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Did you ever think the guy looking to buy TM/ typo domains could be a corporate detective in disguise?.

Well, if you thought nonsense then you are very wrong... they are out there and very active.

My tip of the day.....

Comments (11)

Not surprised really.

I stay clear of problem names so I sleep better at night...

Comment #1

Domain entrapment? If a corporate detective finds a TM, what's the benefit of tempting a buyer to sell? Just to file charges? Why do this instead of a C&D?..

Comment #2

I wondered about this myself especially if they ask for a specific industry, now that domaintools sells a list of all the names we own I guess it could be a possibility, microsoft sells a program to track misspells/typos of trademarks also. I suspect after a few lawsuits like in the music industry we will see a lot of tm's dropping, but the truth is if anyone was really intersted they could do a search on a big domain sales platform and find all the tm names they wanted..

Comment #3

This approach could land the company filing the lawsuit into more trouble than it's worth. Although I don't know much law, I do believe that entrapment of any sorts is illegal and can be fought against in a court of law...

Comment #4

Of course this type of thing goes on. Regarding entrapment it really depends on how they went about approaching you.

If for example you advertised the domain for sale on Namepros and the investigator pretended to be interested in buying then no it is not actually entrapment.

If however the investigator contacted you and offered to buy the domain name and you accepted then yes that could be classed as entrapment as he made the 1st move (in the other scenario you made the 1st move by advertising it in the 1st place).

The advantage that could be gained from doing this is quite simple, you may feed them with information that they could use in a UDRP or other civil case. Such information may be harder to get elsewhere so it can save them a lot of hassle and expenditure...

Comment #5

Does entrapment mean the same in civil cases as criminal court I woulsd suspect not because criminal court has a much higher standard of proof, would like to hear lawyers opinion on this..

Comment #6

I think it would be much stricter in a criminal court. The burden of proof in a civil court is much lower as the penalties are lower...

Comment #7

As far as I am aware, entrapment only exists in criminal cases, and directly involving the actions of police to coerce people into committing crimes. The idea is thus, if not for the police, the person would have never committed the crime. I don't think this applies to civil suits. In the case of a TM issue, the "crime" has already been committed when you registered the domain in bad faith. If someone posts a message wanting to buy TM domains and you instantly think of a few domains you have that fall into that category, than it's a safe bet that you are absolutely aware that they are violating someone's TM.....

Comment #8

Good point, RR...Once a seller posts a TM domain for sale, there is no need for a detective to pretend to buy it. The fact that it's for sale is enough for a C&D...and penalties should the company push it hard...

Comment #9

On the other hand if you reg a domain and they get a lawyer to contact you asking your intentions with the domain and ask if you are willing to sell but not announcing themselves that could be construed as entrapment as you may not have had the idea to sell until they came along and asked if it was for sale.

How this would stand in a UDRP as offering to sell to the trademark owner is another matter though...

Comment #10

Not saying this is law, but a good quote from the movie "Entrapment":.

Gin: You stole my suitcase?.

Mac: I'm a thief. So sue me..


Gin: I said this is called entrapment..

Mac: No, actually it's called blackmail. Entrapment is what cops do to thieves.

And now Black's on Entrapment: -Allan..

Comment #11

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


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