Hmm, couldn't have been snapnames that sent that letter could it?..
Ok, it really is a lot like snapnames, but two dectionary words like "swap" and "names" really shouldn't be considered a TM infringment... IMO..
I think that holdem8 should fight more for his generic name. I know that a lawsuit is very costly, but Swapnames.com is generic.
I even can think that Snap sends C&D's to all domain owners with similar names as theirs, but not even checking if the domain is used in bad faith or not.
Late tonight I ill send an email to my SN rep, complaining about this and we should all do this. Holdem8 put really great effort to brand his name...
It ain't the same dude, you're giving up too easily and it won't cost that much to defend the suit - probably a couple grand. Don't give it up!..
Feel sad for them. Its a nice little site and they're just trying to build up a site & business..
They provide a service for 'swapping names'.
Thier site is called 'swap names'.
It's come to something now hasn't it..
Bet it's snapnames, ....arseholes.
Defend it! If it's snapnames let's boycott them. I'm in, anyone else?.
(Of course we need to find out if it is snapnames making waves first.)..
I would love to hear of the company that sent you the letter.....
If it is SnapNames, I would fight this until I was blue in the face.
SwapNames.com is in no way like SnapNames.com (minus the W and the N).
Here is SnapNames Mark:.
Word Mark SNAPNAMES.
Goods and Services IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: REGISTRATION OF DOMAIN NAMES FOR IDENTIFICATION OF USERS ON A GLOBAL COMPUTER NETWORK, NAMELY, REGISTRATION SERVICES FOR BACK-ORDERING OF DOMAIN USERS ALREADY REGISTERED; AND PROVIDING DATABASES FEATURING GENERAL AND LOCAL NEWS AND INFORMATION OF INTEREST IN THE FIELD OF DOMAIN NAMES AND THE INTERNET. FIRST USE: 20001207. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20001207.
IC 035. US 100 101 102. G & S: DOMAIN NAME MONITORING AND TRACKING, NAMELY, DOMAIN NAME MONITORING AND NOTIFICATION SERVICES, NAMELY, MONITORING OF A DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATION RECORD AND NOTIFYING OTHERS OF STATUS AND CHANGES TO THAT RECORD; AND DOMAIN NAME AUCTION SERVICES. FIRST USE: 20001207. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20001207.
Swapnames does not do any of these! No Registration Service, No Backordering, no monitoring of domain status and no auction service...
'Snap' and 'Swap' are two completely different words with completely different meanings. I cannot see anyone other than SnapNames sending the C&D, taking "SwapNames" as a typo of "SnapNames". The services offered by both companies are totally different, so I don't see why there should even be any issue.
Its sad. I've never used SwapNames before, but anyone strong arming the little guy is a sad affair. Always...
Why would SN pay themselves thousands for a lawsuit, where they reach only a site used by domainers to be terminated.
I cannot see the logic here.
SnapNames pays lawyers so that a completely different site that is not infri=nging their TM to be terminated.
Above all this site is used by some domainers (Snaps' target), and this culd affect their reputation.
This is a no-no for SN, as disabling Swapnames would not benefit them in any way...
I just couldn't believe he gave up the domain without a fight. Let alone a company built in that name.
Now they're probably thinking....that was easy...all we had to do is scared the heck out of him.
I've read many domainers stories about fighting for their name and most of the name are just domain and no company.
If any company don't fight back when their company is being threatened this is just telling me that this company would not fight for his customer and I will definitely get out and find something else who would fight for their assets...
Damn these big players..
Only wish there was some organization with domainers as members, who would protect the rights of us "small fish".
It seems people like us are like small rabbits scrambling alone wishing no hawk would lay eyes on em, cuz then we are gone for sure. These big players can just threaten and take away any domain we have, a simple mail from a lawyer would do us in.
Lets assume a big company called "rubies". You own a domain called "eggs", they send you a notice, how do you even contest your case. You need to spend xxxx to hire a lawyer for starts, and then more expenses pile on. Its depressing...
Our company had registered both resalenic.com and auctionic.com to use a possible domain resale auction site. We've "sat on the fence" about using either name for the very reason addressed in this thread.
Can one fight a potential lawsuit? Of course.
But if it financially damages a smaller company to the degree that their future may not be viable, isn't that kind of like winning the battle and losing the war?.
Will DNOA help?.
You spent so much efforts promoting it and now it comes to this. Blah. I say fight for it! I wish you all the best...
I agree with lzy. DNOA should be here for these kind of issues (too). I think Snapnames will not like to mess up with domainers, and this lawsuit is not such important for them as their reputation...
I think the DNOA should step up here, assuming the general consensus is that Snap doesn't have a case against Koay...
Man, that really really sucks- now I really hope network solutions opens their site and drops snapnames like the bad piece of smelly fish that it is- providing it was snapnames that came after him-..
From the email in the OP this seems like a case of Reverse Domain Hijacking.
Also, Koay Al Vin (the president of SwapNames.com) seems to have a trademark for "Swapnames.com" according to the free search at uspto.gov.
Lastly , you might want to check this page in the DomainDevelopers site ...
Click on home to see who DomainDevelopers belongs to ... (strangely , Rick Schwartz is not in the 2006-07 board of advisors).
DISCLAIMER: considering the premium domains some of these members have , I don't know whether they would look into a case for a relitively lower value (than some of those names) domain ... on the other hand , it might interest them since as it seems (from paxton's link) that a rather large company is behind this ... the link , therefore , is provided as a reference mostly .....
What I dont get in all of this, is that there appears to be a live trademark for swapnames.com ? in the name of the guy with the whois details and the name on the letter ..
The plot thickens ... http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?...tate=9doos.1.1.
Check it out .. it all seems very strange to me.
If it was mine there is no way I would let it go ..
Sorry...But if it was my company I would just defend myself. easy to point out the obvious. If it is black and white the court will see it...
Defend your name.
You will win.
This is not a name you should be letting go for a mere few thousands in defense.
This name (already branded + makes perfect sense) is already worth a lot more than the defense fee and will be worth more...
A wise attorney would take a percentage of future earnings, rather than a large fee upfront. There are some attorneys who work on a percentage basis and only take cases they know they will win, and this seems like one of those. In general, to those asking for attorneys to help the little guys, search hard. I know of one attorney who became a millionaire because he took less money upfront and instead, recieved a piece of ownership in the business. The key is when one of us finds the attorney, let everyone else here know. In fact, I am going to make a call or 2.....
Talking about lawyers ... this thread here at NamePros (sticky at the legal forum) is very helpful regarding Lawyers for Domain Name Issues ...
Some of them might be interested in this case , since if they win they would logically recover legal expenses ... and I think that in some cases reverse domain hijacking cases can be awarded certain amounts for damages too ... lastly , some lawyers might agree to a postponed (after-trial) payment or some other arrangement , since the case appears to be rather strong (something like that ,though , would depend on whether the lawyer would accept it or not)..
Many of us are large Snapnames customers. We should let them know how we feel about them being trademark bullies! Does anyone have the email addresses for their executives such as CEO Sudhir Bhagwan, Operations VP Nelson Brady, or Marketing VP Kerry Kelley? You can call Snap and ask to speak to them at +1 (503) 219-9990 or fax your letter to +1 (503) 274-9749. Or send it by postal mail to the Portland address listed here.
It is interesting that Snap chose to go with a trademark infringement lawsuit rather than UDRP. Perhaps they knew they would lose the UDRP, or maybe they were just betting that Swap couldn't afford to defend a lawsuit (much more expensive than defending against UDRP). Also, Snap filed the lawsuit in Portland, Oregon, which would surely be expensive for holdem8 in Malaysia (judging by whois) to deal with.
Does anyone have a link to the actual lawsuit filing text/pdf? I don't have a PACER account, so I only get the summary from this page..
Looks like SwapNames already have a TM on their name. http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield...ate=6r0rvt.2.1.
In which case how can another party claim infringement if the name in question is already a registered TM?..
Not anymore. After seeing this and the fishy bidding going on, I'm done with them.
I hope John Berryhill or Ari Goldberger or one of those lawyers steps in to help this guy. I will contribute toward a fund for his defense if needbe...
Well said. i'm with you Devil Dog.
Nb: so it is definitely snapnames?..
Agree entirely with this. This is a BS lawsuit. Reverse hijacking of the worst kind. The news media.
Would be interested in this story. I'd also suggest a domain lawyer like BerryHill or Goldberger. But it's probably too late now. SnapNames only needs to present the lawsuit filing to GoDaddy to get the domain suspended...
Found the court filing here: http://dockets.justia.com/docket/cou...case_id-84591/.
So it was SnapNames.Com, Inc. v. SwapNames, Incorporated..
Thanks. If the owner of site is reading, do not give up..
Also as a community we should boycott snapnames. I will finish my first and last auction this week, then no more. They're screwed if a lot of us join in.
Another lesson is never have importnat domains at godaddy for the reasons aforementioned. Use Moniker...
Just because a lawsuit was filed , it does not mean that a decision has been reached ... therefore GoDaddy cannot cancel the domain ... they might freeze it , if SnapNames contacts them about the lawsuit , but they cannot cancel it until they receive a court order .....
True, but there are 2 other nasties..
Godaddy charge you a fee, win orlose for them having to impound it!.
Second, think they take the site down by way of disfunctioning and freezing domain..
Bit like guilty before proven innocent if you will...
I understand your concern , but it is not certain that they will take the site down ... usually they do that if there is a security issue or urgent matter (eg. like in the case were some passwords were posted on a site/forum , I think without the webmaster's knowledge).
Furthermore , being in the domain business , they can probably see that the domains are different ... they can understand the meaning of swapping domains ... and they might even have seen the site since it is the only one for swapping names and it might have fallen to the attention of the person that would "push the button" to freeze the domain ...
Moreover , we don't know whether SnapNames has notified GoDaddy yet (esp. since they know they are overstreching , logically knowing about the SwapNames.com TM) ... so they might be going slow because they might not want to attract public's/domainers' attention or "expose" themselves to GoDaddy for a rather frivolous claim ...
I think will all the attention this will get ... filing a lawsuit (and not a UDRP) to a Trademark holder for a Domain name that is consisted of two generic words that have specific meaning and function (swappimg domains) and while the site is already developed ????? ... they will just withdraw the lawsuit if it gets public enough ... they surely don't want to irritate all the domainers in the world , do they ??? .....
Done. Well, almost - I know the news has been all over the domain blogospehere but somehow I feel you would enjoy the way this particular article puts it...
That's for the judge to decide, not us.
On the face of it, this does seem to be your proverbial David vs. Goliath thing..
However, there are a few considerations to make here.
Both SwapNames and SnapNames arguably cut too close to one another both.
In appearance and in sound. Additionally, SnapNames has been in the domain.
Market obviously longer than SwapNames and has considerably built a lot of.
Goodwill to it's name.
I certainly can understand Koay Al Vin's desire to choose this name because it.
Does "somewhat" reflect what this service offers: swapping names. But there.
Is one tiny catch: http://www.swapnames.com/about_us.aspx They might have a chance if they didn't offer that kind of service. But since it.
Does, coupled with using a name that's rather close to SnapNames' trademark,.
My SnapNames rep tried to call me this afternoon but I was in a meeting and had my mobile off. Therefore I'm going to call them back tomorrow morning and will be advising them that they will no longer have my business due to the action they have chosen to take in regards to SwapNames. Will be interesting to see what he says...
Keep us updated. Hope enough domainers do this to let them realize what a huge mistake they're making!..
Don't give up! I second all the posts in this thread...
Someone should register for PACER to view the case summary and look for some more info regarding this: https://ecf.ord.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin...mmary.pl?84591.
I wish SnapNames would explain their reasoning publicly. It's not fair to lynch them without hearing them out. What if swapnames has another snapnames typo that they are mad about? We don't know all the details. If they are indeed being a bully, someone should ask Oversee (or DomainSponsor) about it at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East. They might have a good explanation.
If we can't even be friends amongst ourselves, then what kind of people are we?..
I spoke with Al this morning, and he is well aware of this thread, but he does not want to post due to the Legal Reasons, which I understand.
From my understanding SwapNames.com would need a $50,000 deposit for the lawyer, and total costs would be approx $200,000 - $300,000 in legal fees!.
There is NO other domain that SwapNames.com owns that is in dispute, it is Only the SwapNames.com domain Name.
Again, SnapNames (IMO) is being a bully and are solely doing this because of the W and the N, which I do not see in any way to be a Typo. Swap and Snap are two totally different words, and if somebody "Mixes" them up, I would not understand it!..
Maybe we should enforce Snap with all our methods to abandon this lawsuit.
Is there a good petition site? I think somebody (with a very good command of English) shoudl formulate a well written petition, and then I will help to distribute it to as many domain channels as possible.
We need some advocacy campaign here (and that is my day job basically). I understand holdem8 that he does not want to post here, but I as a domainer feel offended by another domainer oriented site treating domainers in such a way.
What Snapnames did is totally unreasonable in this case...
Hope Snapnames would pay me my account balance in time (30 days as TOS) and I would stop have business with them after that..
What happens if they take the name and use it for exactly the same idea (swapping domain names)?.
SnapNames releases SwapNames (new cool site!)..
If the OP wants to use my NameSwap-dot-net domain, I'll give it to him. (The dot-com is just a parking page.)..
Snapnames.com owns SnapnamesSucks.com and F U C K Snapnames.com, so they don't care our fair opinions..
I'm not sure if it counts as "ironic" that snapnames (The same company that has recently auctioned such gems as "macrosoft.com" and "aaroncarter.com" - just two easy examples; you can choose from among thousands of similar...) has apparently filed a TM infringement suit... If anyone needs something from Pacer just PM me (There is an .08 per page fee, but I'll eat that so long as we aren't talking 'novels' here )..
Sorry to hear this.
Swapnames was a nice wee site and to have the name taken from them from Snapnames is an utter joke.
Wouldn't put it past Snapnames to release SwapNames themselves.....
Its an unfortunate situation, but I wont be cancelling my snapnames account. they are the leading backorder site and too valuable to stop dealing with if your a serious domainer.(they will have thier own problems with namejet.com)..
Many of us are serious Domainers Deb..
Of course it is your call what you do, but in your signature it says 'Domain Philanthropy'.
Never been a better time to display that and principles imo, for all of us.
I was in an auction been involved in for couple of days & let it go tonight & cancelled 2 backorders..
My view is at least take a break for a while so they get the message..
Far more important to stand together as a community over this..
Just my opinion but many are feeling same way..
I just cant imagine buying a name, building a business, tming it , then a bully comes along and takes off me knowing cant legally afford to challenge him...
Well, I am happy to say, that I have drastically cut my inventory at Snap. As of today, I was only in 7 auctions, other then my normal 30-50 +.
I will not be bidding, nor adding any new domains to my backorder sheet and I am pulling the "Boarder line" domains out.
This whole thing makes me sick! Holdem8 set up a very nice site, spent a very large sum of money etc, and he in no way competes against snapnames.
Soon snap will just be another High Priced yard of sellers selling domains and NameJet.com will be the Hot Spot...
We have over 500+ (succesful)auctions with snapnames so for us it's to valuable to lose as a buying resource, even if I do feel sorry for swapnames.com but thats business. snapnames/swapnames will either win or lose. why should I lose out as well by boycotting snapnames, the major domainers (vaxis etc) will still be there buying domains at snapnames auctions and grateful for the lessend competition from the sympathisers.
Why give your competition an advantage?.
Less bidders = better bargains..
It's a slap in the face of all domainers by SnapNames...
As of today I am no longer going to use Crapnames I mean Snapnames.
I already cleaned up my que..
I've edited my original post here, since it was so poorly worded that it was completely misinterpreted.
It was supposed to be supportive of the effort to shame SnapNames into retreat, not the other way around.
The purpose of the original post was purely to keep this thread at the top, so more people can notice it directly from the home page.
Keep up the good work guys!..
Swapnames Not snapnames.
Swap = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swap.
Snap = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snap.
How to break law?..
Deb - I understand that you might like SnapNames too much to "boycott" them (even temporarily) , but what was the reason of your first post in this thread ? ... to vindicate yourself for not being able to limit (or lose temporarily) something you like for a good community cause ? ... you could continue using them and just not mention it ... with that post you hinder the cause that many other domainers are trying to accomplish , without actually gaining anything.
Besides giving excuses to people that were pondering not to use -or limit the usage of- SnapNames (which is a defensive measure until they get the message and drop the lawsuit) , you also give hope to the SnapNames execs that they can continue unharmed with this lawsuit and maybe try it again in the future (or other companies trying it).
If SnapNames sees a slump in backorders and a strong domain community not liking their tactic on this issue it is possible that they will reconsider their rather hasty desicion ... furthermore it is not SnapNames that started this but just an employee in the legal department ... the "boycott" is not against SnapNames it is just so that SnapNames react and drop the lawsuit ...
I wonder how you would feel if a developed and trademarked domain/site/business for which you worked hours upon , was "attacked" in that way and you fellow domainers were saying "well , it is just business , we will continue to use them" ... you would at least expect that they don't talk against you , if they did not talk in your favour ...
I am not saying to you what to do (or to other domainers) ... it's your(/their) choice ... but at least don't hinder a common cause while on your own you see that the "attack" from SnapNames is a-very-bad-in-domainer-ethics tactic (different names , developed site , costly lawsuit instead of a UDRP).
Do not get defensive over my post , it is just that you should reconsider about posting while there isn't much to gain and possibly a lot for the domain community to lose .....
I appreciate your comments, I just dont see how 20-30 or even 100 people from namepros boycotting snapnames will achieve much. snapnames wont even notice the difference. also, these things have a habit of getting forgotten about pretty quickly.
Anyway I really wish swapnames luck if they fight it, the lawyers will be the only winners as usual.
I think snapnames will ultimately win out.
Why dont you start a legal fighting fund for him??? (probably more "useful" to his cause)..
Not only do they mean different things, but the "W" and "N" are located on completely opposite sides of the keyboard...
Unfortunately this weekend I will be gone, so I cannot act. But here are some measures we can take:.
- First we need to write as many emails as we can to Snapnames disapproving their action. If they react, then it is good. If they do not react in 5 days, then we shoudl act more actively by:.
- Making a site describing the situation. I will volunteer to buy a domain for this cause, but because my English is not the best, I would like others to write one page describing the situation as elaborated as they can the situation..
- Launch an online petition. This can make Snapnames rethink it's position. If we gain many signatures from domainers, we have a cause and I am sure that by this time Snap will make a public announcement..
- Promote as much the online petition on other domainer and webmaster forums. No webmaster will want to loose it's domain against a cyberbully..
- gain attention by moving all the resources we can. Write Frank Schilling, Ron Jackson at DnJournal, DNOA etc.
If this would not be enough, then there are other methods, but it would be too far to get onto those. But Al has to fight till the end. I like SwapNames, I used it, I even swapped a domain there. He cannot give up that easy.
I think if Snapnames will take act immediately, they will not lose customers. But if they don't they anyway are on a minus already. Reputation is something you build over years but can lose in a second.
Will be back on Monday, I hope that by then there will be new developments in the case. Anyway until then, we should email our reps, and those from the US call them if they can and if they have the time.
In response to Deb:.
Let me not agree with you. Even 20 people would be "enougThey won't recommend anymore Crapnames to anybody> On a financial POV it will not much affect them, but on the long run, their reputation is questionable. I as a domainer will not use them anymore. And I won't even mention their name anymore in any of my posts.
Take a look at Mike Row Soft. It is somewhat a similar case. Even if Microsoft did win the domain, they lost more in the final. Even if they "win" the domain, they will be finally loosers...
[QUOTE=alexsimon] And I won't even mention their name anymore in any of my posts.
That will really upset them..
Deb - first of all , it is not just 20-100 domainers ... ~1200 people have read this thread in less than 36 hours and that's just in this forum alone ... possibly in other forums or other communities the word will spread and SnapNames will reconsider a hasty decision of a legal-department-employee and correct the situation ...
I think there are more effective ways to react at the current state the situation is in (eg. email SnapNames representatives or SnapNames execs ... or spread the word if they don't react) , than starting a legal battle that could become very expensive ... some times companies (or just an employee of them) do small mistakes that are easily correctable and don't need huge amounts of money to be spend on lawyers to be rectified ... it just needs for some exec to notice the issue at hand ... besides most of the SnapNames employees are domainers themselves and can see that someone just made a hasty decision by filing this (anti-domainer) lawsuit ...
Lastly , you are becoming defensive and posting jokes in a situation that is not funny (especially for the owner of SwapNames) and while most domainers disagree with your stance on the issue ...
Alex - in my opinion there is no need using "bad" names for the company ... substance can have a much more effective result .....
Yes, deb, that will upset them. Because till now I referred many new domainers to Snap.
My day job is campaigning. I do it at an NGO, and deal mainly with the politics, but I know how things work when it comes to reputation.
We, domainers are their clients. If we get upset, they have nothing to win. And I don't think that the domain SwapNames is worth their reputation.
You underestimate the power of the people. especially when it comes to such a narrow niche as domaining is...
I hope your right godian and I wish you/others well with your quest.
Ps I still think a legal fighting fund would be more useful to him in reality.
Best of luck with it......
I think it is more useful at the moment if more domainers expressed their opinion in this thread (and possibly other threads in other forums/communities) so SnapNames notices the whole situation ... some emails to a SnapNames exec or representative might also turn out to be very useful ...
Also , troopscott started a legal fund (on the first page of this thread) , by chiping in $50 ... if SnapNames don't react to the emails/attention , I think many more domainers will throw in some fifties which might be used as an incentive for a domain/internet lawyer to review the situation ... though, a postponed -after trial- payment (especially since the legal fees would be "paid" by SnapNames , if the case is won by SwapNames) would be more convinient ...
In the meantime , I PMed John Berryhill , a well-known lawyer dealing with internet/domain issues (and member of NamePros) ... to view this thread and give his oppinion , if he wants .....
Especiallly with people's attention span getting shorter.
It's fine if many of you folks boycott SnapNames because of this. But they're.
Not going to reply here or anywhere whenever legal suits crop up...
LOL...Are you done editing your post?.
The fact remains there many of us here that will no longer use snapnames.
You go figure...
I haven't figured out how to post the complaint yet, but there is a priceless line:.
9. When the term "swapnames.com" is typed in the Google Internet search engine, the search engine returns a page with the message: "Did you mean snapnames.com?".
Yup, that is evidence enough right there... bah.
I just entered 'poperty' into google.
It just said 'do you mean 'property' '.
I guess the owner of 'poperty.com' is gonna be a very rich man when he reverse hamstrings/hijacks the owner of property.com.
Mind you, that's if he has a customer base left..
I rang my SnapNames account rep today but got the voicemail so left a message saying I will ring back tomorrow and explaining that I will not be dealing with SnapNames due to the action they have chosen to take against SwapNames. I will try calling him again tomorrow and hopefully get to speak with him in detail about the situation and advocate my support for SwapNames as I think it is a great site that has been designed well and has lots of potential. All that hard work doesn't deserve to be stripped away like this...
As a user of both services, I have the the following points:.
- Snapnames is taking advantage of laws designed to prevent abuse, in this case for profit. Ample reasons would include if the site was cutting into their bottom line, which they arent, as they both provide clearly different services in different manners. Granted confusion could ensue between the domains which can be thought of as similar, it was up to snapnames to determine this risk beforehand and register the domain. Given they didnt to this, they shouldve focused on separating themselves from their perceived competition, and/or dealing with domain name confusions using non-destructive methods..
The irony is that Snapnames profits off of the very domain industry it is taking from.
I would like to know why they didnt simply offer to purchase the domain. Given the money they are prepared to spend on litigation, they could have made a generous offer.
Snapnames lists domains which could potentially land users of their service in the same situation. Many domains such as:.
Microsoet (dot) com (Microsoft mispell) and Googledev (dot) com, are listed on their site. Additionaly there have been complaints against snapnames themselves, but for legitimate reasons. See: http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/d...002-00221.html.
(if not listed already).
Ultimately these actions are counterproductive to the domain community; A situation where people fear developing these services, and registering domains for fear of them being removed for their similarity (within reason) to larger sites is worth avoiding. IMO competition among domain related services is good for the industry.
To prove that they are an advocate of all progressive aspects of the industry they should at least leverage their size to vigorously promote swapnames new domain name, Zuho.com, such as to reestablish it's presence, given they no longer have their highly relevant domain name, and need more exposure to link the name to their service.
From here I will wait to see SnapNames rationale, and course their of action, and I will react accordingly...
I'm curious about that as well, although it's not a requirement if they wish to.
Make a statement of course...
Dave - many times in the legal forum you post taking a rather objective stance ... on some occasions you post about domains that have potential TM issues and take a stance rather supporting to big corporations (and justifiably in many of those cases).
What seems rather strange is why you hold such a kind-of-snapnames-pro stance in this thread , while I think you blatanly see that it is most possibly a case of "corporate overstretching" ...
Your first post in this thread regarding the SwapNames aboutus page talking about buying and selling is very misleading and I think it confused many members that SwapNames could be on the wrong ... SnapNames has a TM for registering domains , monitoring domains and domain auctions ... they did not start selling other people's domains until only recently and again in the auction format ... while Swapnames has been operational for more than a year now (as I remember) basically as a communication platform for swapping domains ... and even if both sites are considered as buying-and-selling-domains sites , the two brands are characteristically different for any domainer since they basically provide different services (swapping-selling , backordering-auctioning).
Regarding people forgetting easily ... if this lawsuit doesn't get dropped and SnapNames manage to get SwapNames.com , I think in the minds of most domainers they will appear as a ruthless corporation which tried to "use muscle" (costly lawsuit instead of a UDRP that they would probably lose ... filing a UDRP against the legal TM holder of a name ?!?!?!?) so as to take a developed domain from a TM holder just so as to not confuse the two or three domainers in the whole world that might actually confuse the two services ...
Whether they post or not is their decision , but I think they should come clean in this situation before it becomes even more public (suing a small company to take it's developed domain that they have a TM for ??? , what's next suing NamePros for having the word Names in it and selling domains ???.
Whatever is the decision of the court , if the lawsuit goes on ... and whoever wins or loses the case ... is irrelevant with the fact that most domainers see the SnapNames tactic as wrong ... and it is a time for the domain community to defend against an "attack" which is , in my opinion , just a hasty mistake from an employee and does not represent SnapNames as a whole ... unless you think that they are acting correctly and that even trademarked domains are in the danger of being taken via a lawsuit from big companies just because they have the funds to (expensively) prolong a court case .....
Well, are domainers the only customers both cater to? Who exactly are both.
I can be wrong on that detail you brought up when both started their buying.
And selling services. But that's not the only one I'm basing my speculation on,.
Especially since SnapNames appears to have the law on their side.
As much as I find it rather tempting to outright believe SnapNames is wrong in.
This topic, let me just say one of the things I learned in a previous life is that.
Things aren't always what they seem. I'm mostly after as much understanding.
As possible with whatever's at hand.
Needless to say, I can understand both sides. What I don't understand is why.
Did it have to reach that point....unless someone from either side is willing to.
Spill the beans. (and I mean either Snap or Swap...)..
I don't understand that either. Did Snapnames even try to discuss this with holdem8? He seems like a reasonable guy to me, and I don't think he intends to cause any trademark confusion. He chose the name SwapNames because his site SWAPS NAMES! While the similarity between that and SnapNames is unfortunate, I don't think their target market will be confused. And if SnapNames has such a problem with it, they could have offered to pay for an equally nice name (such as NameSwap.Com, which I think sounds just as good as SwapNames).
None of us know the whole backstory, but it is clear that Snapnames is the one taking the extremely hostile action against a fellow domainer building a site in good faith. So I consider Snapnames at fault unless they can show otherwise. I hope IAmAllanShore is able to post the lawsuit text/pdf as he mentioned in his post. I read the complaint, and see nothing to justify Snap's actions. It is full of bluster like saying they should be awarded triple damages because of "SwapNames' willful and malicious infringement of the SnapNames Mark by the unlawful practices describe above". And Snap claims with a straight face that "SnapNames has been and will continue to be irreparably injured by SwapNames' acts described above".
It would be nice to hear from Swap or Snap's representatives on the issue. I'm glad AssieDomainer and others have been contacting Snap to complain about these bully tactics against a good-faith domainer...
Dave - why does SnapNames have the law on their side ? because they filed a lawsuit ? SwapNames has a TM on the exact name ("swapnames.com") ... on first thought you should say that they have the law on their side ... a company filing a lawsuit does not necessarily mean that they have the law on their side or that they have checked the case thoroughly , sometimes filing a lawsuit (which is of low cost to them since they have a legal department on payroll) could intimidate a person/smaller-company and he/it might settle without a fight (especially since the litigation costs would appear huge).
Regarding how it reached this point ... I think the answer is rather simple , probably SnapNames sent a C&D to SwapNames which of course they did not accept , therefore trying to intimidate them they filed a lawsuit knowing that it would be very costly for them to defend in court (and not filing a UDRP which would seem rather strange against the TM holder) ... or do you think that SwapNames one day decided to try to get SnapNames domain and started all this ??? lol.
I understand your stance and that you don't mean harm ... I can also understand that you are trying to take a neutral position and that the exact details of the case are not certain ... but as the situation appears now it seems that SwapNames are being wrongly "attacked" for a domain they worked hard to develop and for which they also have a live Trademark ...
By googling snapnames vs swapnames , I found these interesting blogposts ... an old post about SwapNames from Frank Schilling (18/07/07) an old post about SwapNames from Sahar Sarid (19/07/07) a recent post about SwapNames from Elliot J. Silver (03/10/07)..
Some people put ethics above money, others only care about the bottom line...
Having personally known and dealt with DomainSponsor (Oversee.net) I am curious to know why this resulted in a lawsuit. I am sure there is more to this story than what is told...
Maybe they have a bad taste in there mouth with the NameJet release and losing NetSol, eNom and who ever else they lost. Good for them!.
Just shows money can't buy you everything!.
$35 Million Dollar sale of Snapnames.com.
$4,000,000 CEO Salary.
NameJet.com release, Priceless!.
I still cant get used to have justice on your side only if you have enough money to pay the court and lawyer fees..
I m used to get on court no matter how much money I got and then laws will show the judge who is right or not...
I agree, it's a wonderful view, but problem is the reality is horrible wormlike creatures (lawyers) get paid vast sums to catch people out & 'bend' the law..
It's how rapists walk sometimes & innocent people end up in the slammer.
I'm same as you, on the most part I trust the system but if the best paid lawyer is on snapnames side & swapnames lose because of a technicality etc, he loses everything. He may have a wife and kids etc. he has to think of them & the aftermath.
Mind you, would business insurance cover this?..
I have just send a nice email to my snapnames rep.
I think namepros should take some action on this issue. A big company bullies one of us small domainers and we domainers don't do anything about it. Here we a have a domainers forum with thousands of active members just watching it. Thats not good.
I was wondering how the owner of swapnames could have protected himself. It seems registering a trademark doesn't help either because they can file a lawsuit and you don't have enough money to defend yourself. What would happen if swap names owner wasn't living in the US? Assuming the domain wasn't registered with a US registrar either.
What could snapnames do if the owner was living in, lets say, Italy and the name was with a swedish registrar?..
If he wins the case mayb,.
Here in Greece if you win the case then most of the times the 'looser' pays most of the fees(thats when he started the lawsuit)..
I may be wrong, but I am fairly certain that the Swap Names owner does not live in the US. I will double check and update, otherwise if anyone else is certain please post...
You are right. According trademark registration records of swapnames the owner lives in Malaysia.
Now, I don't understand why Al Vin, The owner, has to defend himself in a US court. Is it only because the domain is registered with a US registrar?.
Could Al Vin ignore the lawsuit if the domain was with a foreign registrar? I think a US court order would be meaningless if the domain was with a non-US registrar.
Tactically speaking, what would have been the best strategy for Al Vin to protect this domain when he first started it? Should we all move our critical domains outside of US registrars?.
It looks like the US law system sucks big time.
What would happen if Al Vin would ignore the lawsuit now and keep using the domain?..
Swapnames.com is already down? not showing up in my browser...
Al Vin doesn't really have to even reply to the lawsuit filed in a US court. But.
He might stand a chance if he does, however costly it can be.
Even if he ignored the court case and if SnapNames wins, they'll enforce that.
Judgment on the registrar. Remember Bodog.com and NewBodog.com?.
Registering a .com domain name with a non-US based registrar appears to be.
A good idea. But it remains to be seen since I've yet to see anyone enforce a.
Judgment involving a .com at the Registry in Virginia.
While seem believe the US law system sucks, you'll also find numerous cases.
Where it's served it's purpose.
If Al Vin ignores the lawsuit and keeps using the domain name, chances are it.
Will be taken from him anyway whether he likes it or not. That's why he said.
They're switching to Zuho.com...
Hello Dave Zan,.
I think Al Vin could have ignored the lawsuit. All he had to do was try to transfer the domain elsewhere. I don't know why he decided to gave up so easily. Maybe the domain was already locked by godaddy. We all know how terrible godaddy is on these issues. Anywhere but godaddy would be safer.
Actually it is very important for us domainers to know how a registrar would act in certain situations. For instance, would moniker lock the domain after snapnames had filed a lawsuit or would they wait until a court order?.
Which are the best non-US registrars that will ignore a US court order? There are lots of questions to ask. I haven't seen much info at namepros on these topics...
Generally registrars lock a domain name upon receipt of a court order or UDRP.
I don't believe snapnames could have taken that domain with UDRP. It was not used in bad faith and Al Vin had a trademark for that name. Here is a smillar wipo case. The domain inquestion was homedepo.com and the respondent had a trademark for it.
The only way for them to get this domain was a court order, but there is none yet. Al Vin could have tried transfering the domain out to another registrar in another country who doesn't care about US court orders.
Of course we don't know yet if Godaddy started bitching immediately when they were informed about the filing. They are known to bend over for big companies...
Zuho.com is Officially Launching on.
Tuesday 09th October 2007.
Swapnames.com is now Zuho.com..
I just read the complaint. Here is the link to the lawyer who filed it: www.stoel.com/showbio.aspx?Show=476&Tab=55.
I remember Stoel. Two years ago I offered to let them participate in an auction for OregonLawyers.com with a reserve of $500. They passed on the opportunity to participate in the auction. W-what?..
I just checked out Zuho.com and it is up and running. Nice site and service.
Apart from all the legal stuff, I actually like Zuho a lot. Catchy name!..
Sorry to hear you lost swapnames. big companies and their lawyers always bulling people around, does anyone knows who was it?..
Snapnames.com vs. Swapnames.com..
Points to consider,.
1. swapnames.com domain was registered as a similar name 4 years after snapnames.com.
2. Snapnames has a registered trademark in this calssification, swapnames does not..
3. Swapnames.com USPTO filing is in the wrong classification, pehaps an incompetent attorney, or perhaps to avoid the proper classification review..
4. The sniff test of protection is "similar and possibly confusing" when placed in the same classification where the names belong, swapnames.com does not pass.
If the use of the domain was for changing your last name from Smith to Jones and that was the swapnames.com use and they filed properly, I'd understand the issues with snapnames.com. But as is looks here, they walked away because this one was not worth the fight, and they knew it. I see no bully, and one has a duty, right and obligation to enforce the protections afforded by registered trademark protection status.
I'm a domain owner and having gone thru the registered trademark owner process, I get the key issue concerns of the previous post but I lean toward the registration of a unique name for development, like the new name there using. It avoids the possibility of a worse case scenario!.
I was very sad to hear of this action by snapnames.com.
Swapnames.com clearly consistes of two common dictionary words. These words were being used in their generic sense.
Swapping as we know is common on domain threads, perhaps Snap were not quite as aware of this as domainers might have been.
I have used snapnames for years, I have never once typed in "swapnames" instead of snapnames.com.
However every cloud has a silver lining, this story at least will get the new zuho.com which looks excellent some good publicity!..
Myth 1 - swapnames IS NOT a registered mark.
(words only): SWAPNAMES.COM.
Standard Character claim: Yes Current Status: A non-final action has been mailed. This is a letter from the examining attorney requesting additional information and/or making an initial refusal. However, no final determination as to the registrability of the mark has been made.
Date of Status: 2007-08-01.
Filing Date: 2006-12-06 Transformed into a National Application: No Registration Date: (DATE NOT AVAILABLE).
Myth 2 - The TM registration is not for domain services..
Word Mark SWAPNAMES.COM Goods and Services IC 038. US 100 101 104. G & S: Telecommunications services, namely, electronic transmission of data, images and documents via computer terminals; electronic store-and-forward messaging; electronic mail services, and facsimile transmission. FIRST USE: 20061101. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20061101.
Emphasis added by me to point out what is actually on file. Regardless if swapnames is similar or confusingly similar, swapnames did not properly protect itself with their filing. If they used the domain in accordance to their filing, they would have a better stance, but they used it in a field which they did not ask for protection...
Snapnames a registered trademark, and the trademark protection also extends to the TLD's based on trademark law.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE.
Patent and Trademark Office.
OFFICE OF ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER FOR TRADEMARKS.
2900 Crystal Drive.
Arlington, Virginia 22202-3513.
EXAMINATION GUIDE NO. 2-99.
September 29, 1999.
MARKS COMPOSED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, OF DOMAIN NAMES.
Generally, for domain name marks (e.g., COPPER.COM), the applicant may add or delete a TLD to the drawing of the mark without materially altering the mark. A mark that includes a TLD will be perceived by the public as a domain name, while a mark without a TLD will not. However, the public recognizes that a TLD is a universally-used part of an Internet address. As a result, the essence of a domain name mark is created by the second level domain name, not the TLD. The commercial impression created by the second level domain name usually will remain the same whether the TLD is present or not.
Example: Amending a mark from PETER to PETER.COM would not materially change the mark because the essence of both marks is still PETER, a persons name.
Similarly, substituting one TLD for another in a domain name mark, or adding or deleting a "dot" or "http://www." or "www." to a domain name mark is generally permitted.
Example: Amending a mark from XYZ.ORG to XYZ.COM would not materially change the mark because the essence of both marks is still XYZ.
Oops, meant swapnames.com my bad ( I guess it can get confusing). The Record is for swapdomains.com which shows it is not a registered mark...
The registrant still owns the name swapnames.com, there has been no surrender of resgitration thus far and still has every right to do with it what they will, so long as they get competent advise as to be within there rights. Forwarding it to the new name was a questionable move, "basically same problem with using it". To maintain ownership and compliance it may be in there best interest to land it elsewhere, and ammend the trademark application prior to final review and publication for opposition..
Even if swapnames.com is not a Registered Mark it is still a Trademark (more specifically a Service Mark) and it's recognized for swapping names by many people ... and is not confused with SnapNames which is basically for acquiring expired (until recently) and deleted domains ...
Besides , SwapNames is consisted of two generic words and trying to enforce a trademark of a two word combination to a trademark of a similar two word combination is not something that will necessarily be successful ...
Similarly , if someone owned macrosoft.com and had a trademark on macrosoft for selling some kind of software that they are making (soft is a rather common abbreviation software) , do you think that Microsoft would try to get his name ? the names have certain similarities (with again only one letter substitution) but they are different ... macrosoft might not be a very good idea for selling software since Microsoft is a well-known company , but "swap" is a very descriptive generic word for swapping names and characteristically different from "snap" ...
Swapnames is not auctioning off deleted domains (or domains in general as the new service SnapNames has recently started to roll out) ... they provide a platform for people communicating and swapping their domains , which kind of naturally expanded to them asking a price instead of a swap ... so I think their Trademark ("Telecommunications services, namely, electronic transmission of data, images and documents via computer terminals; electronic store-and-forward messaging; electronic mail services, and facsimile transmission.") is relevant to the service they provide ...
How about if someone had snipnames.com and was offering a url shortening service as well as a forum (or platform) where domains where sold , would that be infringement too ? it is only one letter which is substituted again ... or how about soapnames , slapnames or swopnames (2 letters).
I think that someone can easily say that SnapNames just wants to acquire a name that is not theirs (maybe they are also thinking about offering a swapping service in the future ???) and that they are trying to use a method that would be considered as "cunning" , to say the least ... if you think that a domain infringes upon your rights , you file a UDRP ... if you are a big company and you know that you are probably gonna lose the UDRP and you file a lawsuit so as to try to intimidate the person/smaller-company ... then you are not exactly trying to play fair .....
It's ironic that the initial reply to this post thread was: Hmm, couldn't have been snapnames that sent that letter could it?.
All points made are valid, relevant and well taken.
I think the crux of this is not with the UDRP the way I read it. The issue is with the use of the name not the fact that they have a website. It's simple name infringement, and the use of the name within the same calssification for which protection has been granted snapnames. There seems to be a possiblility of some confusion to the laymen. Both companies deal in name trading, regardless if you make a mistake typing the word in like a common misspelling, which this clearly is not. But when you try to recall what business it was.
By the same token that swapnames.com might have acted in good faith using the clasification they chose, one could also argue that snapnames by virtue of registered trademark status, may already be protected in name swapping under the "AND PROVIDING DATABASES FEATURING GENERAL AND LOCAL NEWS AND INFORMATION OF INTEREST IN THE FIELD OF DOMAIN NAMES AND THE INTERNET" clause.
I doubt the USPTO would grant any a in the same classification, but see no issue in a not compete class. Ultimately, the only gives you status, you still have to litigate to enforce.
Fortunately there is the UDRP for the domain issues which allows one to set idle, be attacked by someone willing to foot the bill and win without having to defend.
Many Thanks for the opportunity to express my views..
My personal opinion...I wouldn't have used swapnames.com as my site name. Way too close to snapnames.com and it was just calling for problems. Could he defend this ...absolutely but why bother? Snapnames is quickly going downhill and it's like having a name with fly in it..domainfly or registrationfly. Who wants bad association?.
On another note I see swapnames forwards to the new domain...Zuho.com. I am iffy about the name but it's certainly more brandable than swapnames imho.
As to you snapnames...shame on you. Work with swapnames to come to terms don't bully domainers...
Is your WHOIS correct? You live in Malaysia?.
Not sure why they're filing against you in US court, except to try to pull another Bodog incident, where the US court finds in their favor since you aren't likely to come to the US to defend it and force the US based registrar to hand it over.
If the domain isn't suspended (i dont know the correct term), I'd suggest moving it to a registrar in Malayasia and making Snap either come to the proper venue or file a UDRP..
I have read the complaint. Anybody else want to read it? I have a copy of it...
MrMender - since the two names are different and represent different services ... I think they could co-exist without confusion from consumers ... alternatively (if distinct words/meanings like "swap" and "snap" are not considered different) , it might be rather difficult to decide when TM rights end ... eg. would a s**pnames name (2 different letters) considered as infringing too ? ... would SnapNames be able to acquire , for example , shopnames.com ? ... or if shopnames has a TM on their name should they try to acquire snapnames.com since a layman might visit the SnapNames site and then recall it as "shopnames" ?
Using "AND PROVIDING DATABASES FEATURING GENERAL AND LOCAL NEWS AND INFORMATION OF INTEREST IN THE FIELD OF DOMAIN NAMES AND THE INTERNET" , which is basically for domain news , as a stand point for a swapping-names service is kind of far-stretched imo ...
Regarding the UDRP as not being important on this case ... I think it is very important regarding the motives and "fairplayness" of SnapNames ... they probably knew that they would lose in a UDRP dispute (the domain is used in good faith , without any connection to SnapNames) , that's why they tried to intimidate the Swapnames owner with a lawsuit ...
I understand your points (and that they are said in good will) , but an easy way to understand who is right and wrong sometimes , is to ask yourself ... "would you do it ?" ... would you file the lawsuit against a person that has a domain (which even though it has certain similarities with your name , it is also distinctively different) upon which he has developed a service for some time now ?
I own TopSnap()com. Anyone interested in setting up a domain backorder service company to compete and put "you know who" out of business?..
I have just briefly looked at the last few comments in this thread, and there's a lot of junk here.
First - who cares if "swapnames" consists of two common words. So does "snapnames". So does "Network Solutions", and so does "Micro Soft".... I don't even see the point in that observation. Lots of combinations of two common words are trademarks.
Second - I don't care if one is swapping names, selling names, or running drop auctions. All of these services relate to trade in domain names, are in the same general market, and directed to the same highly specialized class of consumers of domain registration services.
Third - OF COURSE one can sue swapnames.com in the United States. The swapnames.com idiots are the ones claiming to be doing business in the United States by, for example, filing their trademark registration application in the United States. If someone chooses to admit doing business in the United States, and files a US trademark registration application, I don't have to go to Malaysia to sue them, regardless of where their registrar may be.
Fourth - It is bleedingly apparent that "SWAPNAMES" is confusingly similar to "SNAPNAMES". If it is not bleedingly apparent to you, then you need to find something other than domain names with which to occupy your idle hours.
Fifth - There is nothing wrong with bringing a lawsuit. A trademark claimant can choose among any of the mechanisms available to them. Well, the USPTO certainly thought otherwise. In refusing their application (they do not have a registered trademark), the Examining Attorney pointed out that the specimen of use they provided doesn't even show those services.
But the whole point of whether they provide services other than trading in domain names is entirely beside the point that they do purport to provide domain name trading services, and one would have to be a drooling moron to consider that a different market from the various services provided by SnapNames. Correct. The application looks like a bullshit maneuver to construct a hokey defense...
What would happen if swapnames had ignored the lawsuit and transfered the domain to a non US registrar?.
If it was me I would rather try this strategy instead giving the domain away...
I wonder why domainers are portrayed in a bad light?..
That's what Bodog finally did after 2 mistakes. Third time's the charm.
Speculation at this point what'll happen (e.g. litigating party enforces decision.
On .com Registry in Virginia). I'd like to believe that won't apply, but my belief.
Obviously won't matter if a court of competent jurisdiction decides otherwise...
Typically, when you file a domain lawsuit, you provide a copy of the filed suit to the registrar. Under the terms of the ICANN RAA, the registrar then has to keep the domain name locked in order to prevent this sort of thing from happening.
Not everyone is stupid...
Points two and four seem to indicate that these two company domains are confusingly similar because they are used in the same general market, not because they would normally be confused side by side if outside of the general market. In other words, if you didn't know which company did what, must the names alone be confusingly similar to the degree that the specifics of the businesses don't matter? Or is it that the domain names don't need to be confusingly similar on their own, but they can be interpreted that way when both used in the same general market?..
You have got to be kidding me! What, that's it? That's all the cojones you guys have? You are a business owner, for crying out loud, learn to defend your money from bogus attacks. How can I use your services knowing you give up so easily and, when you do, jeopardizing the portion of my own business that is dependent on your services?.
The law concerning trademarks in domain names is very basic and easy to understand, and the cases are being decided on case-by-case basis. Get court transcripts (available on the Net for free!) describing similar cases, how they were argued, and what the decisions were and why. Go in front of the judge yourself and fight for your dream.
In case you feel I am full of it, I alone sued Fleet Bank for $9,500 even though at the moment I was a software developer and far from being an attorney. They showed up with two managers and two attorneys, while I was there by myself. Guess what? You learn your opponent's argument, you learn the surrounding, and then you take on the fight.
The bottom line, like with everything else in life, you need to be able to look in the mirror and tell yourself you've done what you could before the things beyond your control took you down...
Maybe Al did before he ultimately decided to give this one up. No one's forced.
To fight every fight, especially when life is short.
Choose your battles wisely...
In my opinion , SwapNames is not confusingly similar to SnapNames when taking into account the target market of those services which is mostly domainers ... domainers can very easily descriminate between two domains (and sites) even if the only difference between them is just one letter , not to mention two different words with different meanings (SWAP and SNAP) , even if they have common letters ... one of the reasons they have acquired that ability is because a single letter change (or an "s" at the end) can result in a big difference in price (spanning from a few dollars to thousands of dollars , for some premium domains) ... I think there are many other highly specialized industries (eg. pharmaceuticals , chemicals , etc) where , while a layman might not be able to discriminate between two rather similar words , the people of the industry would very easily discriminate between them ... for example , wouldn't you be able to descriminate between "SealBoxes" and "SellBoxes" ? again it is just one letter that is different , but the different meanings help for discriminating between the two names ...
Look at those names again ... being a domainer would you ever confuse the two services ? SwapNames instantly correlates with SWAP and the act of swapping names ... while ... SnapNames connects with SNAP/grab (or break) and with snapping or grabbing names (and that after quite some publicity and advertising).
This is one of the reasons I said that SwapNames consists of "two generic words" ... the distinctiveness of the "Swap" part that correlates directly with swapping , makes the confusion between the two sites rather difficult (and even more so for expirienced domainers) ... the second reason I mentioned "two generic words" is because SwapNames is not a slightly altered made-up word of another (TMed) made-up word (like Gougle instead of Google) , or a TMed word combined with another word (eg. SnapNamesSite.com or eSnapNames.com) which would rather easily imply a TM infringement ...
From what I understand from both the International Class and the US Class the SwapNames applied for a Trademark (Communication) , they probably originally intended the site just as a platform for domainers to communicate with each other about swapping domains ... maybe they even intended to incorporate a platform of some kind (like IM or chat) to facilitate the swaps and maybe that's why they applied for a Trademark in "Telecommunications services, namely, electronic transmission of data, images and documents via computer terminals; electronic store-and-forward messaging; electronic mail services, and facsimile transmission." ... when they filed the Trademark Application in November 2006 , probably they didn't thought that they would be confused with SnapNames which at the time was only catching dropped and expired names (SnapNames has started auctioning off other people's domains only this last month or so) ... moreover , SnapNames at the time (Nov 2006) , was not as popular as it is now (back then it wasn't even widely spread that they were acquiring NetSol's expired names before deletion , a service which led to their rise in popularity) and because SWAP and SNAP are characteristically different maybe they did not think that a domainer would confuse the two sites ...
Whether they expanded to a service out of their initial intentions (communication for swapping names >>> swapping/selling) ... when they did it (in chronological connection to the Trademark Application) ... whether they thought that there would be a problem with SnapNames (which at the time was only selling domains , just auctioned dropcatches) ... are issues that only the owner of SwapNames know , but from a domainer standpoint , someone can say that they just liked the descriptiveness of SWAP and decided to develop a swapping site for domainers on it without considering that it would be confused with the dropcatchers SnapNames (Nov 2006) or that SnapNames would start auctioning off third party domains a year later which might get them closer in provided services (provided they did not intend communication-only services at the beginning or afterwards , in which case their services are even more distant) so that some domainers (a very limited number in my opinion) would confuse about the two names and services ...
Lastly ... of course , SnapNames can file a lawsuit if they deem appropriate ... but I think most domainers would consider such an act as "unethical" according to usual domain industry procedures/tactics ... both because they did not file a UDRP (which they would probably lose , since Swapnamews is using the name in good faith and not in connection with (or trying to appear as) SnapNames ... and also because they tried to "strut" their legal and monetary resources in such a manner that the SwapNames owner would possibly not be able to defend himself in a court and possibly decide to give in the domain (which could be described by many as a case of "corporate overstretching" and/or "reverse domain name hijacking").
We should not forget that laws were made to protect the people and not to allow companies to take advantage of people "legally" .....
"Confusingly similar" is also part of the criteria.. confusingly. Even someone who make s a living on the legal aspect of domains said I is confusingly similar. But you are bent to yell load and make no real sense. you obviously haven't read others posts in this thread because you keep rehashing. What you fail to understand is how the domain is actually being used.
Btw- do we need to write a book with each response? to be honest, I grew board...
Are you saying you believe the domain was registered and used in bad faith?.
Do you think he fails the standard litmus test:.
1. that the trademark owner owns a trademark (either registered or unregistered) that is the same or confusingly similar to the registered second level domain name;.
2. that the party that registered the domain name has no legitimate right or interest in the domain name; and.
3. that the domain name was registered and used in bad faith...
If you read the whole post I responded to, he is saying his intent. I countered with actual use. Are you saying he never heard of snapnames.com?..
So, without intent, he must of inadvertently registered and used swapnames.com in bad faith.
Yes, I've read the whole thread; perhaps closer than you...
Everybody can have their own opinion ... when I first saw this thread , I was concerned about a fellow domainer and NPer who had an idea , got a name , developed a site ... and suddenly saw a company sueing him so as to intimidate him to give in the domain because they thought they might lose a couple of customers (who might confuse SWAP with SNAP) ... well , I think that the two names (even if in first impression they might seem similar) they are characteristically different (especially to domainers) because of their meanings ...
Regarding intend , it was mentioned mostly in conjuction with their Trademark Application ... though their possible initial intention (swaps or possibly communications for swaps) together with the intrinsic meaning of the word "swap" can basically show that they were not trying to infringe on SnapNames (strictly dropcatchers at the time).
They have rights to the name , it is discussable whether the name can be confusing and they are using it in good faith ...
So you mean you would sue them to take their name , if you were a lawyer at SnapNames ... that you would ask for the name to be transferred , if you were in the panel of a UDRP ... or that you would decide in favour of SnapNames , if both parties could defend themselves with rather equal resources in a court ... I wonder if SwapNames was a Microsoft service , would they sue ?
The name being confusingly smillar is just one of the criteria in UDRP. Another criteria is using or registering in bad faith. This clearly was not the case.
I strongly believe snapnames could never get this domain via UDRP if there was any kind of defence by the respondent. This is exactly the reason why they didn't follow UDRP route.
Some people are too obsessed with the idea that the name is confusingly smillar. You know what, OK, it is confusingly smillar. So what? Still it was registered and used in good faith.
Because swapnames is now forwarded to the current site it shows the owner has some control over it. It is likely that the the domain was and is not suspended by godaddy and the owner has still a chance to transfer it out...
Maybe. But is Microsoft that stupid when it comes to this sort of thing? That is what's being debated in a court of law. Unfortunately, Al stands a big.
Chance of losing this since he's chosen not to dispute it.
If he's able to transfer it out to some non-US registrar before Go Daddy locks.
It, well...we'll see how far Snap will go. And it's fine not to do business with.
Snap whatever the results of this dispute will be...
In general it is advisable that a company uses a unique name to identify it's services ... but in the modern world , that there are so many brands , there is the possibilty that two brand names can "come" close to each other lexically , or start at different fields and through expansions come closer market-wise ...
But , especially if the meanings are specific and different (like in this case "swap" and "snap") I don't think that one company should try to "eliminate" the brand name of the other company or try to take their domain name ...
And ever more so not by using a method that would appear as "unethical" to most people (like in this case knowing that a UDRP would probably be decided against them , trying to "intimidate" the smaller company with a lawsuit).
Since Microsoft is quite an innovator (and a new product might expand in many different fields afterwards) they might have chosen a more "made-up" word (though SwapNames does have it's merits in terms of descriptiveness) ... but , how about if Microsoft bought a company that had SwapNames amongst it's brands , do you think they would not buy the company because of the discussed possible legal issues ? ... or do you think SnapNames would in that case sue SwapNames ? ... I think it is rather obvious that SnapNames does try to take the name because they think it infringes their trademark (consider what a UDRP panel would say) , but because they think they can "intimidate" the owner to give it in .....
I don't see how the existence of swapnames can hurt snapnames financially. I don't even see how the brand of snapnames can benefit swapnames. They are both different businesses even though they cater to the same market. You can't backorder a domain at swapnames. Neither can you trade domains at snapnames...
If you read my responses closely, not once did I say he is a squatter or what he did was willfully wrong about what he was doing. I am going by an unbiased view of facts and keeping personal agenda out of it unlike many domainers are sometimes incapable of doing. I am also going by previous cases I read to try to establish how it would apply here. Here is what I see:.
A name that could conceivably be concidered "confusingly similar", even a legal expert said as much.
Operates in the same field and smae services with an establish company of a similar name that does have a registered mark..
Filed for a registered mark, but is usaging the domain that does not come under the catagories filed..
States his domain is the the swapping, buying and selling of domain names.
Now, if you uctually want my true personal opinion, which I rarely reveal. he may have set up the company with good intentions, I also believe he did some things incorrectly and doesn't seem to be focused on a well laid out business plan (maye he got some bad advice? like, "it is a 1 letter difference go ahead and do it"). Many of the arguments here are fluff (data transfer??!?). Personally, I would have skipped UDRP because I do not believe his intentions were to squat. I would have filed in court to enforce my trademark of snapnames and argue confusingly similar. To support that fact, I got the names mixed up on this very thread where I meant one name and typed the other.
Sometimes people need to be realistic and keep their passion out of the equasion.
Carfax= get a "car history" report.
Carmax= selling cars.
They are not competing companies. See the difference? Though carfax does offer a car search, but they do not sell the cars...
Of all the shite I have read in this thread this has filtered through to the top and is wise advice for all who dare to tread ....
So basically you don't think is a squatter , you think that he may have set up the company with good intentions and you don't think he was willfully wrong at what he was doing ... but still you say that you would sue him to take his domain which basically a different name than yours , it is not the .net or another extension of your exact name , it is not a small variation (or typo) of your name (eg. a random letter switch) , it is a completely different word (SWAP) with a completely different meaning that you said you understood the reasoning for it's registration (which was made with good intentions without an attempt to infringe on your TM) ... and you don't think that is "over-stretching" ? don't you think that you would be trying to mess a little too much with another person's business who not only did not try to mess with yours but you know he had no intention to mess with it ...
"electronic transmission of data, images and documents" and "electronic store-and-forward messaging" were mentioned in the case that the owner of SwapNames had initially intended for just a communication platform (eg. something like a PM , IM , chat , etc) for domainers to swap domains , which could be considered as a rather different service from the dropcatching service SnapNames was providing at the time ... and that together with the different (and descriptive) part of the name (SWAP) it would logically not be considered as infringing with the SnapNames TM ...
Carfax not only offers a search for used cars , which brings up hundreds of specific used cars from carfax dealers with instructions on how to buy them , but surely you must consider that that service (the listing of used cars for sale) is on the general car trading market (or the more specific used car trading market) that carmax operates in ...
It is rather logical that since the commodity is the same in a market (eg. cars , names , etc) some names of some companies will be close lexically to each other ... as long as the meanings of the different parts of the names are different , I don't think that one company should try to "eliminate" the other and especially with "tricky" ways .....
Again, you are missing the point, snapnames is protecting their TM, and court is the best avenue. This is a trademark case NOT a cybersquatting case. But it will seem similar. I do not believe snapnames is overreaching at all, I do consider the names "confusingly similar" and that is his downfall.
As far as mentioning his intent, well, he never set up the site as intended use, so basically his intent means nothing, it is how he actually used it. For the most part, the intent is just to blow smoke to mask the real usage of the domain, which in this case is competing services...
Everybody can have their opinion ...
I see a domainer trying to set up a site and a company trying to "use muscle" to "intimidate" someone so as to take something that is not theirs ... and while they know they would lose in UDRP (which is not only for cybersquatters).
You see a company trying to enforce their TM with the method they think is more appropriate ...
In my opinion , the fact remains that the name because of it's meaning and correlated activity (swapping) can easily be discriminated from SnapNames (especially if it was used as two different words as in "SWAP NAMES").
(as mentioned before intent was mentioned mostly in conjuction with the Trademark Application and also so as to see the possible motives of the owner of SwapNames)..
Who else except Snapnames is confused? Man, if the person working at Snapnames can get confused about the 2 names, then he should quit the domain industry. Same field yes, but same services? Show us how swapnames financially benefits from snapnames established presence or trademark. I remember alot of you said that even if the name "xxxxxxx" is not filed as a registered trademark, the fact that it is in usage will imply that this person or company will have trademark over the name.
Now, swapnames may have filed it's trademark in the wrong category, but it still doesn't take away the trademark claims that it has over the OTHER correct categories that it hasn't filed yet. It's like someone having a TM claim but hasn't filed the register TM yet...
As I mentioned, I got the name wrong in this thread becuase they were confusingly similar. I guess I should leave the business? You say a guy at snapnames, but what about the public?? an online marketplace for domain name owners to actively swap, buy or sell their domain names This was from the swapnames "About Us" page... Buy and selling names, wouldn't that be what snapnames offers. Yes a drop service, but none the less, buying and selling domain names. It about protecting their mark, that is their motivation, to make sure there is no marketplace confusion. Yes, as long as it is not challenged, that is correct.
Unless you are part of swapnames, you have absolutely no idea if they filed in the wrong catagory or if this was thier initial intentions. So you cannot say one way or the other. As far as applying for under the correct catagory, well, they took the initiative in filing for a registered mark and thier actions shows there intentions, they diviated from that, whether intentionally or unintentionally. In business, if you do not properly do your filings, you could find yourself in trouble. Well, the facts show something isn't right.
I made my personal feelings known on this issue, he was either careless, uninformed, received bad advice, or any number of things, but what is showing is not helping him...