Usually not in a case like this.
There are thousands of sites dedicated to *car maker*###...
What if the site was basically used as a lead generating site to sell lets say new cars to new ford buyers through Ford Dealers....
Do you think it may be a grey area,,, you wouldn't think so knowing that each manufacturer wants more metal in traffic and if their are people willing to help them along to do it, then their should be no reason they would want to bounce you out of business right....
Whats the worst thing that can happen, they tell you to shut down the site for using their NAME to sell their products.....
Usually when you see a site using a well known car maker's TM,.
They are an authorized dealership.
So lets say for example I was using a name which was something like.
And I was using the site to generate leads to send out to PLaystation dealers,,, could SONY bounce me for that or would Sony be happy that I was generating sales for them and say nothing????.
Grey Area maybe, but would love to know the legal aspects of doing this?.
SOme legal help would be appreciated...
You'd still be profiting from their TM, which is unacceptable. They have a legal responsibility to prevent their TM from being diluted, or else they stand to lose it. If they allowed you and others to use their TM in the manner you suggest, they would essentially be diminishing the strength of their TM. And trust me, a corporate image or brand is worth far more than the few sales you might bring to them...
I reckon you'd get away with it if challenged as long as you.
A) only sell or promote playstation products.
B) have a clear disclaimer on your homepage stating your non-affiliation..
Yes they would..
They may/may not get to you right away, but, soon or later... They can go after monetary damage if they decided to make a example out of you. That's doesn't mean it's ok to do so..
That's like saying....
You see everyone passing red light, so, it should be ok..
Yes, no, and maybe. All TM holders will weigh the risk against the cost. They certainly can go after you if they want to. Sometimes they might not spend the time or effort until you do something with it such as sell it for a profit or develop or park it and create income.
Some manufacturers might ignore it if they don't see it harming them. For example if you did sell only their brand used cars. However, if you sold Ford and Chevy, they may see that as confusing the potential Ford buyer and go after you. A lot of authorized dealers have contractual permission to use the name, which is why you mights see some use.
They may also not go after a fan site of a classic car collector, or something that actually helps their brand.
You pretty much take your chances based on the company, their aggressiveness in TM protection, and perceived fair use on the part of the company, their lawyers, or a judge, jury, or UDRP/WIPO panelist. The more aggressive you get with the domain, the more likely they'll do the same in protecting it...
If you have a legitimate use like being a dealer for that brand it may be allowed but I think it would be wise to ask for written permission, always.
Affiliate sites are another example where use of a TM name in domains may be acceptable..
But if you don't ask for permission you take a chance. The TM holder may not like it..
I think it will often depend on whether your business plan is likely to generate additional profits for the TM holder...
Case 1: fordcheyenne.com for an authorized dealership in Cheyenne, WY. Could be OK..
Case 2: usedford.com for sale of preowned vehicles. Ford might not look favorably this one (little financial fallout to be expected unless it spurs demand for spare parts maybe)..