Yes, I'd recommend dumping it. He's known specifically for making ornaments, so it's an obvious TM violation. And it really makes no difference if you develop or not, because even now the domain is parked at GoDaddy showing ads for Christopher Radko.....
...just curious, would it make a difference if I was a customer of his and actually marketing and selling his ornaments?.
Thanks for the insight...
It probably wouldn't - since your acting like you work for him, and aren't just a customer, and selling his work, you may run into some problems. Youd also have to pay some sort of royalty or something to him too, so much of your profit. Just dump it and move on I say..
Comments much appreciated, thank you.
My dilemma,... and I want to qualify this with a confessed lack of much trademark law experience, I find it difficult to throw thousands of dollars away without a(atleast a little) fight.
For starters, this is the premier radko domain, both in terms of what he does, as well as common search. The domain is worth thousands, not a lot, but definitely worth more than pitching at the first sign of potential trouble.
Playing the devils advocate, there are domains already out there radko.net, eradko, christmasstoreRADKOroom, radkoshop, radkostarlight, radkosales, etc... that are in the business of selling his products. Most of these have been out there for many years, and obviously are still in business.
Furthermore, while a fine line we straddle, why is it that a behemoth as Microsoft and (as an example) it's trademarked Microsoft FrontPage allows sites like Frontpagesecrets.com, frontpageworld.com, and others exist? Personally, I don't think they have a legal fight, or it would have been made long ago.
I don't want to break the law by any means and yet I don't want to concede the unnecessary. What can I say, I'm a stubborn (and albeit possible naive and stupid) old man.
Further comments or discussion on this topic would be welcomed..
Read my sig... I see it pointless for me to respond further..
Well, the simple fact is that you will be breaking the law if you profit from the domain... Theres really no way around that. So if you are completely opposed to breaking the law, dumping it or transferring it to Christopher Radko would be your likely options.
If you're not opposed to breaking the law, then you know, do whatever you want, but be forewarned that it may come with extreme consequences. Just because other people do it and get away with it doesn't make it legal.
Worst case scenario, they either take you to court directly and sue you for damages or you're found guilty of cybersquatting in a UDRP and fined $100,000.
If you do spend the time and money to develop a site, you run a very good chance of receiving a C&D letter. At this point you'd either have to fight it, which would cost you lawyer fees and you'd have zero chance of winning, or give them the domain. Or if they know you've made a decent amount of money from the site, they may just decide to take you to court and sue for damages, which would include all the money you've made from the site and likely some punitive damages on top of that.
So, I guess the point is, why would you want to spend the time and money to develop a site that has no long-term future and may cost you more than it's worth in the long run?.
Or maybe you'll run the site and nothing will ever happen to you....
But thats the chance you take when you choose to participate in illegal actions...
Point well taken, Ron -insight much appreciated and I thank youl..
Contact them with your intentions and ask for permission. If you intend to construct a well made site selling his products they may have no problem with it. Be prepared to have to hand it over if they aren't happy. At the end of the day though, they may be perfectly happy for you to operate a proper site on there. They have other affiliate stores and even a page on the site or resellers: http://www.christopherradko.com/disp...t.aspx?cid=326.
This is totally different to parking the domain IMHO.
Other resellers: http://www.radko.net/ http://www.christmasstoreradkoroom.com/ http://www.radkoshop.com/.
I would ask myself...
Actually this DOES matter. It's part of a fair-use of a product. One part of TM damages for infringing is dilution of the brand or competiting. Obviously you are doing NEITHER.
If you have a store that legitimately sells his products I would argue fair-use and that you are acting as an agent. Do you actually have the products via a wholesaler? If you are using an affiliate program this will weaken your claim but not dismiss it entirely. However you must ensure the affiliate program gives you permission to use certain names. Example is Amazon where their affiliate programs explicitely states you can't use a domain with their TM.
I owned a gaming store for 10 years. I was able to run many game sites with official names for that reason. I am still able to be within that realm because of current activity in the gaming sector.
Anyways...you might want to consult an actual lawyer before proceeding...
Chris and Jesse - both great posts and insight - much appreciated and I couldn't agree more with your reply(s). Both with contacting and asking permission (what's the worst that could happen?...and it may end up not being an issue to them at all), as well as the actual interest of marketing their products as I am very much in the business of Christmas. Domains were purchased with intent to market their goods. Also agree...probably best to consult a lawyer if to procede seriously.
Again, many thanks for your comments...