Tell them to go do nasty things to themselves and cease all contact, do not keep negotiating as that causes you to be weakened.
Also advise Sedo of him and let them make sure he is removed from their membership lists...
Thank you for advice!.
For now he didn't reply..
Contact Sedo regarding threats he send you via their system and stop negotiations if instead of bidding he tries once more to scare you...
Cancel that offer and set 2xxx $ as min offer..
I would break the negotiations. I don't negotiate with a gun pointed at me. If they think their claims are that strong, they should have contacted you through whois instead of making an offer.
BTW there is a EU trademark for a French entity, possibly the previous owner. But it's not enough to have a TM or not, they should demonstrate how you are infringing on their brand/TM...
Thanks guys! I see we have similar opinions.
Yes I agree it's strange why they didn't contact me via whois data.
Yes I've just found the TM, but it is not TM for a domain name like he said, it's normal TM. Yes, they might be the previous owner. But at the other hand it's just two colors...
I'd be redirecting the domain to a site of ill repute then asking for a lot more money...
They sound like someone who thinks that all domains are worth reg fee. Opinion ~ cease any further contact...
It is one thing to want a domain and want to negotiate, that is the whole fun of the game, it is quite another to lie, cheat and scam...people like this should be barred from ever owning domains as they bring down the reputation of all...
Since the claimant appears to be from the Netherlands or France, one would not expect the USPTO to be the reference of choice here.
There is no need to be a prick in these situations. You might consider politely stating that you are unaware of such a mark, and request that he/she send you pertinent data about the mark, such as whether it is registered and where...
Whether or not it's a relevant or valid TM is not pertinent to the situation. The guy's own words show that he's just trying to bust your balls and that he thinks the domain is worth more than he's willing/able to pay, and also shows that he is not confident in his position (if he can just take the name from you, why not open up with that rather than a friendly offer followed by a threat when he feels your price is too high?).
I hope you saved his messages, and will forward them to SEDO. I doubt that they want their system used as a means of conveying abuse and threats.
"There are two ways of settling this, one: you make a us a normal offer so we can settle this quickly or secondly we have our lawyers settling this in court" - who is a prick in that case?.
I don't think I should be a polite guy when someone kind of blackmailing me, but thanks for the advice.
And thank you all guys! And quick update: there is no any updated info He/they/someone keeping silence and I didn't inform sedo about it...
Had to school someone on this yesterday. Provided domain sales for the past month including Photo.com for $1.5 million.
That would make them think twice before saying "domains are $15" again...
His comment wasn't at all out of line if they do indeed have the rights he claims to the domain.
It would probably be best to disregard almost everything posted in this thread. I can't recall a thread here in recent history having so much childish advice. This feels like the DP legal section.
Your natural reaction might be to shove back, but I would use a little due diligence to get more info on the situation. It isn't very clear who this guy is. He claims to have rights and says he was in contact with the original owner. Not sure what that means or how they are connected...
I don't understand how suggesting the OP include SEDO on the communications is childish. (Or, come to think of it, legal advice.).
What you are doing in correspondence like this is developing Exhibit A, if this should proceed to a dispute.
Angry people do stupid things. You can count on it like sunrise in the morning.
Calmly asking someone to back up their claims, even if they are a snarling asshole, demonstrates appropriate concern and attention to the matter, memorializes your lack of knowledge of any such mark - and also calls what may be a bluff.
Five months from now, when possibly neither you nor he nor the amen choir on some forum are reading this exchange, the perception that "one of these guys is really being a jerk" can have a significant influence on the outcome.
You are not being "blackmailed". Maybe the guy has a valid TM claim somewhere, maybe he doesn't. Thinking the USPTO is the last word in trademarks is sheer ignorance. Maybe the TM is defective for some reason. But saying, in so many words, "put up or shut up" doesn't cost you a dime, and may provide you with valuable information and/or ammunition to use later.
At the end of the day, nobody is going to care whether you can pee farther than him, or whose dick is bigger than whose. Getting emotional about this stuff for the sake of your wounded ego or his overly inflated one, is usually a huge mistake...
So in your magical imaginary fantasy world everyone who is being threatened to hand over their property should capitulate and accede, handing over whatever property someone demands without argument?.
Tell you what, if someone ever sends me an email or letter like that then they are going to get told where exactly they can shove their pen or their keyboard.
If people wish politeness and respect then they had better damn well treat me with some, and while the opening posters copy of their first opening salvo seems to be polite it is not, opening negotiations with threats of legal action is not the way to go...especially without proof of anything but hearsay.
The whole quote of "give us a lower number or we will force your hand by dragging you into court to force you to give us this domain" sounds a whole lot like the wild west days of the late 90's.
The ONLY recourse to this is to not give people like this any time of day, break off all negotiations and instead focus your efforts on someone who will not try such hardball tactics..by apologising to them like you seem to be suggesting you basically send out the message that you are weak who has no business having domains, and then it is open season on the rest of your portfolio.
Even if someone does own the trademark blackorange, it has to be proved that you are using it in bad faith to steal business...if they are on the other side of the world and simply registered the name and have done nothing with it then what leg do you have to stand on?.
I am fully within my rights to register ApplePod.com if I am using that to promote my market stall and unique bag of real apples, it is for Apple to prove that I am taking business by fraudulently using their name in bad faith, not just because I have a particular arrangement of letters in my domain...
I'm going to guess you don't know me, or my record, very well.
Telling someone where to "shove their keyboard" is not an argument, it is simply behaving like an idiot.
The notion that asking someone for proof of their claims is either "apologising", surrendering, or anything else of that sort, is just plain stupid. And that might well be an appropriate thing to point out after they come up with one. A lot of people who run businesses have a bad habit of overplaying their hand or not understanding the limited scope of their rights.
You don't win a single thing in a correspondence exchange with someone which turns into a contest to determine who is the greater assclown.
You can, however, strengthen your position by obtaining information. You can also file a criminal complaint against them for wire fraud in the event that it turns out they can't demonstrate ownership of a trademark.
I guess you consider seeking to have people put behind bars is some sort of 'softball tactic'. Having myself had a con artist put away for six months one time, simply by being nice and giving him the rope he needed to hang himself, I can assure you it is immensely more satisfying than being a rash keyboard commando...
I can employ many tactics in a debate, I know of all the letting them hang themselves but there comes a point when you have to realise that there are certain points in negotiation when it is far better to tell someone to stop contacting you and concentrate on other people.
When someone is bringing a tiny offer to the table and it gets countered and then they immediately claim they have "found" someone who owns the trademark as a bargaining strategy I know I am dealing with a waste of time, someone who has no intention of dealing but is more interested in making me run rings around him...it is like that in any business, not just domains.
I am never rushed in business, I am never kept waiting and I am NEVER going to allow anyone to pressure me into doing a deal. If anyone employs them tactics then maybe they will be told once to stop, but I will not allow people to dominate my time and resources.
If they were the owner of the domain then they should've spoken up in the first contact and stated they they were the TM owners, they didn't.
We are likely to start arguing forevermore on this subject, but negotiation isn't always about knowing when to say something, it is also about knowing when someone is wasting your time and knowing when not to allow them to do it...
Using big large capital letters is also very effective, since it demonstrates the correctness of your position.
I am simply saying that if someone makes a TM claim, then make them prove it...
As always, John gives a very good advice, so all you newbies should really listen to this guy and write his advices down, instead of just blabbering about things you newbies obviously know nothing about...
I know a few women who might argue against you on this point.....
Yes, because we all know the only measure of a man on a forum is in his join date or post count don't we?.
Heres a thought for the day, why don't you come up with an idea or post of your own rather than just using someone else's?..
When jberryhill gives advice, for free, I'd take very careful notes...
That is all it is, advice and opinion.
He doesn't have any more clue than me, Spade or the guy who posted the 6th comment.
Everyone assumes that things are law and justice when it comes to trademarks, but unless a company has international recognition it could go either way.
The only advice anyone should be taking is from a lawyer who specialises in INTERNATIONAL trademark law.
Now, the whole thrust of what I said rests on the fact that they started playing games, offering a fee and only when it was turned down magically coming up with a trademark claim rather than using that originally.
If you have a trademark claim then you use that first, if you do not then you have lost all credibility.
But I am from England, you I assume are from America so laws are different, are we going to be so arrogant to say that one our countries laws must be inferior?..
LOL, thats the most funniest thing I have read in a long time.
You dont know who John Berryhill is and what he does, do you?.
Thank you Spar, I needed it.
And by the way, here is some reading you can do:.
When you get smacked down by jberryhill, it's a good idea to back off.
You shot yourself in the foot here mate, but don't worry, most of us make gaffes...
And whats more funny, he made the "INTERNATIONAL" bold. lol..
This thread makes me dizzy with the twist and turns it takes. This is not rocket science yet many portray it as much like a game of ego.
It is without a doubt the right thing to do in asking for supporting data to their claim. Data that would include the domain name and international protection reaching into the USA.
No more name calling or threats, just simple very easy to provide/understand factual documents. With them, all is very clear what will happen. Without them, all is very clear what will not happen.
Business is complicated enough and your goal should be to NOT make it tougher on yourself while protecting what you " may " have the right to protect.
At the end of the day, what is your plan for the domain if you do keep it ? How will you make money from it and if so, how much do you project you will actually earn ? Now, how much is it worth to you for real as you might provide them a price they will be willing to pay.
Good luck and I truly suggest that you consider about 75% of the advice you have been given in this thread for what it is worth, very little in a real life situation when aiming for a good outcome.
My point was until it got sideswiped is that all we have is the original opening post to go on, without all documents we are simply guessing.
As Jberryhill is an lawyer himself he would know that a lawyer will get all facts on the table including dates, times, statements...much more than we might get in an online forum.
I do not disparage anyone, I am simply making the statement that until all knowledge is made available none of us have a clue what is going on. Including JberryHill.
It may be so that this blackorange company has a claim on the trademark in a country such as Timbuktu but would that actually stand up in a court where another company has a stronger trademark in a stronger country?.
All the opening poster ever said is that an offer was made and then a trademark was magically produced after that after they heard a price that was more than they were willing to pay, which to me seems like nothing but a negotiating ploy, albeit one that backfired.
I never said once that if someone had brought that trademark dispute straight away that it should be ignored.
I am not a lawyer in any country of the world, I have a different skillset, but why would a lawyers credentials in America carry any weight in a country such as England?.
This is the crux of the matter, who gets to decide who is in the right and who is in the wrong on this matter when multiple plaintiffs have equal claims?..
When it comes to gTLD's it is WIPO who stands for the case and decisions. No matter if you are from England or USA or China...
Here's a gem: WIPO Domain Name Decision: D2008-1609.
Complainants sent a cease and desist letter to Respondent demanding transfer of the disputed domain name. Respondent replied with a demand that You will pay me $3,000 today or I will go public with my information you God Dam piece of s. My goodness, I have no idea. They invited me anyway.... IP Dispute Resolution & Risk Management - Event Home.
Special Address - Lord Justice Jacob. Plus, gain insights from these expert speakers at IP Dispute Resolution.
Of course, I have represented parties under the Nominet DRS as well. Nowhere have I stated that the law of any country is "inferior" to any other. My point is about basic manners, which are indeed international...
Entertaining on so many levels.
A cybersquatting registrant gets squashed by a big domain auction company that auctions off TM domains.
The irony is almost too much to bear.
Apparently not John.
OP seemed to have totally missed your point and gone off into a tangent. He did the same thing with his response in email to the inquiry. If that's what works for him then I say go for it but I learned a long long time ago (and from my own laywer) that it's very detrimental. To be honest...my lawyer taught me to always be the victim and you don't show that by aggression...
There's absolutely no one here worth a wooden-nickel who questions your credentials and absolute authority in this arena.
I'd suggest not even bothering to dignify his bullshit with a reply...
We have already established his superiority in legal matters Jaco, that was never in question. What is in question is the validity of the opening posters adversary and their legal arguments that they have suddenly found out that they hold a trademark for a name when originally they balked at paying the asking price without actually getting a lawyer to send an official letter. Not from a legal standpoint but a negotiation one. Or maybe their friends hold the trademark, or was it their cousin...could've been their long lost nephew twice removed, could've even been their adopted cat...the paragraph isn't too clear on that point...simply put, who the hell are they talking about and who do they claim holds the trademark?.
What I also questioned was whether he had more information about this matter directly, having contacted either party. Without that information he is in the same boat as us as not knowing the full story but simply bits and pieces cobbled together on a forum. I was not disparaging him as a person or his intelligence/credentials.
The topic at hand is plainly in the realms of MY experience of bullshit detection, if you have any original thoughts concerning that then feel free to pipe up.
Maybe the rules should be changed in this forum as pertaining to answering anyone in this subforum if you do not hold a lawyers degree...I never answer medical questions for the same reason as has been said earlier, that most of us are a bunch of bloody amateurs.
I was not answering from a legal standpoint, but a negotiation one and maybe I was remiss to not state that more clearly but I do stand by what I say, if someone does not produce a real document or letters from a law firm that actually has the right to exist rather than being made up on the spot stating their claim to such a thing and instead demands you hand something over then they can go find the nearest cliff...and an anvil.
Reply that includes the statement that maybe they should find a keyboard is entirely optional.
Once they produce such documents then it is not simply nuisance spam in your email but something to be treated seriously.
Just to try to end my association with this topic once and for all: People like this will try this tactic endlessly with smaller companies/domainers with obscure trademarks because they know they will likely capitulate and hand over their domains rather than fight it legally, if they do come across someone who will not roll over and play dead they will simply move onto the next person. And the next. And the next. The rewards are potentially very great for these people and it is a whole lot safer than drug smuggling/art theft/terrorism/bank robbery.....They will never target larger companies because they know they likely have the legal might and resources to make their life more difficult so instead they take a look for a domain they might like the look of, look at the whois and then find an obscure trademark and send them off an email...it takes maybe 20-30 minutes to do that and sometimes people hand over their property without a single argument.
It is not as effective as the prince of Africa who needs you to free up his $500,000,000,000,000,000 as it doesn't generally work on greed but fear and paranoia instead, but it still works in some cases. The really bad grammar is usually a clue as well that something may not be so kosher.
(By the way, when people use the statement "we" to denote a group when only a second ago in type-time they say "I have been" in contact with the holder you know they are full of shit. People say "we" to make an organisation seem larger than it really is.)..