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GoDaddy reviews : Advise I invest in GoDaddy?? Question about getting sued over domain name

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I bought a domain name, lets say it's fresnoford.com or ford of fresno.com.

(fresno, ca).

If the local dealer there is sueing me for that domain name, do they actually have a case against me?.

The domain name I have is simply just parked. I'm not conducting any business or anything off it.

They have offered me some money in the past, but now I got a letter from their lawyer.

Should I fight it?.

I mean lets say it's ANY brand car: vw of fresno.com or honda of fresno.com.

Any input would be great, thanks!..

Comments (10)

1st Ford (ir any car dealer) is a TM and if the local dealer has the OK of the corporate parent they will take back there name. 2nd if you have the domain parked for PPC then it is a business as you are making money off the Ford TM. In my opinion this is a clear case of TM Infrindgment. Just my 2 cents...

Comment #1

Then how is paypalsucks.com getting away with it? paypal is a name, tm?.

My chrystler sucks.com.

Compaqsucks.com.

Etc etc..

Comment #2

Actually thats a great question. I never thought of that. I know a few companies have shut down them type of sites. But maybe they are court protected under the 1st admendment as free speech if they are not making money off the name and just voicing opinions. I am not a lawyer but that would make sense. and if you are parking the domain then you are making money off the TM. AGain just my 2cents and I am sure more knowledgable people will chime in...

Comment #3

Yes, "sucks" domains have a strong track record of winning, due to the issue of fair use/free speech.

In the OPs case... I believe the dealership is stretching. While it may be a TM, it's not their TM. Just because they are a franchise or dealer of a parent corporation, doesn't really give them any rights to enforce the TM themselves.

Also, the fact that they have offered to buy it in the past, doesn't look good on their part. Essentially, it makes it look like they acknowledged your right to own the name and made a legitimate offer based on their perceived value. Now that they can't reach an agreement, they want to throw a tantrum and pull the TM card.

I'm not really justifying your ownership of the domain. It is a TM and could easily be taken away from you by Ford. However, in this case, I think this is outside the legal scope of the dealership...

Comment #4

Paypalsucks has no commercial use. Your parked domain is earning income. They most certainly do...

Comment #5

Consider this action of the USPTO relative to a trademark application filed by a car dealer in Malibu for Malibucars: http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?r...entry=78473639.

SECTION 2(E)(2) GEOGRAPHIC REFUSAL.

The examining attorney refuses registration on the Principal Register because the mark is primarily geographically descriptive of the applicants goods/services. Trademark Act Section 2(e)(2), 15 U.S.C. 1052(e)(2); TMEP 1210.01(a) and 1210.04(b).

The attached evidence from www.bartleby.com shows that MALIBU is a city in southern California. The applicant is located in Malibu, California.

The primary significance of the term MALIBU is geographic, and applicants goods/services come from the geographical place named in the mark. Therefore, a public association of the goods/services with the place is presumed. In re JT Tobacconists, 59 USPQ2d 1080 (TTAB 2001); In re U.S. Cargo, Inc., 49 USPQ2d 1702 (TTAB 1998); In re Carolina Apparel, 48 USPQ2d 1542 (TTAB 1998); In re Chalks International Airlines Inc., 21 USPQ2d 1637 (TTAB 1991); In re California Pizza Kitchen, 10 USPQ2d 1704 (TTAB 1989); In re Handler Fenton Westerns, Inc., 214 USPQ 848 (TTAB 1982). TMEP 1210.04(b).

When the geographic significance of a term is it's primary significance and the geographic place is neither obscure nor remote, the goods/place or services/place association will ordinarily be presumed from the fact that the applicants goods or services originate in the place named in the mark. In re JT Tobacconists, 59 USPQ2d 1080 (TTAB 2001) (MINNESOTA CIGAR COMPANY primarily geographically descriptive of cigars); In re Chalks International Airlines Inc., 21 USPQ2d 1637 (TTAB 1991) (PARADISE ISLAND AIRLINES held primarily geographically descriptive of the transportation of passengers and goods by air); In re California Pizza Kitchen Inc., 10 USPQ2d 1704 (TTAB 1988) (CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN held primarily geographically descriptive of restaurant services).

The addition of a generic or merely descriptive term to a geographic term does not obviate a determination of geographic descriptiveness. See In re JT Tobacconists, 59 USPQ2d 1080 (TTAB 2001); In re Carolina Apparel, 48 USPQ2d 1542 (TTAB 1998); In re Chalks International Airlines Inc., 21 USPQ2d 1637 (TTAB 1991); In re Wine Society of America Inc., 12 USPQ2d 1139 (TTAB 1989); In re California Pizza Kitchen Inc., 10 USPQ2d 1704 (TTAB 1988); In re Cambridge Digital Systems, 1 USPQ2d 1659 (TTAB 1986); In re BankAmerica Corp., 231 USPQ 873 (TTAB 1986); In re Application of Handler Fenton Westerns, Inc. 214 USPQ 848 (TTAB 1982); TMEP 1210.07(a).

The applicant indicates in it's identification of services that it is providing Automobile Sales, online automobile sales via auction. CAR is defined as An automobile.[1] The applicant is providing a sales setting and online auctions for cars. Use of the term CARS in the applicants mark merely describes or names the goods offered through the applicants services.

The applicants mark MALIBUCARS describes the geographic source of the services and the type of goods being offered through the services. Registration is refused in accordance with Section 2(e)(2) of the Trademark Act.

That was in addition to the refusal based on "MALIBU" being a Chevy mark.

Ron brings up a good point. Interestingly, UDRP panels have awarded domain names to car dealers of the form JoeBlowToyota.com and so forth, without ever touching on whether the dealers are themselves licensed to use the trademark of the car manufacturer in a domain name.

This introduces a certain ironic tension between those decisions that say:.

"You can't sell IBM spare parts at IBMSpareParts.com".

And the decisions that say.

"Joe Blow Toyota dealer is entitled to transfer of JoeBlowToyota.com".

Consistency is not a strong suit of your average UDRP panelist.

I'd want to know how many dealers of that brand are in Fresno.

Oddly, I just had a case in which a car dealer in Fresno tried to go after a first-name domain name, and we scared him so badly he withdrew the complaint.

What is it with car dealers in Fresno?..

Comment #6

Maybe it's the same guy and he's trying for a consolation prize?..

Comment #7

The domain I have it not in fresno, ca. I was using that city as an example..

I do not want to give or say the domain as it may be a conflict of interest while this is going on.

Worst comes to worst, cant I say, I one day plan on opening a dealership in "fresco" city? this is why I bought the domain name? even though the city I bought it in, is a city named in a few different states...

Comment #8

Completely irrelevent to this situation. Look it up here if you want to know about that situation. So basically, lie to try to get your way.

Heck, if my Aunt and balls, she'd be my uncle, but she doesn't. John,.

But even you have to admit, Panelists go under criterea of "rights or greater rights" to a name. So if a car dealership trades under Joe Blow Toyota and is able to prove it, the panelist will more than likely view Joe Blow Toyota as a trademark "for the purposes of these proceedings", even though they may be denied a registered mark...

Comment #9

Not nessarily lie, If I one day have money It's very possible!..

Comment #10


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

 

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