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GoDaddy reviews : Suggest I order GoDaddy?? To what extent can a similar trademark to a generic term be defended?

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I've started pitching my domain name VoIP-Reviews.com to end-users. This morning I received a response from VoIPReview.org stating that they own a trademark on "Voip Review" and will sue to protect their mark - and apparently already have, but I found no record of the case in Google. I can definitely see losing the case for the confusing similarity between their mark and my domain name, but to what extent can one defend a trademark on generic search term like this?..

Comments (13)

You have a parked page. The claimant has a mark with the same words:.

Word Mark VOIP REVIEW.

Goods and Services IC 035. US 100 101 102. G & S: BROADBAND PHONE SERVICE LISTINGS, NAMELY, DIRECTORY INFORMATION. FIRST USE: 20031001. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20031201.

So in theory you are in a tough spot since you left the page parked...

Comment #1

Yours is "VoIP-Reviews.com". As long as you market it that way it should be okay. Theirs (word mark) is "VOIP REVIEW". As long as they market it that way it should be okay. As such, "VOIP REVIEWS" should not infringe on their mark, just like "REVIEW VOIP" will not.

That being said, I am not a lawyer and my response is not and should not be taken as a legal advice. It all depends on if you have enough money to fight back and if you can find a friendly court - friendly to your side of the story...

Comment #2

Have you seen this yet? Decision: Voip Review LLC v Nokta Internet Technologies.

It should be noted that the domain VOIPReview.com was bought for $15,000 via Sedo (reported at DNjournal.com) in February of last year. I assume it was bought by the owner of voipreview.org -after- he lost the WIPO decision linked above.

Entertaining story...

Comment #3

Thx paxton, good find!!.

It is always a fine line but this decision looks like they wanted to reverse hijack the domain name in question :-) well, I am just a cyber squatter according to the whole world since I do "domain business", what do I know?????? LOL.

Cheers.

Liquid..

Comment #4

So if "cybersquatters" are those that sit on domain names closely related to trademarks, what do you call someone who trademarks generic search terms and bullies domain owners over their mark? It all seems a bit ridiculous, and frankly a bit shady. Am I obligated to do trademark research for every generic domain name I pick up?.

I'm not interested in throwing money away to defend this opinion in court, but I'd like to respond to the guy. While I'd love to put him in his place, I don't want to provoke him into filing a UDRP complaint or lawsuit...

Comment #5

Unfortunately that is the biggest issue, too many are banking on that and register names close to a TM, especially NOOBs in the biz... They try to have a reverse hijack of the domain name and it happens way to often even if sometimes they prevail, that is why it is more than complicated/ depends on more..... Yes you have to.... I had that problem recently and it cost me at least 16 bucks lol(didn't make enough research upfront and I am no NOOB)...but seriously, do it and you will save in the long run.....generic is not the term to use or think about, it is more like"distinctive".

Cheers.

Liquid..

Comment #6

This is one of the reasons I am so disappointed in GoDaddy's recent surge in recommending hyphenated domains to people. "VOIPReview" is close enough to "VOIPReviews" to warrant a successful trademark defense, in my opinion. Hyphens are fine if we're talking pure product, like bowling-ball, but once you get into any element of subjectivity (and I mean ANY, including the current example), I think the owner has every right to be upset.

It's terrible the extra length business owners have to go to these days in order to protect their trademarks. It seems every year there are more extensions (not to mention hyphens) and registrars damn sure don't have the ethics not to market them to beginners, and sell them to folks who couldn't care less even if they did know better. Hopefully search engines will stop contributing to this bull & start severely penalizing hyphenated domains in the near future - that at least would be a start...

Comment #7

I picked up the domain on a drop and transferred it over to GoDaddy, it was not a recommended GoDaddy domain. The reason I grabbed it was the reasonable amount of search traffic and CPC as reported by Google's keyword tool. I guarantee that 99.9% of the thousands of people searching the exact match "voip reviews" are not looking for the "Voip Review" trademark holder's brand/website - they are looking for reviews of VoIP services. Therefore, the domain name should be considered generic in nature and no different than your bowling-ball.com example...

Comment #8

I agree, this is just so unfair. It as clearly a review site. Where exactly do you do your trademark checks? I found UD.com. But not sure how good it is. Any other good places to check for TM?..

Comment #9

Search for TESS on google or go to uspto.gov.

Cheers.

Liquid..

Comment #10

That's for US.

You should really got to the WIPO site and check the Madrid database for international marks...

Comment #11

I'm sure it was an honest mistake - I've made similar ones myself. Maybe you misunderstood my comment about GoDaddy. I didn't mean to imply that you registered it because they recommended it - I was pointing it out because it is something they ARE doing very frequently now for people who try to reg new domains, and I saw it as a relevant example of how hyphenated domains are picking up traction.

For example, say a person who doesn't know anything about the domain business surfs to GoDaddy for the first time and tries to reg "talkischeap.com." Up until a few months ago, GoDaddy would simply show it was taken in however many extensions. Nowadays, oftentimes GoDaddy will recommend something like, "talk-is-cheap.com. My point is that by having this type of recommendation in their algorithm, GoDaddy is contributing to this type of problem - and it is a problem.

Like it or not, there is a big difference between bowling-ball.com and voip-review/s.com. It starts at the various trademark databases. Beyond that it continues into a large gray area dictated mostly by the ethics of each domainer. In the future it will be more regulated, but for now, the wild west. For better and worse!..

Comment #12

Very confusing. If a marked name is logged as DEAD, does this mean that I would be in the clear to register that exact domain name with a prefix or suffix, or could there still be issues?.

If that name was alive would I be able to do that provided there were not any similar names?.

Also, from what I understand Australia does not recognize the Madrid Protocal. Does anybody know if this is correct?.

Many thanks..

Comment #13


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

 

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