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Just got this email regarding a domain name I bought at auction last week. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Re: Trademark Infringement By nikegear.com.

To Whom It May Concern:.

I write on behalf of Nike, Inc. (Nike), to demand that you immediately stop all use of the above domain and transfer it to Nike. As you know, Nike is one of the worlds most famous designers and sellers of footwear, apparel and athletic equipment, and sells it's goods through it's own retail stores and the retail stores of other companies through it's NIKE trademarks.

Nike has used it's NIKE trademarks since at least 1971 and this trademark is the subject of US Federal Trademark Registration Nos. 978,952; 1,325,938; 1,214,930; 1,243,248; 1,238,853; 1,277,066 and others, all of which may be viewed at United States Patent and Trademark Office. The trademark is also extesively regsitered in the European Union and the UK. These world famous trademarks have come to be associated exclusively with Nike in the minds of consumers.

Without the permission of Nike, you own the domain name nikegear.com (the Infringing Domain) and use it to forward visitors to the livesoccer.tv website. We believe that you are obtaining financial and commercial gain from this site and your misuse of Nikes trademarks constitutes infringement of such marks in that it creates a likelihood that purchasers will be confused and deceived as to sponsorship or affiliation. Your use thus constitutes violations of the US Trademark Act as well as the laws of the UK. You are liable for damages, profits, and payment of our attorneys' fees under US and UK trademark law.

Nike demands that you:.

1) immediately cease and desist from any and all use, advertisement and display of any domain name or web address which includes the string nike, or a similar string, including the Infringing Domain; and.

2) provide us with a list of any other domains you own which incorporate Nikes famous trademarks (NIKE, AIRJORDAN, AIRMAX, COLE HAAN, CONVERSE, SWOOSH, HURLEY, UMBRO) or misspellings thereof; and.

3) transfer the Infringing Domain, and all other infringing domains you have identified in item 2 above, to Nike.

Demand is also made that you contact the undersigned in writing, within Five (5) calendar days acknowledging that all commercial activities with regard to the Infringing Domain have been terminated and that you unlock the domains and provide us with a transfer authorization code for each.

Very truly yours,.

Steven M. Levy, Esq.

FairWinds Partners, LLC.

1632 Wisconsin Avenue, NW.

Washington, D.C. 20007.

202-223-9252 steve...

Comments (45)

Linda,.

That looks legit to me and you should do what it says, I hope you didn't pay too much for this name but a lawsuit is not cheap and I am sure you don't want that. Best of luck to you...

Comment #1

Its very to the point isn't it. I had a similar experience a few months back with FaceBook. They were much more pleasant about it, ie, no demands for immediate transfer to them. They just demanded I not use the domain in any way. I emailed them back, apologized for the infraction, blamed it on inexperience and complied with what they asked. I then chalked it up to a lesson learned.

My advice is comply with their demands and be more careful. I know I am now...

Comment #2

Linda, Going by the website, it is 100% legit I'm afraid.

Steve Levy.

Counsel.

As counsel with 20 years experience practicing law, Steve Levy oversees and manages FairWinds Domain Name Reclaim Services. FairWinds Domain Reclaim Services provide a cost-effective and reliable means of prioritizing infringements and successfully reclaiming those that will optimize each clients online presence. Steve Levy manages all of the administrative and legal aspects of domain name recovery and determines the optimal means for reclaiming valuable infringements.

Steve was previously The Home Depots Senior Director - Legal for ten years, handling worldwide intellectual property matters that included trademark and domain name management. Prior to that, Steve was a Senior Associate at Proskauer Rose LLP, Trademark Counsel at Sony Corporation (Tokyo) and an Associate at Amster Rothstein & Ebenstein. Steves experience covers a broad range of legal tools to manage the assets and exposures of both large, multinational companies and small businesses alike. He also has extensive experience with, and perspective on, the full range of intellectual property tools and assets including trademarks, copyrights, patents and domain names. Steve is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and currently resides in Philadelphia, PA...

Comment #3

Lol that name is so Trademark Infringement it's not even funny... WTH were you thinking when you bought this name...

Comment #4

Thread moved to the "Legal Issues & Disputes" Section - Please remember that Bots and non-members can easily see anything in the "Discussion" section of this forum. AFAIK they cannot in here ... Hopefully it wasn't crawled yet - But knowing g o o g l e etc... it may have.

IMO the email is Very legit and touching any domain containing a Brand name like this is only asking for such a response - Sorry.

****.

Edit - I also removed the older appraisal thread Linda - I'd say threads like the appraisal one here and elsewhere were the reason for the C&D / GIU email(s)...

Comment #5

Thanks for the advice everyone.

Forunately it didn't cost too much.

Is it possible to get a refund from snapnames ot not?..

Comment #6

Likely the best, and easiest thing to do is immediately delete / transfer it to Nike.

However, if determined to keep it, you could try using it to sell only Nike branded products on it...

Nike can, and likely would, still take legal action, but you might potentially negotiate a settlement / prevail in court to keep the domain, if used in that context. This is an extreme longshot though, because in all likelyhood, due to Nike being a world-famous mark, and you, presumably, currently not a Nike distributor you would still lose; spending lots of money for little return.

Bottom line, based on the info you've provided, deleting / transferring it to Nike is probably your best option.

Ron..

Comment #7

Linda there is quite a looooong line at Snapnames for refunds ATM, my advice is hand it over to Nike ASAP, worry about a refund later...

Comment #8

Addendum, you could try getting a refund. It's a longshot, but worth a try.

On a related note, Snapnames is NOT acting in the capacity of a registrar, but rather operating as a 3rd party reseller, just like many domainers here - and hence, in my view, Snapnames have some potential liability for what they sell.

Even if you get no refund / choose to not push the issue, you could, if you've earned a profit on selling other domains, declare the "loss" to offset some "gains" on your taxes.

Ron..

Comment #9

First off remove all reference to the actual domain name you bought in your posts or count on everything being said here possibly being used against you.

I know others have said it no need to repeat but it is a generally not worth the headache to acquire trademark infringing names - that said what infinges on a trademark is wide open for opinion. In your case it's pretty clear cut.

I do not know what you've paid for it but I would contact the gentlemen who contacted you and cordially offer to push the name to him for a final release and call it a day...

Comment #10

Thank you everyone for being helpful. I contacted the company requesting the domain and we have more or less reached an agreement for me to transfer the domain to them and they will cover my outlay.

Kind regards..

Comment #11

Where some of the best intellectual property lawyers also reside.

Good to see it's amicably resolved, lindawright...

Comment #12

I find it hard to believe you have been a member of this site for almost 3 years, and you are a senior member, and you would be register TM as obvious as NIKE, what did you expect from this domain, NIKE would come and give you a million dollars?..

Comment #13

I am glad that you have now come to an agreement with regards to this domain...

Comment #14

This wasn't the first TM name this member has reg'd. Look back through the appraisal section over the last few months and you'll see she/he has been warned before about playing with fire like this, then plays innocent and naive when called out on it. You can only fool so many for so long...

Comment #15

Live and learn linda , great they covered costs , I was going to suggest asking for a pair shoes..

Comment #16

Hey Linda, the site is still there and already 5 days deadline has been passed...

Comment #17

"provide us with a list of any other domains you own which incorporate Nikes famous trademarks (NIKE, AIRJORDAN, AIRMAX, COLE HAAN, CONVERSE, SWOOSH, HURLEY, UMBRO) or misspellings thereof;".

I'm sorry what?!.

Converse, swoosh?.

They can't have any trademarks on these names and especially no misspellings thereof.

First of, Converse is a logical/technological Term..

Second of all, Swoosh was used as a term to describe certain shoes (not only Nikes).

And what do they even mean with misspelling?.

So that means you can't even use any of the following words:.

Umbra, umbre, niko, nika, colehane, harley (wait just one letter misspelled), airmix, ...

I bet they got most of their domains by frauding. Such companies make me sick! It's all about money and power...

Comment #18

@killay ^ it depends what kind of trademark they have.

But they have money to have it all ... so if you are planning to make shoes called 'niqe' it could be problem ... and 'konverse' shoes wold also be problem ...

Read a bit more about TM..

Comment #19

Very Nice Domain Name! I'd be a bit scared but I would not give it to them....

$$$$ Maybe? LOL.

Good Luck!.

Nice DN!..

Comment #20

Linda said she passed it on to them , perhaps they just left as is..

Comment #21

Hi, they promised to get back to me last week but I have heard nothing...

Comment #22

Is it supposed to go to livesoccer.tv ?

Not that you should have to , but I would ring them , greedy lawyers worry me !..

Comment #23

Do you really honestly believe that? I didn't know that after being a member here a year someone would still be this naive.

Good luck to you in that whole rebelious "fight the power" thing. Has it ever occured to you that maybe these companies have every right to protect their brands from cybersquatters? Or is anyone with a wallet bigger than yours just pure evil...

Comment #24

They are giving it back? Now that would really surprise me. Like the others I'm amazed you even reg that one. Thats a newbie mistake. I did it once when I started and once was enough...

Comment #25

I think you will find linda has agreed to hand it over to them and they are going to cover her costs , but as she has stated she is yet to hear back from them , I dont they are giving it back ? ...... they want it ,and that's why linda got the letter from the lawyer..

Comment #26

Maybe they have all this logged and have decided to make an example ?

Comment #27

Linda has been kicking some serious but with her sales lately , I am seeing many names at sedo auctions that she owns and has asked for appraisal here.

Well done , dont worry about this small hiccup..

Comment #28

It was wrong for you to have bought the domain in the first place.. Just do as they say and be very careful next time. Litigation is costly especially so when you are dealing with big names. I wish good luck on this one....

Comment #29

Offcourse, I totally agree with the fact that they have every right to protect their brands... but some of them are using names which are too widely used...

First of as I stated before they told her that (NIKE, AIRJORDAN, AIRMAX, COLE HAAN, CONVERSE, SWOOSH, HURLEY, UMBRO) or misspellings thereof is forbidden...

Which means umbra, umbre, niko, nika, colehane, harley (wait just one letter misspelled), airmix is also forbidden... I don't know if you see my point here but any of these names are mostly taken by members here. So does this mean they should give up niko.com? or airmix.com?.

Or wait what about harley.com ? Should they give up their domains because it's a one letter misspelling?.

Most of them should propably cause of companies as Nike. Thats where I have a problem.

If it were for example nikegear.com I would agree to give back the domain, but not if it hasn't to do with something else like for example harley.com..

Comment #30

Wonderful name, can I have it please? My first name is Nike , a typo of Mike and my surname is Gear, a typo of Dear, unfortunately my parent were not good in writing English.

Lol....it had written all over in big giant cap letters: TRADEMARK : DO NO TOUCH IT.

I`m surprised Nike did not have it yet.

It also reminds one of my first names.... "Nike.net.in".

I dropped it but did not receive any C&D, I just learned.. Well almost I still have a few....TM hidden very well .....maybe.....

Comment #31

Owning something like Niko//com (which, BTW happens to be it's own separate brand), for example, would be perfectly fine IF (and only IF) you don't use it to profit off the Nike brand.

If you have ads for Nike prodcuts on there then that is not OK..

Same would go for having ads for similar products from competitor(s) of Nike...

Comment #32

The whole thing about cybersquatting and typosquatting is that these domains steal traffic which belongs to the Tm holder, and try to make money off the stolen traffic. Obviously if the traffic was not stolen, then the Tm holder would earn that money.

Trying to say that a typo is not cybersquatting is deluding yourself. Its like saying that someone who steals 1000 is a thief ( ie nikecom ) but someone who steals 10 is not a thief ( ie nokecom )..

Comment #33

It's more complicated than that. Brands can be hurt by having third parties poorly and wrongly represent their brand. Imagine I opened a McDonalds like restaurant and got people sick...

Comment #34

Sad that after nearly a month.... this is the topic still being discussed?..

Comment #35

I suspect that people who defend Tm infringement have portfolios of parked typo domains, probably earning 80% of their parked income from them. Years ago it was maybe acceptable, but the tide is turning...

Comment #36

Okay, so you can't set trademarks ads of competitors on typo domains you own. But as here in Belgium for example when you go to the 'sabam' (where you can set trademarks on music, projects and so on) you have the choice on setting trademarks in Belgium, Europe or worldwide. Is it the same as in other Countries (outside Europe)?.

What happens if someone sets an almost same trademark worlwide in an other country? Obviously.

EDIT: Btw forgot to say.

Merry Christmas..

Comment #37

I bet if I sent an email to Namepros members threatening to sue them if they didn't turn over their.

Domain names to me that I would end up with hundreds of domain names for nothing..

You guys are such wimps...

Comment #38

Who would want to be known for the biggest cybersquatting domain portfolio in history ?

Comment #39

Hand the domain name over. Nike pursues people when they register anything to do with there world wide trademark. Feel free to search namepros, there are a number of threads with people who have gotten in trouble doing the same thing.

Hand it over and apologize to them. You just might get away, without having to pay any legal fees...

Comment #40

I've been saying this for years now, companies like snapnames etc and even members right here on NP should not be selling such obvious trade mark domains. Now when I visit the forum or other sites and see these names for sale I just laugh. Nobody listens...

Comment #41

Natural selection is alive and well on the internet..

Comment #42

Domainers shouldn't be registering or buying these types of domains.

Auction houses like snapnames shouldn't be selling them either. Auction houses should be liable for it. IMO.

When stolen items are sold to the pawn shop the seller is liable. Auction houses should be liable as well when they sold any TM domains IMHO...

Comment #43

I agree. The only part of the chain I could find an argument for is the registrars. Every part of the chain downwards from them are, or should be, aware that they are dealing in the mud. More should be done with regard to regulation and punishment for offenders.

Just seen a recent auction sale for an Apple related typo for $1000.

3 registrars have maintained records for this domain since 1997-08-19 with 1 drop.

This domain has changed name servers 3 times over 7 years.

Hosted on 18 IP addresses over 6 years.

View 78 ownership records archived since 2000-08-10.

That says it all...

Comment #44

This thread is a perfect example of why Domainers have a BAD Name..

Very sad!..

Comment #45


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

 

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