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I recently purchased a domain name, through deleted auction for a hefty premium ($2900). I thought I did a TM search but apparently I may have done a patent search.

SO, heres the nitty gritty:.

Name has been regged since 2001. Was originally a video game rental service (online), until January 2006, where it apparently went to a new /img/avatar6.jpg. The new /img/avatar6.jpg ran the site as a "best online video rentals" site till he recently let it expire. There have been 24 changes in whois according to

Exhibit A: Their TM

Current site:

Logos are nothing alike, in fact mine is way better but thats beyond the point. The site will (or was) going to be a video archive site. The logo and direction of the intended site are nothing like their TM'ed logo or their old service.

I can provide the email they sent upon request.

I need some advice here. They have not offered to buy the name to even recover my cost, and they have obviously not had the name for almost 2 years (what idiot lets their name expire for 2 years when running a business??)... I would rather keep it but would not mind recouping my cost only, but I am willing to fight them tooth and nail if they don't even want to recoup my costs...

Comments (18)

Your link didn't work for me. Unfortunately for you, if they do have a trademark on the name, it's most likely hand it over time...

Comment #1

If you want to provide a link to a USPTO record, first clink on the button labeled "TARR" and post THAT link.

TESS (trademark electronic search system) links are session-specific. Nobody can see the thing to which you are trying to link...

Comment #2


I would like to see email. Personally I can't see them having much of a claim against you. If you use the domain outside the scope of their TM then you are not violating their mark. That doesn't mean they won't try. One thing to consider is how much are you willing to spend to retain this. The other is how much are they willing to spend in legal fees to get it back.

Is the letter from a lawyer or firm?.

I think you can successfully fight this imho (not a lawyer though)...

Comment #3


Interesting tidbit....

Transformed into a National Application: No.

Does that mean it's a state TM?..

Comment #4

Description of Mark The color blue is claimed as a feature of the mark. The color blue appears in the curve above the wording...

Comment #5

Yeah... hey I have heard you are pretty good with this stuff. Some more interesting tidbits: the C&D is generic and anonymous. No names, lawyers, firms, etc are noted. There is no real address or phone number information. According to someone who has been helping me, the LLC could be in question as well to it's status.

The email came from a gmail address as well, and no certified letters from a lawyer have yet been received (so I'm not worried, just doing my homework)...

Comment #6

Is a design mark, use very specific for a business that apparantly no longer operates, and registered less than 5 years...

Also, I noticed that one can now access the actual documents filed - note the link "Trademark Document Retrieval" towards the top to the right ... never noticed that before - in your situation, it will give you a lot of insight as to who the person is, what they were thinking, etc ... in my view, the TM registrant is an amateur on a limited budget - likely not able to mount any real challenge even if they wanted to ... you mention that ownership may have changed at least once since then - that further may help you, since I don't see any TM assignment paperwork on file at the USPTO - not necessarily required, but the lack of it would be another indication, in addition of allowing the domain to expire from non-use, that their mark was no longer actively being used in commerce.

My view is this domain is a KEEPER - definitely worth spending a few bucks to fend off any challenges, and in the meantime, build it out as you have planned.


Comment #7

One more tidbit I dug up :blush:.

The original company was an LLP (partnership), then in 2005, was changed to an LLC (sole proprieter), then shortly after in 2006, "business" operations discontinued and the domain was used for other purposes (some informational site about rental companies like netflix according to

I will update this thread as I find more information, if I actually get a certified letter from a lawyer, or some other such piece of info.

Thanks for all the advice thus far...

Comment #8

Naw... I suck at this stuff. I'm taking a thrashing in another thread for being so bad...

Comment #9

So modest...

Any feelings/suggestions/ideas thus far? So far gut instincts says to ignore it until/unless I get a certified letter from a lawyer...the more I look at the letter it just looks like a cookie-cutter form, you know the kind you copy and paste and enter your info in the [Your Name] spots?..

Comment #10

Mine says that also based on what I've read so far...

Comment #11

I can't remember offhand, the last time I sent anyone a certified letter. The practice of law is, in many instances, a lot less formal than it used to be.

I've been embarassed by being skeptical of things like yahoo or gmail email addresses, only to find out that, yes, they were indeed sent by reputable lawyers.

Take my website... it doesn't go on for pages about how wonderful I am and, as on most lawyer websites, how I've won every important case since Cain slew Abel, but then again, I already have too much work to do, so I don't see the point in advertising for more. It's just a placeholder for my contact information. I don't even look like that picture, which was taken years ago.

It would, however, be unusual for a lawyer to send an email in his/her capacity as a lawyer, and not identify him/herself...

Comment #12

Many people use email becuase it is the 21st century, so just because you don't get a certified letter (that is often spouted around here as a must), does not mean it is worthless. I think you prefer to tell us indirectly Isn't it a big no no to not identify yourself as a lawyer in correspondance acting in that capacity (or potentially in that capacity)?. If so, what are the penalties if I may ask?..

Comment #13

It is a design trademark, does that prevent you from doing business under the name? I am curious.


Comment #14

As am I...not only that it's for a very specific service...

Comment #15

Wouldn't the quesiton be, are they able to make a claim for common law TM and to have someone in a deciding capacity believe them? The TM is for a design mark, it can be argued that their name is descriptive, and they know it based on the fact they only filed a TM for thier logo. And yes, your usage will paly a part too. If you link to thier company, that could be looked down on. Remember, domaining is not a well like business because of the squatters out there. Personally, I do feel we start at a disadvantage when it comes challenges, so even the slight impropriety could hurt you...

Comment #16

Thanks for the input. However, I feel I can just as easily contest the term Game and Replay as being generic and a google search on "Game Replay". It is a common term in sports and video games for watching a recorded video of game play.

Good point on the linkage... I have no plans to link to them, or any other video game rental service since thats what their TM and business is about. Should the threat be legit, and they (he) actually does attempt to pursue me through legal channels, I am prepared to challenge him on any and everything, including the TM. On a side note, I put another tag on the splash screen to help reduce confusion of what the site is: ... I honestly don't see how you can take <...Frag | Upload | Share...> to have anything to do with game rentals. Whats your take?.

At any rate no sign of physical mail. If he sent it supposedly last week, it should be here in the next couple days usually.....

Comment #17

I'll be darned if it's an actual mail for a filed UDRP...

Comment #18

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


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