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GoDaddy customer service : Advise I sign up for GoDaddy?? Am I picking a fight with Vonage?

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Hi, I have never posted to this (specific) forum before, but I can see the advice is good. Here are some names I've had about a year with no problem. Vonage has a product called 'v-phone' (with the dash). However, there are also lots of domains that use the letter 'v' to stand for 'virtual', as in 'virtual phone'.

Kind of like if someone registered iPhone.us after Apple came out with the iPhone. Use of the letter 'i' is commonly know for 'internet', so would that be a TM infringement too, or a generic term?.

Does anyone see a TM problem here?.

V-phone.info.

V-phone.us.

V-phone.biz.

Vphoneonline.com.

Vphonesonline.com.

Vphonesite.com.

Any suggestions? Should I sell them? Thanks in advance!..

Comments (8)

I dont see a problem. Verizon I think could sue you easier than vonage. Vonage isnt that well known yet so dont worry...

Comment #1

Isn't Verizon currently suing Vonage at the momement over patent rights?.

Anyway, did you try a TM search? http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?...ate=loa3ku.1.1..

Comment #2

Allot of it depends on how you choose to use or market the domain. If you do something with the domain that resembles Vonage then worry. If you use it for some other virtual application then I would not worry because your not hurting Vonage's business. I have a domain, windowsblog, now with this name you could infringe on the TM of a very popular company but then again there are actual windows whish is a generic term for the glass windows in your car, house, etc... If I use it along those line MS can say nothing, it's my domain. So, be wise and don't try anything silly. Cheers,.

Acro..

Comment #3

More info for thought. I checked the trademark and both the term 'vphone' and 'v-phone' have been abandoned. However, there is a live trademark for 'vonage v-phone'. To me, it seems unless I used the word 'Vonage' in the domain, there should be no problem, right? Here is one example I found:.

Word Mark V-PHONE.

Goods and Services (ABANDONED) IC 038. US 100 101 104. G & S: Voice over IP communication services; Video over IP communication services; Facilities for text chat and text messaging; Facilities and services for offline storage of communication items.

Also, since the domains are set up for PPC, they will naturally find the Vonage V-phone (and other related and non-related matches), so I can't really control that it may be displaying some links related to Vonage. I can see a conflict if I had a Vonage related website, but if it is just set up for type-ins, I can't control the links it displays if I use the term 'v-phone' at all. Does that still constitute a problem?.

Thanks for your comments...

Comment #4

First of all, it doesn't matter if it's just V-phone or Vonage V-phone, if it's similar, it's covered under the TM. That's like owning Windows.com and using it to sell MS products and claiming it's not infringing because it's not MicrosoftWindows.com...

Also using PPC as an excuse won't hold water. It's your responsibility to ensure that your usage doesn't infringe on their mark. You have full control over that. If it's showing PPC ads that infringe, then it becomes your duty to ensure that it doesn't, even if this requires removing PPC ads altogether...

Comment #5

Seems rather unfair that a company can do that. So, since Apple owns 'iPhone' now, can Apple keep anyone from selling any kind of 'internet phone' via a website such as 'iPhoneStore' or 'iPhonesOnline'. There are many other kinds of internet phones besides the Apple iPhone... what doesn't seem right is that a company can trademark a generic term with with an 'i' or 'e' or 'v' (or any other letter) in front of it, then say nobody else can sell a similar product.

I tried to trademark the phrase (and paid the non-refundable $300.00 fee) 'Direct From The Net', but it was declined for being too general. But not 'vPhone' or 'iPhone'???.

I am not disagreeing, if fact I appreciate your comments very much. But is it kind of frustrating for those of us that aren't trying to profit off of TM names, but the TM office is letting companies trademark generic terms...

Comment #6

Well the fact that they put an I or e in front of it distinguishes it as a specific product. Its no longer a generic term... like Xbox.... It's just Box with and an X in front of it... but as Xbox, it is a specific product, TM by microsoft.

It all comes down to usage though. If you can use your domain in a way that it doesn't infringe on their TM, then legally, you're entitled to. But how you would use V-phone that doesn't infringe on their TM is beyond me...

Comment #7

Thank you so much for the info. I found out I can change my PPC keywords to 'video phone' or 'virtual phone' so I can keep out of trouble. That way it shouldn't cause any competition with a TM name...

Comment #8


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

 

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