snarky

    snarky Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    58
    They cannot pursue you if you have legal documentation that you were using the name prior to their registering it as a trademark (in most developed nations anyway).

    This reminds me of a scam that took place more than a decade ago (in the UK, I think). A guy would find prosperous small businesses and trademark the name they were using. He would then extort them for money. He got away with this for a while with some gullible people, but eventually one of his marks hired a lawyer. The court ruled the scammer guilty on numerous counts, including being a nuisance to the court due to frivolous lawsuits. He ended up paying more in fines that he took in through the scheme.

    McDonalds does something similar. If you have the last name McDonald and you decide to open a restaurant, the burger franchise believes you have no right to use your own name as the title of your establishment (doesn't matter if you only sell Chinese take-out, MickyD's owns you). They've successfully harassed business people in the West, but some countries have told the company to suck a dick.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  8. Vrill

    Vrill BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    374
    Its legal.Just make a documentation that you started your website/forum before any trademarks existed and you are on the safe side
     
  9. Conor

    Conor Elite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,577
    Likes Received:
    5,955
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South Africa
    Home Page:
    Well, it all depends on whether the "*****" part of "*****" Advice Forum is copyrighted or not.

    For example, if you owned "Facebook Advice Forum", that would be illegal. If however, your website was named "Pumpkin Advice Forum", that would be fine.

    Your best bet is to check whether the name is ok to use or not, if it isn't blatantly obvious already
     
  10. djperry

    djperry Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    8
    Occupation:
    Entrepreneur
    Location:
    USA
    As long as the other site doesn't have a trademark you should be fine. To be on the safe side consult an attorney if possible. Depending on your location you may find a retired one for free advice.
     
  11. Mercury_Hg

    Mercury_Hg Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    18
    If it's trademarked, you can still get away with fair use depending on the circumstances. Just make sure each instance the ******* occurs also has a disclaimer at the bottom saying the trademark is property of whoever and you're not affiliated. I.e. facebookadvice.com. Look into "fair use for trademarks."
     
  12. Duffers5000

    Duffers5000 Elite Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Messages:
    2,471
    Likes Received:
    7,683
    Murkyish territory. Depends on the country we are talking about for the main company. Is it an actual registered business like a LTD or LCC ?

    Strictly speaking a company doesnt need to be trademarked or copyrighted to pursue their brand against imposters.

    Sue you after the fact ? probably not but have a good enough claim to get the domain back, most probably.
     
  13. togerr

    togerr Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2014
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    14
    if there is no trademark then you are ok to proceed.
    However, read about cyber squating. Did you receive a legal notice?
     
  14. skyfallsdown

    skyfallsdown Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    Messages:
    379
    Likes Received:
    170
    You can contact meathead on this forum , I believe he is one of the most experienced here in domains(I know he used to flip them long time ago for xxx.xxx but still maybe he knows something about trademarking too)