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I received this letter today and would appreciate any advice on how to handle this. The matter is my name '' and they claim it's theirs as they have a TM on 'Danette'.

It's kind of funny the letter is addressed to 'Dear Sirs' and sent by a woman.

In my opinion:.

- 'Danet' is not similar to 'Danette' and, although I know of Danone, I have never heard of this product 'Danette'..

- The word 'Danet' in all major tld's is owned by other people then Danone as well.

Any advice is highly appreciated, thanks!.


Paris, January 31, 2008.

RE: domain name <>.

O/Ref: F2084 OP 166/ OP.

Dear Sirs,.

We are acting as Intellectual Property Attorneys on behalf of the French.

Company COMPAGNIE GERVAIS DANONE, which head office is 17, Boulevard.

HAUSSMANN, 75009 Paris.


As you are aware, our client is a worldwide leading company in fresh dairy.

Products and bottled water. It owns numerous trademarks protected around the world, which are very well-known especially in the field of food products..

It owns particularly the trademark DANETTE protected in many countries.

DANETTE is a very popular dessert dedicated to both children and adults..

DANETTE is available through a wide range of flavours.

DANETTE is one of our clients main trademark for superior quality fresh.

Dairy products. It is an extremely valuable asset that must be protected.

Against infringement and other misuses that dilute and weaken it's scope of.

Protection and the favourable reputation this mark has achieved.

COMPAGNIE GERVAIS DANONE owns numerous registered trademarks DANETTE around the world, such as the following trademarks:.

* DANETTE N569 704, filed in Kenya on May 6, 1991;.

* N797 657, filed in Kenya on December 23, 2002 ;.

* DANETTE N 529 820 filed in France on October 5, 1979 and duly renewed;.

* N93 458 854 filed in France on March 10, 1993 ;.

* DANETTE N364 756 filed on January 8, 1970 and duly renewed.

(international trademark);.

Our client is aware of the creation and the use of the domain name.


The following links are available on the site where the <> domain.

Name directs: danone, danette and activia.

The use of the trademark DANETTE and the registration of such a domain name have obviously been done in bad faith and create a risk of confusion in the mind of consumers which cannot be tolerated.

The domain name <> contains and reproduces our clients trademark DANETTE.

The registration and use of the above mentioned domain name constitute an.

Infringement to the Trademark Act, which prohibits reproduction, use or.

Affixing of a mark without the authorization of the /img/avatar3.jpg of the registration.

Besides, it also constitutes an unfair competition act to direct Internet.

Users searching for DANETTE products to a page containing links such as.

danone, danette and activia.

This behaviour maintains a likelihood of confusion in the Internet web.

Searchers minds who will wrongly believe that the domain name is registered.


Nevertheless, our client would be prepared to find an amicable settlement.

Providing that you:.

- immediately cease the use of said domain name;.

- transfer the domain name <>;.

- take the engagement in writing and on a letter headed paper not.

To use the mark DANETTE in the future;.

- assume the costs regarding this matter.

We expect to receive confirmation of your undertaking with written proof.

Within the next 48 hours.

Otherwise our client will have no other possibility than instituting.

Judicial or extrajudicial legal proceedings.

We remain at the disposal of your legal advisor.

Yours faithfully,.

Nathalie Dreyfus.


Comments (47)

I am not a lawyer but it looks like if they start a lawsuit they're going to be buzy going after you and:

Etc. Just about all danet.TLD....

Dictionary. com send to acronymfinder (

DANET = Data Network more info from

DANET = Data Administration Network (DON wide).

Acronymfinder doesn't say a word about Danone or Danette.

If you don't use their brand, names or whatever on your site I really have hard time thinking they can do anything at all.


Comment #1

I work in a grocery store and I've never heard of their product.

Danone is fairly well known, but danette? I'd like to see them try and prove that was registered in bad faith...

Perhaps time for a carefully worded reply that you'd be open to offers without making it look like you registered the name in bad faith.

A couple g's for the .mobi would be a nice settlement for everyone and I'm willing to bet they paid those lawyers that already to tackle this case.....

Comment #2

Danette is really very well known in some countries danette in brazil and a brief explanation in wikipedia.

I am not an attorney but I think the names are different but it was said many times here in similar threads saying the fact you dont know a TM doesnt mean you are not responsible for having reg'd it..

Comment #3

Thanks for the advice Reece and Bricio (rep added), I will make an email later today to them and will post it here before sending it, will keep it short, but to the point...

Comment #4

I see that the name is parked.

I do not see any infringing links on my end but the lady says:Obviously the links are IP/location/language-dependent..

Parking can pose problems because the domain owner has limited control over which ads are served to visitors, but it can still land you into TM issues when problematic sponsored links do appear.

I would unpark the name as a good faith gesture. Also you can ask for a screenshot (on their end) as proof. But I would be surprised they don't have certified screenshots.

These people are no jokers. You can resist their demands but I could see them WIPOing the name as a matter of principle. I doubt they really want the name - here it is more a case of TM typosquatting..

Govern yourself accordingly

Comment #5

I used to date a girl in the US named danet..

Comment #6

Danette is a chocolate yogurt very popular for +25 years in France and other countries..

Danet and Danette when read sounds exactly the same..

And if you are showing ads about danone, danette and activia then you are clearly using the domain name in bad faith according the law...

Comment #7

Unparking: a good idea typically. In this case my hunch would be that it would be smart as well. Asking for a screenshot for proof is almost doing their work for them, and establishing a "lower bar" than is necessary for them to clear and have something to point to and say, "Look - we did what he asked, we're the good-guys here!".

But John, the ultimate test may be to ask yourself, "Why did you register the domain?" If it was for this yogurty product (yes?), then you may have answered your own question. However, searching for "danet" I can't find any of their products unless I am entirely missing the point here...

It feels kind of like that old joke where you have someone hold their tongue and say "Apple"...

Best of luck,.


Comment #8

Thanks for all the advice so far.

This is the email I like to sent to them:.


Dear Nathalie,.

Thanks for your email.

In my opinion, 'Danet' is not similar to 'Danette' and, although I have heard about Danone, I have never heard or noticed the product 'Danette'.

Furthermore, I couldn't find any registered and valid TM's on 'Danet' owned by your client.

'Danet' is a very common name used as female first name and all different kind of projects. The word 'Danet' in all major tld's is registered by other people or companies then Danone as well.

Although I couldn't find any 'infringing links' on the site, I have 'unparked' the name for your clients convenience.

If you still need any additional information from my side, please let me know.

Kind regards,.

John van den Berg.


Is there anything you would think is good to change, delete or add?.

How serious is this replying within 48 hours thing, it seems kind of short?.

Suppose I'm travelling and don't see the email within 2 days?.

After I sent it I will keep everyone up to date as I will not give away this name easy as I definetely did not reg this one in bad faith.

Thanks, John...

Comment #9

I don't understand the compulsion folks seem to feel about responding to these things. By responding you provide proof their message reached you so they can now be certain it's a good address. A letter from a lawyer has no more standing than a letter from anyone else. Civil disputes normally have some sort of due process that must be followed. For civil matters in the USA, the first communication that matters is when a process server shows up and delivers a document with a judges signature. Any communication to/from you before that is just possible evidence to be used against you.

When you respond you are in effect acting as your own attorney because you are giving the other side your thoughts, justifications, motives while you are probably ignorant of fundamental legal considerations. If this gets serious and you end up retaining an attorney you stand an excellent chance of having made his job of defending you difficult or impossible...

Comment #10

I would lose these two lines - don't give them fodder to work with..

In my opinion, 'Danet' is not similar to 'Danette' and, although I have heard about Danone, I have never heard or noticed the product 'Danette'.

Furthermore, I couldn't find any registered and valid TM's on 'Danet' owned by your client..


And Change this line:.

Although I couldn't find any 'infringing links' on the site, I have 'unparked' the name for your clients convenience.


Although there are not any links related to your products on the site, I have taken the site down until I have completed developing it in order to ease your client's mind.

Or something similar.

That being said, I personally would not respond at all, most likely - but that's just me, not advice to you.

Just my .02, the other way reads like "I'm snotty - bring it on" to me.


Comment #11

Thanks Allan, I took your advice and will not ask them for proof, I think it's better to keep the information to them short and to the point, also after reading mhdoc's post this might be a good idea.

'Danet' is an United Arab Emirates GEO, near Abu Dhabi, I have been twice to the UAE and noticed the .mobi version of this GEO was available, that's the reason I regged this name...

Comment #12

I would ignore them. So what if they do's a nearly worthless mobi names too. Does it make ANY money for you parked?.

Replying in this case imho is a bad idea. Give them time and see if they make a second contact...

Comment #13

I second labrocca... do not reply. I did not reply to one that was sent to me and they never followed up. They may just be trying to one-off scare you. Wait until you receive a certified letter in the mail before you reply.

If they do follow up with a certified letter, then you can let them know you unparked it while you develop it.

^^IMHO: not legal advice..

Comment #14

A dilemma here is when can one safely ignore a complaint and when should it.

Be replied to and disputed. This is one of those things where not replying can.

Result in a loss...or worse.

Note: I said can, not will. For a surefire answer, consult a psychic.

Good luck to the OP trying to resolve this issue, especially if the mark holder.

Starts getting potentially unreasonable...

Comment #15

Danet was used by Danone in Italy too (at least till I was living there , 2004) and advertised on TV.

Obviously these people do not know that those links were showing not because you choosed to , but because where it was parked I assume the parking company found the nearest keywords match so it`s not your faulth but by parking it and with those keyword , I bet that if they start any UDRP, you`ll lose it after the recent similar cases.

Reply is courtesy and with them you should explain why those links appearead explaning that won`t happen anymore and was not your intention. If they really want it , I feel you are too late to win.

Good luck..

Comment #16

Danone is one of the largest food companies in the world (market value 28 bil ).

They do have a product called Danette, and in some countries Danet sounds the same. If you have links to dairy products on your page you are at fault. Maybe you can negociate with them, yes. First take down the links...

Comment #17

Why not offering them the domains and earn yourself a big bucks?..

Comment #18

Ahh, sorry for that..I totally forgot about the cybersquat thing..

Well, I guess unpark the domain would be a good idea. Or perhaps customizing the landing page so the ads will not relate to the copyright...

Comment #19

This is why it is good to know who and what you are dealing with.

Nathalie is herself a UDRP panelist and member of the ICANN intellectual property constituency. She's much nicer in person than in correspondence, but doing domain disputes is most of her business.

The Complainants are Compagnie Gervais Danone, France, and The Dannon Company Inc., United States of America, represented by Cabinet Dreyfus & Associs, Paris, France.

Do they go after .mobi names? Direct answer:

The Complainant is Compagnie Gervais Danone, of Paris, France, represented by Cabinet Dreyfus & Associs, France.

The disputed domain name <> is registered with, Inc...

Comment #20

How in the heck do you forget about the "cybersquat thing"????? That should be the very first thing you learn about this business...

Comment #21

From that link I see "In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on November 15, 2007. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was December 5, 2007.".

It looks like there was an initial contact followed by two more about 30 days apart from the attorney directly to the registrant. At that point it was made formal and the messages/rules quoted above went into effect.

So, there were four contacts, but only the last one, from the official organization, really started the process of taking away the domain. It provided a 21 day window to respond.

So as a strategy for dealing with this would the following make sense?.

1. First contact from complaining party. Ignore, but save the email..

2. 2nd contact from complaining party. Ignore, maybe do a little research on who the sender is..

3. 3rd contact from complaining party. Ignore, but research your position and have a folder ready for presentation to your attorney..

4. First contact from the wipo folks. This is real, time to fight or run.

The main point I think is that there is a process in place with required notifications. No one can just send an email one day and jerk the name a day or two later...

Comment #22

There is no required notifications needed to start any proceedings.

Example 1.

1- File WIPO.

Example 2.

1- File lawsuit.

Yes, anyone can send a C&D, either in email or letter form. It does not have to be pretty, it does not have to be legal jargon filled. It does not have to come from a lawyer. So there is no real "process", there is a usually, but it does not ahve to be followed...

Comment #23

However, as I understand you, proceedings themselves start with a required notice which includes a response time. Notice could be service of a summons with a judges signature or an email from WIPO?.

Any other kind of communication has no legal force?..

Comment #24

I wouldn't respond to the first email either. If they really want it they will send you a second notice in all likelihood. If this goes UDRP would you even bother to defend it? So why bother to respond to these emails? If they want it...they can either send you an offer that you don't solicit or they can pay to UDRP the domain and get it that way.

Obviously as John pointed out the person is a panelist. I think ANY response will most likely be used against you. And yes...I am sure even ignoring her emails will be harmful but less harmful than replying imho.

I guess you have to ask yourself what do you want? Do you want to keep it? Do you want to sell it? Are you planning to develop it? Figure it out sooner rather than later...

Comment #25

The whole thing to me sounds ridiculous. Danette and Danet are obviously two different words and in French they aren't even pronounced the same - Danet would be pronounced 'Danay' rather like 'Bidet' not like 'toilette' where this should be flushed.

If they are going to start pursuing anybody with 'Danet' - then why not Dannet, Danett, Daanet, Daanett, Dahnet etc... etc... can they claim to own every combination of dnt + vowels ? It all sounds bllx to me..

Comment #26

Thanks all for the comments! Rep added. As I have regged the name in good faith I feel kind of silly to just give it up easy, so I won't do that (at least not now anyway).

I'm kind of in between not responding, like labrocca, mhdoc and others mentioned, or sending a (very) short email, maybe asking for a phone number to give her a call after the weekend to hear what she has to say, as John Berryhill (thanks for your reply!) mentioned that she is much nicer in person and see if they come with a kind of 'solution'. If I email that I call her, she might already starts to think of something.

I'll sleep at least one night over it and will decide this weekend what to do.

Will keep you all posted.

Does anyone know that if it goes to a Wipo (UDRP) and I defend myself and end up loosing the name, is that all I loose? Just the name? As it could be an interesting and informative experience.

It makes me think though, registering a name in good faith, just park it at a parking company (I took the name off now) and it shows one time some TM related ads which a TM holder sees, you can loose a name just like that?.

It might be true, but in that case we all have to be really careful which names to park and how (what ads) and hope the ad providor will not make any mistakes showing the wrong ads...

Comment #27

Losing 1 UDRP makes future panelists look "down their nose" a bit at you, should another domain of yours end up in dispute again, so you don't just lose the domain.


Comment #28

Yep. It's that easy. You just beat me to that comment, Allan. Your reputation in good standing is worth it's weight in gold...

Comment #29

Think I will reply to them later today or tomorrow with this (thanks Allan for amending the original text a bit):.


Dear Nathalie,.

Thanks for your email.

Although I have heard about Danone, I have never heard or noticed the product 'Danette'.

'Danet' is a very common generic name used as female first name, name of a place and is used in all different kinds of projects. The word 'Danet' in all major tld's is registered by other people or companies then Danone as well.

However, I have taken the site down, until I have completed developing it, to ease your clients mind.

If you still need any additional information, please let me know. If necessary, you can also leave your phone number and I can give you a call next week.

With kind regards,.

John van den Berg.


The reason to reply is that they probably will start a WIPO if I don't reply and as they do go after .mobi names as well I figured it might be better to stay in touch with them for now...

Comment #30


Would it be wise to ask if they are taking action against the other tld's? Would this help any case if they were not?..

Comment #31

I guess I still dont get it- I never heard of danet- but if it is a geo, isnt it a word that cant be trademarked in itself? can you trademark california? maryland?.

Can you just say you have visited the wonderful town of danet and the site you own is a geo?..

Comment #32

Sure, problem is that HE PARKED it and it showed DANONE`S products!!!.

That`s how he would lose it if they insist...

Comment #33

That's a better response imho. Short and to the point without really admitting anything...

Comment #34

He didn't show Danone's products !!! As I understand it he had no control over the ads that were displayed and they were geo specific so only some country's got to see Danone products...

Comment #35

You are right, he has no control over the ads but that's still not an excuse. That's all it takes to establish proof of TM infringement...

Comment #36

Personally I still don't see how Danet can be considered to be the same as Danette - they are not even pronounced the same in French - cyberbullying at it's worst IMHO..

Comment #37

Her telephone number is: +33 (0) 1 44 70 07 04.

I believe outside of France, you don't have to dial the 0 - YMMV.

Now for the carnival of lunacy.... All of which are absolutely irrelevant to any evidence of why you registered the name and why the page was showing yogurt products. A pair of scissors can be used for lots of things too, which is completely pointless when my scissors turn up in the back of a murder be sure to mention in your complaint that, when notified, I admitted there was a problem by changing the site.

Oy......except by the time you hear from WIPO, the registrar has already confirmed the whois to WIPO and has locked the name; and you can't transfer the domain name because the registrar won't allow it, under the UDRP rules...

Comment #38

In one word: yes. Its an 'acknowledgment' of sorts of doing something wrong, from what I understand. At least in the eyes of WIPO...

Comment #39

Email is sent just now, I have changed it a little bit after the comments of John Berryhill (thanks for the phone number as well) and others.


Dear Nathalie,.

Thanks for your email.

Although I have heard about Danone, I have never heard or noticed the product 'Danette'.

'Danet' is a common name used as female first name, name of a place (the reason I registered it) and is used in all different kinds of projects. The word 'Danet' in all major tld's is registered by other people or companies then Danone as well.

Although the keywords chosen by the parking company and the site itself didn't show any links to 'danette', I have taken the site down, until I have completed developing it, this in order to ease your client's mind.

If you still need any additional information, please let me know or, if necessary, I can give you a call next week.

With kind regards,.

John van den Berg.


Will keep you all up to date...

Comment #40

After over a week, no reply yet.

Makes me wonder if I just have to make a call anyway, send a short email, something like this:.

Hi Nathalie,.

As a follow up, can you confirm if everything is okay?.

Just let me know if you have any questions or need some additional information from me.

Thanks, John..

Or just wait and assume it's all okay..

Comment #41

Personally I would sense in reminding them that they want your name.

Let them come to you. imho...

Comment #42

Hey John, just tread carefully my friend..

Id offer a few bullet points of advice: 1. Dont do this yourself. 2. The fact that the "other" John (who sticks wet towels under his door ) has given you the heads up that he knows this Woman speaks volumes to me. 3. If you don't value the name, hand it over.

If you feel you are in "the right", then contact John B directly and let him offer his (paid) professional advice. 5. Do not send emails to her yourself.

Aside from that I hope youre safe and well in Kenya.



Comment #43

We do often forget the heaviest cost: "ourselves".

Nicely done, Ian.


Comment #44

Hi Ian, thanks for your advice, I've followed it up and sent a PM and email to John Berryhill to request for his services. Things have slowed down and life is almost back to normal in Kenya, although the tourist industry had a major blow as all flights to Kenya are practically empty...

Comment #45

Almost two months further, here is an update.

After sending my reply to their lawyer, I had not heard from them, I also didn't get a reply from John Berryhill, untill I received a reminder last week with basically one question: "if I would agree to transfer the domain name".

I called them and again they made it clear that they wouldn't let me keep the name, I told them I'll think about what to do and get back.

In short, here are the 'facts':.


- Danette is TMed, not Danet..

- I registered it as it's a place near Abu Dhabi, I have actually been there and can show flight and hotel tickets if necessary.


- A Danette product ad was shown on as it used to be parked.

I know the name is probably not worth the fight, although I prefer to take it serious and search all possiblities to keep the name and learn from it, in case next time someone will go for a much better name.

If the chance is low to win, I will give up the name and learn from it, I've already unparked my's and premium's. Although if the chance to win is reasonable, I prefer not to give up the name.

- Do you think there is a reasonable chance to win? Or is having only an ad of a TMed product already enough to loose the name?.

- Does anyone know about a similar example using only a parked ad to win a case, even though the name is no TM from them?.

- Does anyone know or has experience in the costs of having a lawyer involved in case of a WIPO?..

Comment #46

I don't know about your chances, but some lawyers will work pro bono if you are on the receiving end. Ive talked to lawyers that charge anywhere from $5000 to $15-20k to fight for a name (if you are the aggressor)...

Comment #47

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


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