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GoDaddy customer reviews : Suggest I use GoDaddy?? Can Legal Action be taken retro-actively after a sale?

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I have a question about trademark domains. Lets say I own a TM name such as companyName.biz. Also, Lets say I have sold this name to companyName. Can they wake up one day and sue for the expense if the realize that I was in the legal "wrong" to own the name in the first place?.

Thanks in advance!..

Comments (23)

By buying the domain from you they have already waived their IPR, imo...

Comment #1

Anyone can sue anyobody for anything.... now that is out of the way. There are 1 of 2 senarios here, did the seller recieve a C+D/UDRP/Lawsuit before the sale? or did have receive nothing before the sale?.

If the seller received something and then sold the domain, he could be held liable unless he disclosed the fact during negotiations. At that point, withholdng the information could be deemed fraud and hence, should not have sold the domain without informing the buyer.

Now if the seller received no notices, then it is "buyer beware"..

Comment #2

That would be a good thing to put in the transfer agreement.

However, if you pay a kidnapper the ransom to get your child back, you have not waived your right to proceed against him...

Comment #3

Expanding on this a little...

Let's say you got a letter from a company claiming TM infringement and then sold the domain to someone else giving the buyer full knowledge of the letter...

Could the company that claimed TM infringement still come after you or just the current domain owner?..

Comment #4

Yes. In fact, in your hypothetical, both the TM owner AND the buyer could come after you.

I've dealt with situations like this before. If you are the person who sold the stinky domain, then you are worse off than the person holding the domain. The domain registrant at least has THAT with which to attempt to bargain his way out of the suit. The guy who sold it is just in for the privilege of finding out how much he's going to have to pay...

Comment #5

In the OP, I think they are saying that if you owned a TM domain and actually sold it to the company holding the TM. In this case, especially if there was a C+D and subsequently the company decided to buy it, I think they'd be hard up to win a lawsuit, since they essentially knew of the infringement, then conceded to a sale.

I'm not saying that they still might not sue, but their passive acceptance and final decision to purchase the domain surely cant weigh well for them in a lawsuit. Plus, financially speaking, it probably doesn't make sense for them to come after you unless you've got deep pockets.

I fear no one, because I have nothing to lose..

Comment #6

Not exactly. Some companies are getting tired of paying atty fee's to continuously defend their mark. It used to be that they would send you a C&D and be done with it. But these day's it is becoming more and more prevalent that companies want to get their point across by taking squatters to court...

Comment #7

True, but if they decide to buy the domain, they're not exactly making an example out of someone.....

Comment #8

Obviously, one would be foolish to rely on that when, under the circumstances, one would have every opportunity to put a transfer agreement in front of them that would include a mutual release of claims...

Comment #9

I agree completely, and I've seen many instances of such things on these forums, where surprisingly it's offered up by the TM holders themselves.

I was going under the assumption the OP was asking the possible ramifications IF something like this had not been agreed to.

Either way, I guess the short answer is just don't deal in TM domains...

Comment #10

Great. So, although I own eleven domain names of Miss Universe contestants.....if one of them wins tonight,.....I might as well let the names expire instead of facing a possible tm suit?! Thanks. PMs welcomed...

Comment #11

It's usually written into the c&d letter. Something along the lines of "if you transfer it now, we'll leave you alone."..

Comment #12

Obviously, the seller has neglected to put these terms in the transfer agreement. Perfectly understandable that the company that bought their own name has the rights to claim past revenue made through this name.

My question though: For how long does the company have these rights? Is there a time frame in which they must claim/sue or can they just come at the previous owner at any time with no restrictions?..

Comment #13

Jeez!! IPR = intellectual property rights, not a kid by a long shot...

This is a classic case of twisting someone's words!!!..

Comment #14

Another newbie cybersquatter amongst us...

Or....

Maybe he's putting it into perspective we can understand...

Comment #15

Yes, sir, I am fairly new to the business of domain names....sorry if my insignificant comment offended you. Thought this was an open forum...

Comment #16

I'm not offended, I'm just showing you that what you are doing may be illegal. You can learn why by researching and hopefully it will save you time, money and headaches in the future. But right now, that is what you are doing...

Comment #17

If no C&D was ever sent (and/or you never acknowledged it), and you sold it with no problem to the company referred to in your domain title anyway, then they waived everything by not saying anything else at the time of sale, and you're free and clear.

The TM-related company is happy they got the name safely tucked in their corporate barn, so no, they're not going to try coming back on you years later, trying to figure out what money you might have made off the name before you sold it. They'd have no way to gage that or prove that, and therefore so such evidence against you. They have much bigger fish to fry - like who's messing with their TM today, not far in the past.

But of course even I, a dedicated celeb domainer, still have to agree with the official legal birds here when they say not to fiddle with TMs in the first place. Play with fire often enough and you'll get burned. It's not worth it...

Comment #18

You'd be surprised by the amount of legal mumbo-jumbo I had to fill in when I sold a domain to a lawfirm. The firm was negotiating the domain acquisition for their client; by the end of the week 3 drafts were already red marked. I made sure I was protected in every way...

Comment #19

Again, I repeat my question, not sure if anyone has an answer to that: hypothetically! What if the company's legal team is bored one day and decides to go after the original owner for past revenue made through this domain. Is there a legal time frame/limitation as to how long anyone has to go back into the past to sue?.

IB..

Comment #20

What past revenue? Did you disclose revenue earned to them?.

Or are you referring to "lost revenue"? Hypothetically, you can be sued for anything under the sun; the burden of proof lies with the suing party...

Comment #21

Hypothetically (again), if they are aware that there have been substantial profits generated off of another's mark (and they are looking to make an example of you), I believe they could legally pursue disgorgement (the remittance of money made unethically) up to the date that the trademark was owned / registered by the plaintiff.

I haven't heard of any cases like this in this industry, but I'd imagine it is possible...

Comment #22

Possible, yes it is. Does it happen, I do not recall a case along these lines. I do know there have been a couple domain challenges under ACPA to recover damages and to the best of my knowledge, they were settled with the exception of one where I have no idea how it ended. Most companies just want the domain and are happy.. Then again, PO the wrong one and they can make life a living hell...

Comment #23


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

 

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