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GoDaddy user reviews : Recommend I try GoDaddy?? 600 + Domains and my First Dispute

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It was bound to happen. I suppose you cant be a "real" domainer until you get some letter of dispute. Although this letter was written well, I dont believe the /img/avatar6.jpg has a case.

The domain name was acquired through SnapNames as an expired domain. The domain has kept it's age due to the relationship of NetworkSolutions and Snap. I just acquired the domain earlier this week.

I had not parked the domain name as of yet either. I am now moving it to my hosting servers and going to put up a holding page of some kind.

I recieved this letter late last night:.

Attention Justin Allen: Now, with the facts above, your recommendations on how to proceed. I have yet to respond to the letter as I weigh the best possible responses.

Thanks,.

Justin..

Comments (35)

First of all, no matter what you think, the ownership of the domain is the date you took control of the domain. There are exceptions when goodwill is transfered too, but this is clearly not the case. So the date of would be early this week, the age is not kept. And that is the date that would be used when establing alleged TM mark and your registration.

Next item would be, do you think they have a case for TM? either registered or common law? That could be pretty easy to find out. Now, is the domain descriptive or unique in nature? What are your plans for the domain? Would it be competing or for something completely out of the realm of what the alleged TM provides?.

I know this is not what you want to hear, but you need to be objective and look at it from both sides...

Comment #1

I do agree with your last statement. Which is exactly why I posted in this forum. The name I consider to be relatively generic. I will PM on request, but not post it in the thread.

A similar example of a domain name would be - "GetTraffic.com" - although after consulting with another domainer, we believe this domain is even more generic.

The domain name was acquired to be resold. Plane and simple. Would it be used to compete in the nature of their business? Perhaps. But the name could be applied to either SEO / Traditional Marketing / or Travel.

UPDATE:.

I had not noticed until pointed out by another domainer (thanks Sharon) this domain was used for forwarding and the site was actually built on another domain name...

Comment #2

I make it a policy not to respond to anything which doesn't have a judge's signature on it. Otherwise you are just providing the other party free documentation to use against you...

Comment #3

Spade, please keep this thread updated. I am excited to hear the end result!..

Comment #4

I do intend to. As I know more I will update the thread and respond to questions or comments...

Comment #5

LoL - my guess is he just forgot to renew. But it's always easier to blame someone else...

Comment #6

Domainers are generally not the most reliable sources of legal opinions...

Comment #7

Though it may be legit, it almost sounds like a scammer who monitors trades and is looking for a cheap way to score domains. (The letter sounds familiar, like one has been posted here before?)..

Comment #8

There was a little more to it than that.... There is no registered trademark in the US - it is a US company. They have not had a site at the domain in 4 years. For at least 2 of the 4 years they had it forwarded to a site that made no mention of the phrase used in the domain and actually REPLACED the term in the domain with a completely different one. Their company website does not make any reference to the term or the domain while it does make reference to the forwarded one. It is a very general term with almost 1 mil exact matches on Google.

Incidentally, a similar search on three of my own company names have a match with this term and John Berryhill has 4 exact matches The term is a general Internet marketing one which makes me less inclined to see the possibility of offline use of it. Furthermore, the last version of the stand alone website for the domain does use the company's actual name and not the domain as a business name as is suggested in the email Spade received. The site says refers to the domain as being a service of... so trademark/servicemark established by use.

As far as my "domainer" knowledge goes, rights for an unregistered trademark begin with use and end when use is abandoned.

As an aside - the domain that the one in question has been pointed to had a renewal date just one day apart (original reg year was the same). The domain that it was pointed to was renewed just a few days before it would have been made available. The contact info was the same for both domains.

Perhaps there was a screw-up at Network Solutions. Hard to say without hearing more. But outside of that, what legitimate claim do they have to a domain it appears they just didn't renew?..

Comment #9

Perhaps not BUT... "this" domainer is quite knowledgeable and has been involved in similar issues. I do trust her views on the subject...

Comment #10

I don't have a lot of experience, but this makes a lot of sense to me...

Comment #11

If the party is going to sue in court (and some are crazy enough to do that),.

Get ready to retain Dr. Berryhill. Or if he's unavailable, check the list in the legal section...

Comment #12

As it stands right now, I have moved the domain to point to a holding page, with a 403 error. I have responded to the all parties in the email asking Network Solutions for clarification on the issue. I await their response.

Justin..

Comment #13

I'd say it was probably due to negligence on their part, not Network Solutions. I wonder how NW is going to defend their reputation since this complainant is putting NW's competence on the line. Surely you have NW as an ally on your side =)..

Comment #14

Well, interestingly enough it was pointed out that there truely could have been an error on Network Solutions side. For example if the customer had paid for a renewal, but the system simply just did not renew it. However, I am sure there are some major legal issues if that is the case.

I am still awaiting Netsol's response. (although I don't expect it until next week at the earliest)..

Comment #15

Even if it turns out Network Solutions didn't process the renewal, chances are.

They'll only refund the amount if it hasn't happened yet. Then it's good luck to.

That party for trying to possibly secure a judgment against them, more so the.

Risk of getting sued by them for breach of contract...

Comment #16

Hey guys. If this goes to court, would it be very expensive? How much do domainers are willing to pay just to keep a domain name especially a generic one? Any suggestions?..

Comment #17

Perfect point. The issue is will I hire a lawyer in order to keep this domain name? Unlikely. Its a nice domain name, but were not talking about a highly prized generic with built in traffic. I paid about $120 for this domain name.

Now, on the flip side. Would it be smarter for the original owner to retain a lawyer, or just offer to buy the domain name from me? If He approached the situation right. I would sell for much less than it would cost him to retain a lawyer.

Hopefully in this situation common sense rules. However, Its going to be up to the original owner, not me. Again, as Soon as I hear more, I will update this thread.

Justin..

Comment #18

If in fact it were a NSI error, that is not the fault of the buyer or snapnames who sold it. I believe if they had a case, it would be against NSI for negligence. Even if NSI was found negligent, you then have to look back at the contracts/TOS between NSI and Snapnames, NSI and the original owner, and snapnames and the new owner. If that doesn't call for reversal of the sale, then the option to the original owner would be damages which if won could be used to acquire the domain back or a similar replacement. My first guess is that it's not an NSI error, but more like a spam filter error or lack of verifying that a renewal actually was acknowledged. I've lost a couple domains myself because a renewal didn't process correctly, but I failed to verify the renewal and the failure notice was filtered as spam.

From what I've read so far, I think they are grasping at straws at this point by making threats. However, every action at this point is extremely important to think through carefully...

Comment #19

I would wait for NSI response. It could just be a scare tactic by the other party. Or, it could be scammers. As far as I know, you are the rightful owner if the domain register accepted your registration. I coud be wrong...

Comment #20

Http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/d...2002-1167.html.

Whilst the Panel is sympathetic to the plight of Complainant in light of the evidence in the record indicating that the disputed domain name was made available for registration after Complainants renewal payment apparently was paid and after Complainant was informed that it's registration had been renewed, Respondent is not shown to have been responsible for that conduct...

Comment #21

If it is Netsol's negligence, then Netsol should compensate the old owner an amount equal to the market value of the domain in dispute...

Comment #22

Of all of the things that domainers read, it remains a constant that nobody reads their registrar service agreements...

Comment #23

Considering all of the suggestions, I am forced to simply wait for a response. I will follow up with Network Solutions again, If I dont hear back today...

Comment #24

From what you've described, it appears the domain didn't go though a complete "drop" cycle ... thus it's quite possible you will lose the domain...

If it's a domain worth keeping, get professional legal assistance ASAP!.

Otherwise, email Snapnames and indicate you wish to relinguish the domain for a complete refund your money due to the circumstances; unclear ownership. If Snapnames refuses to do so, then they too will potentially become a party to litigation, if the prior registrant chooses to fight it out.

In my view, if I were in such a situation, assuming the prior registrant had filed a complaint with their registrar / ICANN within 30 days or so of the transfer date (it was never truly deleted), I'd likely relinguish such a domain.

Bottom line, in my view, your situation is not a slamdunk, since the domain didn't go through a complete "drop" cycle; the timeline of events will matter ... ie. when was the prior registrant notified, how were they notified, did they pay renewal, do they have a receipt, etc.

Ron..

Comment #25

I had not heard anything today from anyone (Original registrant or NetSol) So I decided to call Network Solututions up to see if I could get in touch with their legal department.

I spoke with a supervisor and he sent a request to there review department and within a few hours I had recieved a response from NetSol: So, I forwarded this email with the following message to the original owner: So, later this afternoon I recieved the following response: So, it appears the situation has been defused. However, I will not likely offer the domain name back to the original owner as I would not want to leave the impression that I am extorting him. As I believe it is worth several thousand dollars.

I will update with my response to this email when I decide how to respond. Ron,.

The reason this occured was because Network Solutions has a partenership with Snap. Instead of allowing domain names to do a true drop, NetSol simply renews them if someone has them backordered at Snap. Technically they dont drop, however the cycle is completed in the same timeframe.

Justin..

Comment #26

Interesting ... appears you really lucked out on this one, since the prior registrant is basically acknowledging you as truly being the new registrant; admits their lack of diligence to keep their email updated, etc.

Based on that, in my view, definitely keep the domain, and not correspond anymore with the prior registrant ... however, if you have the urge to respond, then perhaps keep it to something like "Thank you. This matter is closed.".

Just because the "drop" took the same amount of time, doesn't make it a complete drop-cycle ... essentially NSI transferred the domain from the prior registrant to you via Snapnames. That can matter - I've read people losing domains in similar instances to yours, which is why I brought the drop-cycle issue up.

Ron..

Comment #27

What can you use it for if you cannot promote your website? Can you even park it?..

Comment #28

Well... this is a request, nothing more and the truth is - it's more than likely the domain will be used in a very similar type business, probable in SEO or even generic Marketing...

Comment #29

To think I pointed out the specific provision in one of my posts here regarding.

Holding NSI liable for something like this. So much for that.

Good to know the situation appears diffused, Justin. Time to move along...

Comment #30

Wow, this was a glorified situation. Think if this happened to even half of the drops per day. lol.

Just like from the start Justin, with no TM for the generic term, use the domain as you wish...

Comment #31

Just saw this topic, and thought would put in my two cents!.

If this name is generic, and you'd like to sell - you could put this for auction, and let Mr.Old Owner bid.

If the domain is important for him, he'd buy - and your 'conscience' remains clear - LOL.

Great to hear that reasonable people exist to this date!.

Good luck!..

Comment #32

Heya.....

Justin, If you would use the DN in a similar business and the former owner really registered this domain as business name and did business as domainname.com.....aren't you infringing then because of his long term usage and established TM through this usage?(please enlighten me, gods of the TM world).

I am just asking because I am in a similar situation with my business name beeing my domain name (gotta go and renew for the next 10 years!!).

Cheers,.

Frank..

Comment #33

Frank,.

In this case, the original owner, changed the name of his operating website to something different. I will create a similar set of domain names for this discussion.

Lets say back in 97 he started his business under the domain - GetVisitors.com and operated that way until 2003 when he changed the name to GetHits.com - he forwarded GetVisitors and all was well till 2007 when he failed to redeem GetVisitors.com.

The term is generic, applies to a wide range of Business Marketing / Online marketing. And although I imagine he doenst want this to be parked or to a similar website, I believe the term is generic enough and hasn't truely been used as his business in years. Now, I'm not a lawyer, and perhaps I could be fought on this one, but the original registrant has not contacted me since his last email some time ago, and I am content moving past this.

Justin..

Comment #34

Hi,.

Thx for the insight....and all what I can say is: Congrats!!.

Time to move on then :-).

Cheers,.

Frank..

Comment #35


This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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