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GoDaddy review : Good idea to go GoDaddy?? Copyright infringement

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Few days ago I registered the name autochannel.tv with the purpose to develop it into some sort of car video site one day. I assumed this combination is pretty generic and right to the point.

I now received an email from sombody at a company called The Auto Channel and their main URL is theautochannel.com. I did not even know they exist but that's not the issue I guess. I have seen now that they also registered autochannel.com and theautochannel.co.uk.

They basically tell me now to "surrender" the name otherwise I will hear from their outside lawyers. I also sent me a message telling me that I harm their business and if I try to sell the domain to anybody else before they have it stripped from me they will sue me for fraud.

What's your take on this?.

Thanks...

Comments (17)

1. Find out if a copyright / tm exists for this name.

2. Ask them to show how this exists in Tuvalu (.tv is ccTLD of this country) and how many viewers they have there.

3. Find out all you can about people who own variations of the above two domains they own.

And most important - get an attorney...

Comment #1

Why don't you call them and try to work something out??..

Comment #2

Thank you for your response, mwzd.

They advised me that they have the trade mark for The Auto Channel..

Autochannel.com and theautochannel.co.uk are redirected to theautochannel.com.

.net is a parked domain, so is the .org. The .biz, .us., .info, .cc extensions did not resolve at all...

Comment #3

They do have a trademark on the name:.

Word Mark THE AUTO CHANNEL.

Standard Characters Claimed <<<<<<<<<<<<< NOTE.

Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK.

Registration Date October 2, 2007.

Tarr status page: http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?r...entry=78733684.

So there are the facts. The next steps are up to you. It is a standard character mark, and not a mark on some stylized drawing. This is a serious matter. It is not a scam.

Marc..

Comment #4

Apologies for my ignorance, but what does it mean that it is a standard character mark and not som stylized drawing. Does this mean they actually have a trade mark on the words? Would this only apply to the combination of all three words, The Auto Channel or also on the two words Auto Channel.

Another question would be what would happen if I.

1. do not develop the name.

2. develop it into something different than car related.

Thanks..

Comment #5

I dont know how you could develop into something non-car related, but I dont know.

Your still in a bit of a pickle from where I see it...

Comment #6

In the old days this was usually referred to as a "typed drawing", but the terminology was changed to align better with something called the "Madrid protocol". It is possible to get a trademark on a "stylized drawing" of a text string, or to get a trademark for the text string that covers all standard characters used to express the text. In the case of a stylized drawing the thing that has the mark protection is the actual drawing. The "standard character claim" typically covers a bit more ground than a stylized drawing, and covers all major text types expressing the text string.

The next question relates to the use of the actual text string. In general the question is whether there is a "likelihood of confusion" in the eyes of other people (confusingly similar). So ask yourself this question:.

'Is "Auto Channel" likely to confuse another reader, and associate the product or service with "The Auto Channel"?'.

Court cases have been lost with less similarity between terms.

Some battles are worth fighting, some are not. Speaking for myself and only myself, I would look at the domain and the given situation and say "yeah, sure take it". This is not always true, and for some of my domains I would fight it every way I could.

Marc..

Comment #7

Marc, thank you very much taking the time to respond.

At the end it is not worth to go through a lot of troubles for this domain name I guess and trademark infringement definitely is not something I am interested in or want to be known for.

Thanks again...

Comment #8

To start with make sure it's the company.

Ask for an extension number and call the company via the yellow pages to confirm the person contacting you is the right one.

Or if they are lawyers ask them to send you documentation, better to do the paperwork BEFORE you even think about transfering the domain...

Comment #9

Thanks mwzd. I know the person who contacted me was a VP from this company. I haven't heard from any lawyer yet. Just find it amazing that they are after my domain when other top level domains with the same name are parked. Please allow me one more question: I looked at the TESS system and under Disclaimer is says:.

Quote.

NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "AUTO" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN.

Unquote TESS site.

Does this make any difference?.

Thanks..

Comment #10

Short answer: No.

This is standard practice for registered marks. This just says that they are not claiming rights to everything with the word "auto" in the phrase. This is done to minimize excessive claims that would be denied by the mark registry.

Again: Choose your battles. It is totally up to you whether you want to fight this particular battle. Excessive claims are *very* common in this business (reverse hijacking). IMHO, this is NOT an excessive claim, and the mark registrant is simply protecting their legal rights to the mark.

Marc..

Comment #11

Their mark imho is weak. The only questions are how much trouble are they willing to make and how much fighting do you care about? That's their usage. What was your intended use? If it's different then they have no claim against you. My first thought of AutoChannel.tv was some sort of remote control for a TV. Now if you are truly going to make this a car video channel you are pretty much entering their usage field. That's a problem...

Comment #12

Thank you very much for your input. Interesting idea regarding the remote control and good to know that they would not have much of a claim then as long as I do not touch their field.

I would like to thank everybody who took time to answer my questions in this issue; it is very much appreciated...

Comment #13

Is this final and quite correct?.

If a generic term has been trademark for something else and you register it as a domain name with a different intended usage, that cannot harm you?.

Please elaborate or cite any instance that can support this claim.

Thank you very much...

Comment #14

The one example is Apple, you have Apple Corp and Apple Inc. One is in the music industry (corp) and one is in the computer technology field (inc). They co-exist on different realms of usage. Now, in relation to your question, in this example, both Apple's were brick and mortor businesses well established in their field. Registereing a domain and then using could be a slight uphill battle since you had no claims to the name before you registered teh domain. Now, you register the domain and use it for a bona-fide offer of goods and/or services and establish yourself enough where the name attains a level of secondary meaning, that will help you in the long run. But this would not stop the TM holder trying to stop you from getting to that point...

Comment #15

That's kind of hard to swallow since the terms are generic and dictionary in nature. I don't see a problem in creating good-faith registration. It's not like you registered a famous mark like Google.tv. The term "channel" and "auto" can have a lot of meanings and relate well with the .tv extension.

Even if he used Auto Channel for some type of car site...how can the dotcom claim a TM for such a descriptive usage? It's a very weak mark imho and if challenged would lose it's protection imho...

Comment #16

Ah Jesse, trying to start a fight with me?? my post was in reply to the previous post asking in general. The point I was trying to make is showing a reason for registering a domain as opposed to registering a domain and then finding a usage for it...

Comment #17


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

 

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