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GoDaddy review : Recommend I invest in GoDaddy?? GoDaddy Trademark Issue

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Newbie HELP!.

OK, I know that I am going to hear it for this one, but I bid on the domain www.myfacebook.com through GoDaddy. I am a newbie, go figure, and had no clue about trademark issues. I was buying domains for my investigations business, saw it, and made a high maximum offer. I have not won yet, but I will not be happy if I do win and there is no commercial value. Suggestions?.

I had seen other domains with www.xxxxxfacebookxxxx.com variations offering related services such as how to make money by hosting your business through facebook etc.

1.) Can I point the page to my business which is completely unrelated to social networking?.

2.) Can I point the page to a relative's acting resume( aka facebook)?.

3.) Will I get sued for selling it?.

4.) ANYTHING if I get stuck with this?.

GoDaddy will not let me out of the bid. My bid is high enough to win likely.

This will not happen again. I promise!..

Comments (37)

1. Yup. But Facebook might be famous enough that users "might" still confuse.

Your site with theirs, and Facebook could still make a fuss.

2. No.

3. Maybe...

Comment #1

I find it amusing that GoDaddy.com is allowed to profit from the TM. If Facebook goes after anyone legally it should be GoDaddy if they will not let you out of your bid.

Brad..

Comment #2

Pretty pathetic of GoDaddy to allow auctions for TM infringement domains..

Definitely contact them and tell them you want out of the bid because of TM issues...

Comment #3

It would nice to see a precedent set with one of those companies like NJ / Snap / TDNam getting sued for profiting off TM's. It is one thing to sell a domain that is questionable, but to make thousands daily on clear TM domains is ridiculous.

Brad..

Comment #4

*.

1.) Can I point the page to my business which is completely unrelated to social networking?.

No. "Facebook" is a made-up term for branding purposes. Ironically, if you had Apple.com, you would be in a better position to keep it.

2.) Can I point the page to a relative's acting resume( aka facebook)?.

Probably not.

3.) Will I get sued for selling it?.

More likely, it will be taken away from you; Facebook has already demanded this domain from it's former owner. Why Facebook let this drop again, I'll never know.

4.) ANYTHING if I get stuck with this?.

I feel for you.

See if you can cancel your bid on your console.

If not, CALL GoDaddy and BEG to be released. Tell them that you have been made aware of the TM problem.

It that fails, don't pay. If you have already paid, do a chargeback on your credit card. TELL your credit card company that GoDaddy is knowingly selling TM domains to people who don't hold the TM.

These auction places have NO business selling famous made-up term TM domains to people who don't hold the trademarks, and they should be taken to task. I look forward to seeing a law enacted to hold these people accountable for their slimy practices.

Most of us have made this mistake; I'm just sorry yours has turned out to be so expensive and problematic.

It would be good if a lawyer could jump on this thread and help out.

It would do no good to scold the original poster; he has owned up and now needs help and fast.

*..

Comment #5

So far it doesn't seem to be, as the OP hasn't won the auction yet. Hopefully.

Go Daddy will reconsider.

If the OP indeed eventually files a chargeback, unfortunately that can affect.

His account/s with Go Daddy. That practically leaves with "pleading" with Go.

Daddy and find someone there sympathetic to his plight.

Sure wish I can remember that Go Daddy member's username here.....

Comment #6

If they will not cancel your bid, then if I won the auction I would just not pay. What is GoDaddy going to do? All they can do is cancel your $4.99 TDNam account. It is not worth the hassle.

Brad..

Comment #7

*.

OP,.

I saw the auction. There are a lot of bidders, so maybe someone else will outbid you.

Of course, this means that someone else would get stuck with this hot potato.

*.

*.

Dream8kr,.

This problem is significant enough that, perhaps, you should seek legal help.

We are well-meaning here, but we may not know all the legal ramifications if you take our advice.

I wish you well.

*..

Comment #8

Facebook isnt a made up term a facebook is a directory of people...

Comment #9

Did you tell GoDaddy you want out because this domain is a trademark.

Infringement?.

Who did you talk to?.

How? By email? By telephone? Call them and demand (if you have to) to speak with someone in Senior Management.

Don't just speak with a regular rep.

Be very firm but adult. Don't be wishy-washy.

You're not asking permission to withdraw.

You're telling them you are withdrawing.

Tell that Senior Person that you are canceling your involvement with.

The MyFracebook .com auction because of serious trademark issues.

You are not just canceling your bid.

If you are not released from the auction, then contact Bob Parsons.

He has a page on GoDaddy ,The Chairman's Page , and invites GoDaddy customers to contact him. http://snurl.com/BobParsons.

His email is:.

I have a feeling GoDaddy will let you withdraw if you do as I suggest.

Good luck...

Comment #10

Godaddy should simply cancel the auction since it's an obvious TM. Call them...

Comment #11

This is so two-faced of GoDaddy / TDNAM. Fairly recently instituted, on every page of the TDNAM listings are the following words in red:.

"Go Daddy Auctions sellers are responsible for ensuring that offered domain names do not infringe on third-party trademarks".

In this case GoDaddy IS the seller and should abide by their own rules, and cancel this obvious TM infringing sale...

Comment #12

DreamM8kr:.

Don't worry; I'm pretty sure GoDaddy will let you out of this. It's funny that their web page says "Go Daddy Auctions sellers are responsible for ensuring that offered domain names do not infringe on third-party trademarks." GoDaddy is technically the seller here if it's an expired domain.

It is true that "facebook" is a common term and not made up. There are legitimate uses for this domain name, but I agree that it's not a domain to take a risk on.

Contact GoDaddy, tell them you want to rescind your bid because it's a trademark. If for some reason they say no, contact me and I'll make sure your issue gets the proper attention inside the company...

Comment #13

Thank you all! You were pretty decent considering I did something foolish. Most other forums would have torn me up on the thread. I have contacted GoDaddy twice on the issue. They simply read disclaimers.

I wholeheartedly agree that they have no business listing domains with trademark issues. They are the experts with a huge revenue base for ensuring they are in compliance and their customers are well educated. Unfortunately, I probably will get the domain because my max is much higher than my current high bid.

I am liable if I put it back on the market? (hate to do that because it is perpetuating a trademark issue)..

Comment #14

You made a mistake because you didn't know better and now you do..

No reason to "tear you up"..

I'll ask you once again..

Who did you speak to?.

Why are you giving up so easily?.

If you don't want to follow the advice I gave you then accept Andrew's.

(from DomainNameWire) offer to help you.

"If for some reason they say no (to canceling your bid), contact me and I'll make sure your issue gets the proper attention inside the company.".

Andrew and Bob Parsons are really tight. http://snurl.com/AndrewAndBob.

Yes you are..

Please don't give up...

Comment #15

I also vote for you not giving up. This is just plain wrong of GoDaddy. Tricolorro has given you some excellent guidance. If you still cannot get resolution from Godaddy, then I also encourage you to contact DomainNameWire and take him up on his offer of help. Andrew's daily posts at DomainNameWire.com are widely read and respected...

Comment #16

Contact facebook and tell then what GoDaddy is up to....

This is bullsquat.. why does GoDaddy get to profit while the little guys get screwed..

So sick of the big corp's getting all the breaks while us little guys have to bend over and grab our ankles!!!.

SICK OF IT!!!..

Comment #17

Hi DreamM8kr, are you still high bidder on this? It looks like you may have been outbid by now. A relief for you if this is so, but a problem for someone else, and a total disgrace for GoDaddy...

Comment #18

*.

Facebook shares some of the blame as well; after taking this domain away from Footodors, they allowed it to drop again.

Wonder what a UDRP panel would have to say about this?.

What a mess!.

We can only hope that a representative from Facebook is now the high bidder.

They need a domain manager!.

*..

Comment #19

I don't know that I agree with that one. Perhaps they deserve some oh-so-tiny part of the blame (So small that it can't be calculated or considered in a contributory negligence jurisdiction ), but we can't put a burden on every trademark owner to register and hold (At significant cost) every domain name combination that could infringe on their mark. The number of combinations and extensions that they would need to watch is staggering.

However, if Facebook fought for this domain name before (I don't know that history, but will accept it based on your statement regarding foot odor.), it was at least a poor *business decision* on their part to abandon a name they had spent time/money obtaining before.

-Allan..

Comment #20

No wonder we are considered Cybersquatters when one of the biggest players in the Game Lets this sh*t fly.

Sickening...

Comment #21

I think it is pretty hard for godaddy to examine every domains on auction...

Comment #22

Lmao...think this one is pretty obvious.

There's a difference between not noticing and turning a blind eye in the name of making money...

Comment #23

I agree with Cache here. Yes, this one is blatantly obvious and the easy solution would be to wave the magic wand and put this domain into neverland, but the reality is if they police this domain, then what about other domains that TM infringe or don't infringe?.

Is the TM domain that sells at a $200 obvious?.

How can you judge whether a domain is infringing or not? Sometimes it's a material issue that needs to be decided through a fact finder. Godaddy is not a position to do this.

Moreover, if Godaddy starts hand selecting domains to take out that are TMs, what if they miss one? What if someone buys that domain and now Godaddy is on the hook because they were in the business of policing domains and they didn't do it for this domain that was sold through them.

Also, who is to be in charge of monitoring these domains? Are they going to hire 4 lawyers to be on shifts so they can monitor the domains that come through TDNAM?.

In this case, yeah it's easy. We can all spot the bird in the sky and say there it is. But Godaddy has to see it through a different perspective and that is one in which they need to be able to uniformly apply rules so as not to expose themselves to a round the clock policing of domains.

I'll be surprised if Godaddy makes an exception here.

While it's often tempting to point the finger at the megacorp, here the small guy has to bear the burden. Another case of ignorance of the law is no excuse. Thinking half empty, you act at your peril.

If you somehow construed any of this to be legal advice, it is NOT LEGAL ADVICE OR FACT...

Comment #24

I was outbid now that it is above $5,000. OMG- this saved me a few grand. Thanks you all.

I was outbid above $5,000. Thank you all..

Comment #25

*.

So glad to hear this.

You missed a bullet.

*..

Comment #26

Seven,.

I agree it's true that it would be very difficult for GoDaddy.

To police every domain for trademark infringement.

As there would be a lot of false positives.

For example: any domain with the word "sprinting".

Would be flagged as a trademark infringement of the.

Sprint Telecom Company even though it's not.

But and this is a BIG BUT if you bring it to GoDaddy's.

Attention that a domain in their TDNAM marketplace is a.

Trademark infringement then GoDaddy has the obligation.

To review the domain.

There's no excuse not to.

In their Expired Domain Marketplace, GoDaddy has.

This notification:.

"Go Daddy Auctions sellers are responsible for ensuring that offered domain names do not infringe on third-party trademarks.".

In the case of the expiring domain, MyFacebook.com,.

GoDaddy is de facto the Seller of the domain.

The Registrant has no idea GoDaddy is offering the domain.

At auction and will NOT share in the proceeds.

If GoDaddy tells Sellers they: "are responsible for.

Ensuring that offered domain names do not infringe.

On third-party trademarks."...then...

GoDaddy has to follow and abide by that same notification...

Comment #27

I think you're right.

Godaddy might cite the landmark case of Lockheed Martin Corp. vs. Network Solutions, where the court held a registrar was not liable for contributory infringement of manufacturer's service mark, even if that mark was infringed by third parties' registered domain names. So basically here registers weren't held liable for tm domains someone else registered. (obviously this isn't someone just registering a domain).

However, within that same decision came this language from another case, Contributory infringement occurs when the defendant either intentionally induces a third party to infringe the plaintiff's mark or supplies a product to a third party with actual or constructive knowledge that the product is being used to infringe the service mark. (question becomes do they have constructive knowledge - could definitely make an argument).

Keep in mind this is from a 1999 decision. It has some negative history, but has not been overruled...

Comment #28

From what I have heard GoDaddy actually uses a trademark search for domains parked via their service. If you do not set a keyword to the domain, it will automatically check for potential violations and avoid them. Thus meaning that GoDaddy has the capacity to search and deem whether or not a domain is a trademark infringing domain or not...

Comment #29

Supposedly uniquely famous ones like Google, Microsoft, etc. anyway. But it's.

Not always black and white, which makes it rather challenging for registrars to.

Screen them out...

Comment #30

An interesting sidenote... the person who noted that facebook isn't a made up term is correct according to Dictionary.com: So by definition... facebook really shouldn't be a tm'ed term...

Great post to help others avoid this dangerous land mine... glad you got out of it. I feel sorry for the next sap though... adding "my" in front of a tm word will not get you out of trouble... if it truly is a descriptive term as dictionary.com indicates, there are possible other uses that are legit, but that doesn't mean FB won't go after it again, and win again...

Comment #31

Flamewalker,.

You fail to realize any generic word/phrase can be trademarked, just not for what the generic word or phrase means.

On another note, some terms become so generic that a trademark can no longer be held for such an item, an example of this is Xerox. Xerox has become a household name for copiers and printers, thus Xerox is trying to differentiate itself from copiers in fear of losing their trademark on the term.

Richard..

Comment #32

You are incorrect. I didn't point that out, but yes I do know that. I was referring to facebook's use of the TM, which, as far as I can tell, is essentially in line with the definition...

Comment #33

Flamewalker,.

If you were to read any of their trademark filings they differentiate themselves from the standard meaning. They consider themselves a software company that operates in the social networking media. They even have it trademarked for clothing, also another point is they seem to have filed all of them as a standard mark not a design mark. So any iteration of the words Facebook in any context related to their registered marks would be in violation, even if it does not look like the Facebook design. I am not a lawyer, but hope to some day be one in IP... years from now!..

Comment #34

IMO that is a fine line between the dictionary definition and how they are using it. Not that I would tempt the devil or want to be the one to fight them over it... I haven't read the TM myself yet... but now I think I will out of curiosity.

EDIT:.

I guess one of the questions that would need to be researched and determined, is if the term facebook was coined and used before them (since dictionary.com shows 2 entries, the second being simply a yearbook), for the purpose they use it for. The other entry on dictionary.com says (the one that matches fb's tm) that it was originated in 2004, which is their first in use date.

This indicates to me that they may have well coined the term, thus it isn't really a descriptive term as it appeared at first glance.

I stand corrected ... well sit anyways..

Comment #35

*.

That definition is predicated on the term made up by Facebook (Etymology: 2004 = when Facebook came into existence). It's only meaning is that which Facebook gave it.

So it's no surprise that Facebook is actively protecting it's trademark by going after investors who reg domains with their TM.

Why they didn't hang onto it it beyond me. I can't imagine that they enjoy going after people like OP (who lucked out) and the "winning" bidder.

*..

Comment #36

Frank Schilling (Name Admin) has had a case like this before and they won it. The jist of the case was that Frank had registered OilChangers.com and was using it in bad faith, which he contested he was not. To give more fuel for the fire the complainant had previously owned OilChangers.com so Schillings defense was basically, how was he supposed to know they would want it back after they abandoned it.

Read the WIPO Case: http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/d...2005-0530.html..

Comment #37


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

 

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