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Trademarked domain names, yes or no?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Lakitu, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Lakitu

    Lakitu Junior Member

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    Not until recently did I realize that you shouldn't buy trademarked domain names just because they are available. My concern lies within this area for one of my now decently profitable niche sites. I have a niche site with a EMD of a popular TV series name. It was available, so I bought it and developed a niche site around it which has become quite successful over the last few months. Now I'm starting to get worried about the repercussions.

    The one key difference in my case is that this is a foreign TV series based in another country. However, it has been licensed to a company in the US. After looking up national and international trademark databases for the title of the series, nothing comes up. It doesn't appear to be trademarked, yet the concept of it still worries me. Since their company is based in another country, can they take legal action against me for this? Or can the company they licensed the show to in my country take legal action for them?

    Question is, do I stick with it or get rid of it? Getting rid of it will hit me hard as I'm still a small-time IMer and this is where the majority of my IM income is flowing in from, but sticking with it has me worrying about possible consequences now. I have heard of stories of some people buying branded domain names and creating niche sites on them, but their stories usually end with cease and desist letters asking for the deletion or transfer of the domains to the companies that own the brand.

    Has anyone been in this situation, and what did you do?

    Thanks.
     
  2. jamesjk1

    jamesjk1 Senior Member

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    Never been in that situation, but personally I wouldn't get rid of it until someone comes knocking at your door, lol. Seriously though, I definitely wouldn't throw it away out of FEAR of repercussions. I would keep it and if something happens, cross that bridge when you come to it. Like you said, the worst they would do is probably just serve you a cease and desist letter.

    If you still want to target keywords that include brand names like your TV show safely, you can. Why not just create a unique domain name which doesn't include the tv show name, but then target each of the internal pages for target branded or non-branded keywords.

    The legal issue arises when you buy the domain ? just mentioning a brand on your site is no reason to be targeted by a legal counsel (actually, maybe you could ask permission?). Sure, you might not get the boost that having a keyword in the domain would give you, but in this way you can still target branded keywords without the fear of getting a letter asking you to remove your domain.
     
  3. faithjhung

    faithjhung Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Just earn as much as you can.
    If they send you a takedown notice, then thats the time you stop :)
    till then, bank!
     
  4. Lakitu

    Lakitu Junior Member

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    Haha, thanks for the replies. I think that's what I'm going to do. Definitely need the extra cash right now. :)
     
  5. Gyuman82

    Gyuman82 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    It's really a crapshoot.

    Some people get away with it, some will get sued.

    Keep in mind that if they do come after you, they can sue you for all the profits you have earned based on their trademark.

    So theoretically they could take everything you have earned in a lawsuit.