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Warning to those using brand names in domains

Discussion in 'Domain Names & Parking' started by shaedesign, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. shaedesign

    shaedesign Newbie

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    Just got this letter from a company about my domain name:

    --

    Dear Domain Owner,

    [Company Name] is the owner of some of the most famous trademarks in the apparel industry, including the [BRand Name], [Brand Name] trademarks. As you no doubt are aware, those trademarks are used to identify, advertise and promote [Company Name] products and activities.

    It has come to our attention that you have registered, without [Company Name]'s permission or authorization, the domain name mydomain.com. This unauthorized use of [Company Name]'s proprietary intellectual property falsely suggests [Company Name]'s sponsorship or endorsement of your website.

    We ask that you immediately cease and desist any and all use of the subject domain name.

    Should you require additional information or wish to further discuss this issue, please do not hesitate to contact us.


    Sincerely,

    --

    I am not sure this is 100% legit, but I'm not taking any chances. Better safe than sorry.

    I have since removed the site, although I still have the domain name.

    I now realise I shouldn't have used a brand name in a domain, but I did this when I first started and I was following an IM course. Plus, it was before I found BHW.

    Just thought I should warn all the newbies out there, stay away from brand names in the domain, its just not worth the hassle.

    So now I am thinking of re creating the site on another domain, without the brand name in it. Do you think this is okay, or should I stay away from this brand altogether?
     
  2. hurn

    hurn Power Member

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    stay away from the brand names. it is not worth firgting for emd with micro niche site though we are correct. BTW they have legal rights to stop you.
     
  3. BigMarcusStud

    BigMarcusStud Senior Member

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    What if you have a brand in the domain name for a review site? Like for example, applereviews.com?

    They can't say that it falsely suggests sponsorship or ownership, right? It's just a site reviewing Apple products. The site is not claiming ownership of the site.

    On the other hand, having a site named applebrand.com or applesite.com is a different story.
     
  4. ishanguptaa

    ishanguptaa Regular Member

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    Even the Hostgator says soo..
    When I went to hostgator to host a domain www.trademarkblog.com they refused simply because they didnt want to get into any legal issues with those companies.

    Can anybody help me understand that how the big sites like 9to5mac.com, appleinsider.com and many others are not facing this issue..
     
  5. Taktical

    Taktical Elite Member

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    Its a standard cease and desist. But BigMarcus is right, you are allowed to review their products. You just can't let it look like they endorse you.
     
  6. Bots_Do_it_Faster

    Bots_Do_it_Faster Registered Member

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    I was involved in a business venture where we bought over 4000 domain names and many of these domains had copy righted company names. Stuff like NFL teams to the RedCross. Most of them stayed under the radar,but as soon as the SEO kicked in we would get a letter from their company attorney's and we would drag it out for a few more moths to milk what we could out of it, but in the end we ended up transferring the name to the company and that was the end of it.

    I know someone else that has the "Rus" in their domain name like Toys-R-US, but the R was not turned backwards. After 4 years the site got noticed by corp Toys-R-US and eventually he had to stop using the domain because of the copy right on R-US they had.
     
  7. Bluearrow

    Bluearrow Regular Member

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    Now Amazon doesn't even let publishers to join their affiliate system with domains with brand names. Better use generic words for micro sites. The hassle doesn't worth time or money.
     
  8. BigMarcusStud

    BigMarcusStud Senior Member

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    How true is this? I have a new Amazon review site and I'm using it to promote Amazon products.

    Although, I used a different site in the past when I signed up because that was long ago. But how come they're still letting me promote their products? Granted that I'm not paid yet.
     
  9. Jeevs

    Jeevs Supreme Member

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    I own a trademark domain,not emd but something like brand-nameblog.com and I've added a "Disclaimer" page which clearly states that its NOT OFFICIAL and all rights are reserved by "trademarK'.
     
  10. Roparadise

    Roparadise BANNED BANNED

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    So if someone has a fan site of a company and have a listing of where to get the product and their own review of it. It is ok as long as they include a notice that the company does not endorse them?
     
  11. LBrown

    LBrown Senior Member

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    Some companies are pretty tight about their brand name and others don't care much. If you want to know if a company is strict or not, google a few keywords that include the domain. If at the bottom of the SERPs it says that some listings have been removed due to copyright infringement, that is probably a sign that the company is actively going after branded domains.
     
  12. Griddler

    Griddler Regular Member

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    thanx for sharing your experiences. i own a brandname domain too, always intersteing what happends with other people who own one. let time see what happend with my domain. Was my first MNS site too, for all others i donĀ“t use brandname domains. to dangerous to loose it and all the work for the site, i want long time income :D
     
  13. Subsonic

    Subsonic Regular Member

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    I also have a brand name domain and it gets a few hundred uniques per day. On top of that I rank higher than the original company in some important keywords. The deal is that I'm helping them to get sales by offering free content for the users of their software so I guess that's why they haven't contacted me or tried to shut the site down...
     
  14. Jeevs

    Jeevs Supreme Member

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    And this is Bond....James Bond...reported for spam
     
  15. Gibbzee

    Gibbzee Regular Member

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    It's upto the company that owns the trademark in question really. Like said before, some are really strict and wont allow their trademarks in almost any domain they dont own, others are a lot more relaxed. If your site is purely to make money based on their trademark then most companies will send you a C&D, if its a blog or fansite then you are normally ok but you still have to play by their rules.
     
  16. fieldinspector

    fieldinspector Newbie

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    I wrote a summary of the laws and regulations in this thread for anyone interested:
    http www .blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/black-hat-seo/350467-trademark-violation.html
     
  17. shadowedsniper

    shadowedsniper Junior Member

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    I built my business on using trademark domains and have gotten quite a few C&Ds, but never anything more than that. It's too easy to ignore if you're looking for fast rankings/money. Just weigh the risks and decide whether or not you can make enough money before they send you a cease and desist to justify your time spent.
     
  18. Jeevs

    Jeevs Supreme Member

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    Enjoy your ban...
     
  19. Drink More Tea

    Drink More Tea Regular Member

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    Write back to them telling them that you'll happily see them in court. Just because some cheap lawyer sends you an email, you shouldn't cave in to their demands.
     
  20. shadowedsniper

    shadowedsniper Junior Member

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    Eh man I don't know about this...

    Cheap is not the word that comes to mind when I think of brand lawyers.

    The precedent has already been set and you're almost always guaranteed to lose the domain name.

    And even if no legal action is taken, at the end of the day they're still responsible for paying your commission and can stop at any time on the grounds covered in their affiliate TOS.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011