I feel sorry for you. I nearly purchased this domain name ;-).
First step is to check German TM database: https://dpinfo.dpma.de/index_e.html.
Also check OAMI for EU-wide TMs: http://oami.eu.int/en/default.htm.
IMO it's total BS. She is not the TM holder so she has no rights over the domain name. She's blackmailing you. It's a scare tactic because she wants to get the name for cheap (free ?). Tell her to get lost..
Thanks sdsinc for the advice.
This is what I will do in the next few days:.
Admin C: I have also noticed that the Admin C etc still shows the information of the previous owner. I have contacted EuroDNS where the name is hosted. Lets see what that brings up..
I contacted the previous owner and he never had any problems.
On the threatening email: I will not answer now and just wait and see. I also have an offer through Sedo which looks quite good and if that goes through I will sell it. But lets wait and see.
On trademark issue: I also wait and see here whether anyone contacts me.
I will update this thread once I know more.
Good luck and let us know what the outcome is..
Sell her the domain at a reasonable price and then you contact the trademark owner, if she wants to play dirty then so be it...
The second link gave me this info: Don't know if this is worrysome?..
I think you should remove it from Sedo asap. Tell her sorry but it's been sold.. Change whois and if possible do whois guard.
Make a holder page for the site.
Start to prepare for trouble asap.
I am pretty sure the de extension has less protection for 3 letter domain than .com extension. You should get it off Sedo quickly and use the domain in good faith asap...
THanks for the advice.
Why do you think I should get it of Sedo and change the whois?.
Is this something you do when you have trademark violation threats?.
So far what I have researched is there no violation of trademark.
Am I right in assuming that there is no violation if I am not trying to make money from other peoples trtademark? For example if I would own nokia.org and but ads with nokia phones on it. That would be a violation right?.
In the case of dfe.de I am planning to use the shopping keyword on the parking page and not anything the above stated trademark owner has registered. My main goal with this acquisition was to sell it for more then bought.
Is this the right way of understanding this trademark issue?.
Advice from other forum members is also appriciated.
Regarding your example and please don't take this advice as absolute but Nokia is a made up word and is not a dictionary word so even if you would sell or advertise other goods as mobile cellphones you would still have to hand over the domain.
You are in this example infringing on their trademark.
I think what you are refering to is for example the Apple case where Apple computers and Apple music where having differences on trademark issues.
These two companies are both called Apple but Apple is a generic word and as long as the two companies have both different business practices both can continue to operate under the name Apple.
The trademark issue that was recently going on between these companies is because Apple computers was getting into the music business and thereby causing confusion since Apple music was already involved with music.
As long as two companies with similar generic business names have different business pratices they are allowed to operate under this generic name..
But if one is entering the business field of the other similar generic business name holder this business is infringing on their trademark.
Nokia is a made up word and can be claimed by a single business and can also be enforced as such that it is only intended for one business only.
For instance Google is a made up word and no other company/individual may offer business of any kind or services under the name Google or have the name Google incorporated in their business name.
In your case you could use dfe.de for other type of business that the current trademark is involved in.
As long as you are not involving dfe.de with these practices: you should have nothing to worry about.
Claiming rights to an acronym is even a harder challenge for the claiming party and I don't think they will have a chance of taking this domain from you.
You could for instance have the domain UPS.com and start a site that is about Underwear-Pants-Shorts and you would have legitimate use for this domain and UPS would not have a chance of taking this domain from you.
At least this is my perception if I am wrong please inform me about this fellow members.
But like Labrocca said you better be safe then sorry and take precautions as soon as possible..
Then I would try do more research on the matter and whatever you do don't offer the domain for sale for a while unless you truly know the other party is not a business that can claim trademark rights to it.
I think they have no case against you since you are not in the same type or planning to be in the same type of business they are involved in.
Thanks for the advice Damion.
I will take the name of the market and see how it turns out.
What would I do without the brilliant advice on NP.
Does anyone know how to take a domain from the market at Sedo when there are still offers on it?.
I think you can cancel negotiations and then you could remove it from your account within the domain management function when you log into your account. Point the DNS to your hosting provider parking space and that's it.
And regarding cancelling the negotiations you can do this via the "view offers" link and continue from there..
I am not sure about this so you could ask member Sedo how you could do the cancellations for your domain.
If it is possible leave the potential buyers a message that you are putting the sale on hold for a while in regards with potential development plans and that either you would need an offer that meets your expectations at best as possible so that you conclude the sale right then and otherwise you would put it on hold for now to look into further development options since you have been aproached by some people that are willing to help you with this.
Maybe this will result in a quick sale for you and the whole trademark issue would not be a problem anymore for you then or you could continue negotiations later on when things have cooled off a bit...hopefully.
But don't mention the trademark issues to the potential buyers for your domain that have been bidding on your domain..
Thanks again Damion for your very useful advice.
By not disclosing you were contacted about TM issues with a domain, that could put you in a possible liability/fraud position. This means, not only could the TM holder come after you even though you no longer own the domain, but the buyer could come after you for not disclosing this fact and that you may have no right to sell the domain. So you could pay for your legal fees, the TMs legal fees and the buyers legal fees plus any damages. Just wanted to clear that up.....
WOW, I was not aware of this Phil..
Thanks for telling this!..
In any agreement for the sale of the domain you can create an agreement such as.
"Buyer is responsible for using the domain in a legal manner. Seller will not be held liable for any Trademark abuse by the buyer. The seller also makes claim that the domain has no current litigation. The seller takes on full rights to the domain and all legal issues henceforth.".
Or something like that...
Knowingly selling a domain name without disclosing a pending claim would not be ethical..
Some people have been thrown out of another forum just for that..
That would not release you from liability for originally owning the domain. The TM holder can still come after you and get his money (you know the whole speel).. but it was mentioned to hide information which is where I responded...
Oh I agree but I have used similar working in large deals that may have TM problems. Realistically you don't want a buyer coming back to you 4 months after the sale wanting a refund because they got a UDRP.
And DNQ...Yeah I was careful not to word that where it mentions anything about being previous issues. I know it won't absolve the person of their original TM problem but selling or not you have that problem already.
I am all for full disclosure..that's how business should be conducted and it's how I do business. But the OP asked and where there is a will there is a way...