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GoDaddy reviews : Advise I go GoDaddy?? What is an illegal domain name regarding trademark?

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I have registered domain names for an upcoming release of a product. The release has been known for quite some time and surprisingly, the domains were available. I would like to know if there are certain domains that are illegal, if I'm planning to offer a service related to the products trademarked name...

Comments (6)

I am not an attorney.

Legality will depend on your jurisdiction. However, if you are using someone else's trademark for commercial purposes without their permission, you are opening yourself up to civil action usually in the form of a lawsuit...

Comment #1

You may want to consider posting in the Legal Issues section of the forum by visiting http://www.namepros.com/legal-issues-and-disputes/There are many people who could probably provide more assistance to you there if you were more detailed on your issue...

Comment #2

Yep.

For example, say General Motors is about to launch a new car called the Pudding (smarter than some of their recent moves).

If you go out and buy Pudding.biz for the purpose of selling non-GM built add-ons for the car then GM can sue you for damages and also file a UDRP to take away the Pudding.biz name.

Now here is where it gets a bit tricky. If you owned the name before you could reasonably know about the car and you do not use it to compete with GM or confuse their customers then you should be OK. In this example, since pudding is a dictionary word, then you could use the domain for a site about food and be OK, regardless of when you bought it. And you probably could sell non-GM built add-ons (clearly marked as such) on a website that does not use GM trademarks in the name.

Generally, it is a lot less trouble to avoid trademarked names...

Comment #3

Amen to what AccentNepal finished with: avoid TM names or (derivatives)unless you have a rock solid business model that complements what the TM holder is trying to do without infringing on their rights. Slippery slope...

Comment #4

Domains aren't illegal...it's how you use them that might be.

Trademarks protect a specific usage for a mark. Tide.com could be used for surfer discussions generically but Tide.com couldn't be used for a commercial detergent sales site. See the difference?.

Spend some time reading legal threads here...

Comment #5

But seriously, this may well end in tears:.

Just registering a domain name can be seen as cybersquatting in some jurisdictions. In the UK, see Global Projects Management Ltd v Citigroup Inc.

GPM regged citigroup.co.uk on the same day the merger of citibank and travellers group was announced. The timing was considered important.

As you are probably not aware, UDRP panellists can use whatever jurisdiction that they choose to looking at TM case law when settling disputes - this has been a major criticism of the process.

So, if you have regged a TM, after it was announced, then be careful.

Not a lawyer, but am a LLM student studying IP on the Internet...

Comment #6


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

 

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