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Pizza Hut just announced their latest initiative "Pasta Hut". I own PieHut.com.

While PastaHut.com is clearly not owned by the Pizza Hut Corporation and there's no indication that they will start selling pies anytime soon, I started thinking about the safety of my domain..

There's currently no TM registered at USPTO.gov.

Short of starting a site selling online pies, or for posting free recipes, am I too close by using the "hut" part in the domain or am I overly cautious?.

Any advice is appreciated.

M...

Comments (13)

Hi Mike...

Difficult for me to comment but let me just speak from my "guts".

It took pizzahut more then 10+ years to come to the point to provide pasta(lol, that is some good marketing for an"italian restaurant chain).

I think if you bring up a little nice site with "american pie(apple) or keylime pie, or order your "wiener sacher torte" (famous austria delicious, addicting cream pie).

You should be good to go, maybe there are some affiliate programs available already.......

And then wait for pizza/pastahut to offer deserts.....

And you have a WINNER!!!!.

Cheers,.

Frank..

Comment #1

Originally, it was "pizza pie" from Italy, though that version of "pizza pie" is not what we as Americans know pizza to be. The current form of pizza was actually created in America.

Though you have 2 generics words in the domain, it is not a descriptive domain. Never heard of a Pie Hut, probably never will. It seems to be a ripoff of a currently branded business with a similar naming scheme. (please don;t argue, you know it, I know it, anyone else here who reads this will know it). So, the descriptive argument may not be the way to go. Usage and intent plays an important part determining if the domain was/is being used in bad faith.

Now, we all know Pizza Hut.... did you even bother to look for "Pie Hut"? http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=%22...p=mss&ei=UTF-8..

Comment #2

I'm not about to argue, no worries. I'm a bit foggy as to where to steer the domain or if I should just let it sit there..

Of course, the descriptiveness of the word combination and close relation to the actual Pizza Hut is what's causing my headache. Generally, both terms as a stand alone are of no harm, as soon as you start associating them though, the possible trouble begins.

I actually checked for TMs when I received the domain (as part of a larger deal), there was and currently is, no TM for anything PieHut. I actually did see the business in ID you're referring to. Researching the possible usage complications was the first thing i've done - AFTER i've taken ownership of the domain. (Maybe I should have done my homework upfront, but - since it was part of a larger deal, I didn't pay any particular attention to this domain).

Logically, usage, business branding and longevity play a major factor with this domain, thus my confusion.

I believe it's borderline and totally agree with you, it's coming down to usage. However, at the same time; how - other than for pies, whether this be pie sales or a recipe repository, can this domain be utilized and not come back to haunt me..

Offering the domain for sale to the bakery in ID could easily be interpreted as bad faith - even though I didn't know about them prior to owning the domain - which is of little to no consequence.

Feels like i'm caught between a rock and a pie domain.

M...

Comment #3

Mike,.

I think you should just keep the name,.

Start over.....

And bring this to the,.

Adult Forum Section..

LOL.

Hey you laugh...but it IS a possibility!.

I'm pretty sure you'd be safe on the TM issues!..

Comment #4

Whoa what timing..

I just purchased some domains some days back , still dont know what I was thinking but I registered these.

ChipHut.com.

ChipsHut.com.

SteaksHut.com.

Guess I am sailing in the same boat ...........................

Comment #5

Because of this thread,.

Dont ask me why....

But I just went to check on.

Sl*tHut.com.

And com, net, and org, were all taken..

I'm kinda glad, cuz I might have bought that stupid name!.

LOL..

Comment #6

Mike, I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. I'm just a law student with a trademark background and a fellow domainer. With that said, this is my layman's opinion:.

I wouldn't worry too much about it. It looks like you've had it since at least July '06. You have a reasonable argument for good faith registration. I checked the USPTO database and found numerous entries for [food item] hut, and it seems like you had now indication at the time of registration that PizzaHut would move into the pie business. The arbitrators are more and more often finding rights and legitimate interests in the parking of non-infringing domains, and you certainly aren't competing with PizzaHut or trying to divert their customers to buy pies. You could always create a DBA to show that you are commonly known as "PieHut" so you can use the name in your WHOIS info.

I disagree with the poster above that the domain isn't descriptive, but I could probably be persuaded that it is suggestive. Either way, your long history of use is a decent argument for secondary meaning. Just be careful moving forward, don't step on PizzaHut's toes, and contact a real attorney if you are really worried...

Comment #7

The bottom line seems to be:.

A, start selling pies now - and make sure the pies are actual pastry pies and not dough pies..

B, tread lightly, after all the domain would be selling food products where.

B1, PizzaHut has sold food way before I did..

B2, the Idaho outfit has used the words PieHut to position themselves in the market.

C, don't do anything, let the domain sit there and hope/wait for an unsolicited offer.

D, open up a bakery, name it PieHut and utilize the .com for your online presence.

E, hide under a rock in the deepest cave in North Dakota (if we have any).

I guess i'll make a PieRecipe DB ..... :shrugs:.

Thanks for everyone's input, much appreciated!.

M...

Comment #8

I would not use a domain like that for food distribution purposes..

I think the potential for confusion is very real: pizzahut piehut.

I also feel that the keyword 'hut' is what makes the brand distinctive.

IMO if the name is developed and becomes famous one day the owner will have problems down the road..

In TM not everything is black and white, there is a grey area too But you are taking chances here. I would rather err on the side of caution.

Option d) is the one I would definitely avoid.

PS: I don't visit pizzahut often but don't they have apple pies too ?

Comment #9

I commonly refer to Pizza as "pie" as many Italians do...especially NY'ers. I believe a case for similarly confusing could be made against you...

Comment #10

Lol that would be nice if they did make a pie hut you might get a huge offer!..

Comment #11

Points well taken.

Bakery is out - not that it was ever in from the get go anyways..

Making a Pizza site is out - too close to "the Hut".

Making a Pie Site is about the only feasible solution without burning my fingers. Yes, pun intended. However, even with a pie/recipe site, the "Hut" part is the pain in the process as we both target the food market.

Thanks everyone! If you have more input or suggestions, PLEASE keep them coming, chances are that I overlooked something.

M...

Comment #12

In my understanding the "hut" presents a hat...speaking of that, if you manufacture hats made from dough/pie, you should be careful too.

Cheers,.

Frank..

Comment #13


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

 

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