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I found in my spam box few messages from Gerry York [Gerard. and is after domains like myflorida.us.

I was wondering what one shall do about it?.

All good Florida domains are taken. Will they, can they, chase people for all possible myflorida combinations?.

I mean, when does the "infringement" stop? my-florida.net, myflorida.asia, myflorida.cc, myflorida.is, myflorida.mobi, myflorida.ws...

Despite all the questions I raised, Gerry hasn't explained the cause of the infringement, just insisted on domain transfer. I am wondering whether with his aggressive attitude, he is acting in good faith.

Any thoughts?.

To me, it looks like Gerry York is wasting public money, hundred of thousand dollars are spent on legal fees from the pockets of Florida tax payers while he enjoys his time in the offices fighting against my-florida.net etc.

I wrote him couple of times but he didn't want to discuss the infringment per se.

So far only managed to get a reply: Gerry is now after myflorida.de...

Comments (9)

*.

This could be a strong-arm move designed to intimidate you; York may or may not have a claim.

You need to decide if keeping these domains are worth the hassle.

If you want to hang onto these domains, you may need to consult a lawyer.

*..

Comment #1

To be honest I would just welcome them to file a UDRP. It seems like strong arm tactics.

My+Keyword is far too generic for them to claim exclusive use over. Since they can't establish exclusive use, it would be hard for them to win in a UDRP I would think.

Brad..

Comment #2

Myflorida.com has been their official URL for as long as I can remember..

IMO your position is more difficult than you think..

If you believe the name is worth fighting for, you should retain the services of a qualified lawyer...

Comment #3

Whoa....you already transferred it? That was fast.

Did you get a statement of a "settlement" saying that upon transfer all claims against you are dropped? They can still sue you.....although unlikely.

Myflorida.com is a proper domain, not a generic domain...IMO. I don't consider it strong-arm tactics at all.

You would never say I'm going to go get "my florida", or "where is my florida", or where can I buy or get services relating to "my florida". Nobody would know what you mean b/c it is not common language. The two words separated are common generic language, but put together make a proper name that is trademarkable. Anything with "myflorida" in it and you are in trouble it would seem. They own it....simple as that.

Your registration is three years after theirs. Your registration date it also two years after they filed their TM applications.

I'm NOT a lawyer, but I have read a ton of UDRP cases, and have been in one so far (I won), and I really think you would have lost very easily. I'd rather hand it over than have a UDRP loss against me on an obvious TM domain. The panel will look at your intent at the time of registration and ask, "Did he register this domain with MyFlorida.com in mind? Then they will conclude, that you must have looked at the Whois to see that MyFlorida.com was already taken. SO, then you WERE aware of MyFlorida.com. Next, they will say that even a cursory review of the USPTO.gov would have shown that there was a TM filed for MyFlorida.com and will conclude that you bought the domain knowing full well that MyFlorida.com existed thereby concluding you bough in bad faith. They won't even look at any other evidence b/c that one simple fact makes irrelevant all the other points by both the Complainant and the Respondent.

The Complainant will have won under 4(a)1 of the UDRP rules that deals with "bad faith registration".....so no need to look at "bad faith use".

Now, if it had been OrlandoFlorida.com and they attacked then you should send them home with some teeth missing.

Good luck with all this.

BTW....don't let it eat at you. These things have a way of working themselves out....stay calm and stay healthy....seriously.

I'M NOT A LAWYER....CONSULT A LAWYER TO BE SURE..

Comment #4

*.

What about, "I bought my Florida home after selling my Colorado home"?.

It's pretty generic.

*..

Comment #5

Would the courts deem MyFLInsurance.com bad faith?.

MyFLEscorts.com, etc...

Comment #6

It's not generic.

Again.....the words alone in language alone can be used. What you just stated is a phrase using the words to signify a broader meaning. "My florida" alone is the trademark.

What about a domain /name like WhyPark ? "Why Park" are common words. WhyPark is trademarked....and we all know who they are. Would you then say they have no trademark rights? Of course MyFlorida.com is trademarkable..

Most likely, it would only happen if they had a trademark before your registration date. Although, as we all know that has not stopped some companies from going and getting a TM later and still trying.

It also would depend on many other circumstance as well if it went to UDRP. Your UDRP history, intent at time of registration, sales attempts, use of the domain (did you park it (non-use), or did you develop it (use)), and how did you develop it, did you go get a TM for it also, a business name using the domain, did you do any advertising yourself using the domain, and many more things can win or lose your UDRP case.

The recent decision on Jackass.com came down to this one thing: The complainant had a TM, but the Respondent had a TM also. The panel said that ONE thing tipped the balance and won the case for the owners of Jackass. They got lucky. It is obviously generic.....but a TM can be had on generics also if they acquire "secondary meaning".......like the word "cricket" might make some folks think of Cricket lighters...

Comment #7

*.

WhyPark is distinctive and not a term commonly used in everyday language.

However, "my Florida" is a fairly common word combination and is used in everyday language. Are we to say that "my country" or "my state" is tradmarketable?.

If so, heaven help us: we have just crippled the English language with a bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo and greed-grubbing opportunists who scream TM at every turn.

I don't know the intent of OP, but if it were my domain and I didn't want to fight this legally, I'd simply delete it from my account and let the owner of the dot com chase after it in the aftermarket when Snapnames, Pool, or Namejet grabs it and auctions it off.

*..

Comment #8

I'm sorry, but I totally disagree with you.

"Why park here, when we can park there" or " My Florida condo is on fire".....both can be used in every day language.

"My Florida" cannot stand on it's own without your phrase added to it. Neither can "Why Park". They are trademarkable, so is "My Country" or "My State"......very, very easy to get a TM on.

Even the word "country" or "my" can be trademarked if the name takes on secondary meaning. You can't TM Country for Countries, but you can TM Country for a line of canned fruits, for example.

So, if you own Country.com you are not allowed to sell fruit or fruit related products on that site if there is TM for fruit using that word.

Sadly, a bunch of folks are TM'ing words and making it harder for the domains we own to stay out of hot water. So, today maybe you own Country.com with no problems, but tomorrow there are 10 TM's for different items using the word Country, and now you will have to maneuver carefully to avoid landmines. It's coming.....and it will make it hard to park domains. You can count on it. Many of my one word domains I have owned since 1995 can now not be used in parking or to sell many different items since there are TM's on many items that relate to my one word domains.

Delete a TM domain? DON'T DO IT!!!! This is a BIG TRAP. IF you have a domain that someone sends you a C&D letter on and you delete it, or if you suddenly move it out of parking and send it to Redcross.org, so as to avoid a conflict with the TM owner.....then the Complainant and the panelists will find that a "Bad Faith" move. They make this finding all the time when you suddenly change DNS or delete a domain. They say, "Ah-Ha......so you got scared and suddenly changed the location of the domain when you were notified". And you will say, "No, I did it to assuage the TM owner". But the panelists don't care and will find it a bad faith move.

Also remember, when you delete a domain the registrar still holds on to it for the rest of the registration period and they usually put ads on it, which you get paid nothing for, so now the TM ads will show again, but it's your registrar's doing this time.

The best thing you can do when this happens is to NOT MOVE THE DOMAIN and call a lawyer. It goes against common sense to not move it, but it is a major trap that can tip the balance against you and cause you to lose your domain.

I've read a lot of UDRP's. What I have found is that most panelists don't know anything really about domains and they are arbitrarily making decisions on our domains. Where else can someone for $6,000 for UDRP process and lawyer leverage an asset worth $1,000,000 away from an owner. Nowhere else. It's sick..

...

Comment #9


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

 

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