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So, I've been trying hard not to step on anyone's toes in terms of trademarks and my experiment into Domain Speculation and guess what? Someone's capitalizing on my domain GoPC.com!!!.

They've reg'd aGoPC.com and are in the very same industry trying to push the very same niche product. Obviously, they are nothing because they are just reselling another companies product trying to gain traffic and familiarity of the many years of marketing and Mobile PC dominance that GoPC.com has enjoyed.

What now? Does adding the "A" to my domain put them far enough out of reach to do anything or should I hand this over to legal representation?.

Never thought I'd be having this conversation from the OUTSIDE!.

Grrrr.....

GoPC..

Comments (35)

Well considering you don't own a tradmark on GoPC, you are going to have a bit of a tough time taking them to court, though it would be possible. I'm just wondering how legitimate this company/person is, as AGoPc.com doesn't make any sense whatsoever, and therefore wouldn't receive that much typo traffic, or even mistaken traffic. Best of luck!.

Tom..

Comment #1

There IS a trademark on GOPC. There is also a state level TM on GOPC.

Don't assume you know who and what is behind the scenes.

The question remains (and you answered part of it) is "aGoPC" a threat?.

GoPC..

Comment #2

I would consider a threat, Im no lawyer, but if I were in your shoes and had a TM on GOPC, and since they are pushing the same stuff/market you are you betcha I'd check into it...

Comment #3

They are definitely trying to capitalize on GOPC. I'm sure they knew what they were doing when they reg'd the name, trying to get traffic from GOPC. I think it would be worth while to look into this...

Comment #4

I'm sorry, I actually did lookup the trademark information, but I guess I skimmed through it too quickly, as I thought it was trademarked by someone else...my apologies. I personally would not consider them a threat at this point in time, but I would definitely keep my eyes on them. A lawsuit right now is going to cost you a lot of money, and may not even be worth it if they are only getting a few hits per month. That being said if they get up to the point of millions of hits per month, then that is another story. I would probably send them a nice email explaining that you own the trademark, and suggesting for them to change the content of the site. I would not mention a threat of a lawsuit, or anything like that, but just see what their response to your trademark is, and if they blow you off completely, then threaten the lawsuit, but they may willingly change the site content. Good luck!.

Tom..

Comment #5

Anything similar or confusingly similar can be a threat. I would send a C+D and I would ask then to hand over the domain. BTW- I would never send a C+D asking for a squatter to merely just change content, that is just plain silly. But I would take steps to protect myself. The sooner the better...

Comment #6

I'm just saying it may be a better alternative if he doesn't want to go to court, as it will look very bad if they call the bluff, and say we will see you in court. Then if you don't bring them to court then they will continue to infringe, and things will just get worse IMO.

Tom..

Comment #7

At this point, it has nothing to do with court, it is about asserting your rights to an alleged squatter. By offering the option to change the content, you are granting permission for him to use the domain (and his TM), which down the road could come back and bite him. This is what would cause dillution and weakening of his TM...

Comment #8

Here's what I've done.

I've sent a letter notifying them that I've noticed their Domain, products and market niche. I've noted the similarity to GoPC.com and mentioned the GoPC Computer TradeMark and suggested that their name may miscontrued as GoPC because it is so similar.

I asked that they contact us for alternatives for continued use such as proper mention of the GoPC product or services on their site or other solutions.

Seems more equitable to create a "partner" then an enemy. From here, we should get a responce dictating their attitude and posture. This responce should make future actions more focused and definitive.

GoPC..

Comment #9

My brother was sued for having jules.com. Some french company tryed to sue him for that domain. If you check the WHOIS, he has had that name for years. I am fearing over pcwebtalk.com. ewebtalk.com, and others are so close to mine. We are sort of on-top of each other.

Bob..

Comment #10

Glad you followed DNQ's advice. However I wish you would have posted a draft here first. We could have helped you word it properly.

Anyways good luck. HOLD UP.

Did anyone take the time to check out both sites? AgoPC.com seems to sell a real product. You made it sound like they are just a reseller. But if you look they have a branded computer they are selling. Meanwhile you are NOT. Your site is basically an affiliate site of places like Dell. Also they are branding as AgoPC.com not aGoPC.com.

I don't see anything confusingly similar actually. I would even go as far to say you are attempting a reverse hijack.

They registered their domain recently but for 10 years. I don't see this as bad faith registration.

As for the GOPC mark..I just see a standard character mark and a dead abandoned mark.

Sorry but imho...you can't do jack about AgoPC.com..

Comment #11

NOTE It is not Branded yet. They are brand new in the market and are a private lable drop shipper of someone elses product.

YOU could brand the same product they are. It's a private lable product that Tablet Kiosk is selling as well. They are a reseller and nothing more. As is GoPC.com now. On the other hand, why GoPC.com is a gernalized site (do to a manufacturing agreement in place with a corporate partner now) the GoPC TM is specific for the Mobile Computing Unit, not the domain.

So there are two issues, really... one is the product TM discussion and the other is the use of the domain, capitalizing on the similarity. Granted, GoPC.com (formerly Alliance Resource, Inc.) doesn't itself manufacture the machines any longer, but the new TM is in effect for the new Product Line.

GoPC Computers have been manufactured since October of 1996 and have alwasy been sepcific to the ultra compact, mobile computing industry with a carry over into the set-top appliance market.

They are clearly trying to capitalize on that.

Agreed, there may not be much I (we) can do without some expense and bruised egos. I was just curious on your opinions especially being in reverse order for a change. LOL!.

I currently own XGamesRally.com with XGames being a TM of ESPN(EXPN) so I'm on the other end of the stick in that sense. With the exception, of course, that I am using the domain with permission of the series Producer in exchange for providing them an additional space to market and promote the events. XGamesRally.com gets MORE hits than their ESPN XGames Rally site. LOL!.

Obviously, having gone that route wit ESPN, that was my motivation for offering a similar out for AgoPC.com It works GREAT for ESPN and myself... why not?.

GoPC..

Comment #12

I think you need to speak with a lawyer on this one and if you want to pursue this further. I see your point but I also don't know your entire GoPC history nor what your rights are. Just from looking at the 2...I do not get any impression they want to capitalize on your mark. However a good attourney in front of you could change my opinion and a judicial systems as well...

Comment #13

Sod the Lawyer. Too much $xxx. Ignore all future emails, phone calls, Letters from these guys and block all means of contact - send a strong message that I have done nothing wrong... Do you have WHOISGUARD on gopc.com? If yes, that will benefit.

Just my opinion (and what I would do in your situation, infact, I wouldnt even reply to the email they first sent).

Just my 0.02 and honestly opinion on what I would do.

Robert..

Comment #14

Interesting turn...

It seems to be a new company, but using the background of the players involved to make it seem like agopc has been around for 2 decades. You need a lawyer to sort this out. This could be a TM issue that goes well beyond domains. I agree with Labrocca, they are not using your mark, they are trying to start thier own using a name similar to yours. This is something that should be addressed now and not down the road. I would also ignore what Robert has to say on this subject...

Comment #15

You obviously didn't bother to read the thread sir. He wants to go after them..not the other way around.

Strategically though..if you wait till the company is actually worth something a lawsuit will be more worthwhile. However if you choose that route delete this thread asap. You don't want evidence of your early knowledge...

Comment #16

Labrocca is absolutely right. Taking the matter light handedly will benifit you more then firing at them directly.

Just monitor them and their activities for some time. You definately have nice grounds to get them where you want. So why not get them when the right time arrives...

Comment #17

I suggest you move on as you do not have a leg to stand on, the fact that this other site sells pc's called AGO7 clearly drops the floor on your theory. AGOpc doe not seem to me to be a spin off of your site. If agopc.com was just an affiliate site then I would see your point...just because someone owns a domain name with the name of your domain name in it does not always mean you can sue them.....

Comment #18

By waiting around, the new company will grow roots and establish themselves and lay claim to the TM. GOPC has already acknowledged the other company in a letter (please read people!!!). So GOPC does know, he acknowledged he knows. But waiting around, it could be claimed his mark is diluted. It would be argued theat GOPC knew of the new company but did nothing to stop them. He even goes and offers a partnership.

Again, this goes beyond domains, this is something that needs to be addressed directly. I would contact an attorney and stop wasting time here...

Comment #19

Simply Put...

WE sell GoPC.

THEY sell aGoPC.

WE call our GoPCs different things.

THEY call a GoPC different things.

Regardless, we are handling it. Thanks for all your input.

GoPC..

Comment #20

How can a company 2 months old sue another site 9 years old? That doesnt seem fair to me.....

Comment #21

I think you are stretching this out to your advantage..

Simply put.

You sell Go pc's.

They sell AGO Pc's.

You call your GoPC's different things.

They call their AGOpc AGO7 which is a mobile pc hence AGOpc.

It's not a gopc it's AGOpc..

Comment #22

Eww...I agree with DNTycoon.

Also..I forgot DNQ that he sent them a letter...oops...

Comment #23

OK, I'll say it, Robert, please stop posting. You are giving irresponsible advise (and have been called on it) and in this case, you did not even bother to read the thread. It has nothing to do with what you stated. Sorry to be blunt, but misinformation is a pet peeve of mine...

Comment #24

No the point is you are abusing the system, which is not at all funny. I can't believe you actually think this other site is infringing on your trademark GOPC and AGOpc are not even the same name at all. Just because both names contain gopc doesn't mean jack, any company can use the abv. pc.....seems to me your just trying to grab attention. Goodluck in your pirating..

Comment #25

Ouch... sorry. Sounds like I struck a nerve.

Anyway, in most people's mind, using a virtually identical name to sell a virtually identical line of products MIGHT be suspicious. Perhaps I'm over reacting.

For Example... Let's say I import and sell a line of cars and trucks called "aToyota". That would be Okay. I understand. I'm clear now.

GoPC..

Comment #26

Http://www.mcsi1.com/datasheets/MCSI...%20computer%22 http://www.devhardware.com/c/a/Compu...mall-Packages/ http://www.aicsys.com/gopc-7000.php http://www.go-pc.be/ http://www.gopc.net/.

Seems the GOPC name is a popular one for computers....this should keep you busy for awhile...

Comment #27

The first thing that came to my mind in seing GoPC.com was the fairly famous site GoToMyPC.com (Registered Trademark) owned by Citrix, a large company that offers terminal services for MS networks and mobile access to home computers. It has a few more letters, but there is a similarity, and essentially they do mobile networking. I think you have to be careful here, as that could backfire the other way as well if your services are similar.

The difference between your toyota description is that toyota isn't a real word. However "A", "Go", and "PC", are all generic words, at least giving them some chance at calling it generic. I think you do have a case against agopc.com, and should definitely at least do a C&D letter putting on record you disapprove.

Just for your info as long as you are looking at potential probloms, you might also want to look at these:.

Gogopc.com.

Go-pc.com.

Gotopc.com..

Comment #28

Atoyota is NOT a word. You seem to miss the point that AGO is a dictionary term. That 1 letter makes all the difference. If they were TheGoPC.com..you might have a better point. You don't have a TM for the term PC. And AgoPC imho sounds very cool...especially the more I say it.

Speak to a lawyer if you really want to put up a fuss. Sounds like you may have already...

Comment #29

There is no need for hostility...

Thanks for the Advice and your opinions. ALL of you. It's good to see the reactions and hear the passion from both sides of the equasion.

I have no more to say on this subject.

GoPC..

Comment #30

I've looked over the USPTO filings and believe you will have no problem in this case but our experience with the USPTO is that even if you are right...you'll wait a while...your trademark app is still eligible for a legitimate opposition but in this case the offenders don't seem to have the history of use that you do.

Until the opposition period has passed and the mark has been approved there isn't much you can do but get your legal weasels ready for the upcoming fight you're sure to win!.

It's a real $%#@!* that someone can try and dilute your business or capitalize on your domain name but that's the way it goes...we have the same problem with some projects curently before the USPTO and legal teams...it's better for your health to just keep doing what you do best!.

In this case it looks like a slam dunk for your side...

Comment #31

There is great TM information at bitlaw.com. Here's an excerpt most of you know that is the litmus test of infringement:.

This policy has now been replaced with a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy created by ICANN and used by all accredited registrars. Under this new policy, a trademark owner can initiate a relatively inexpensive administrative procedure to challenge the existing domain name. In order to prevail, the trademark owner must show:.

That the trademark owner owns a trademark (either registered or unregistered) that is the same or confusingly similar to the registered second level domain name;.

That the party that registered the domain name has no legitimate right or interest in the domain name; and.

That the domain name was registered and used in bad faith.

If the trademark owner successfully proves all three points in the administrative proceeding, then the domain name can either be cancelled or transferred to the prevailing trademark owner. If the trademark owner fails to prove one of these points, the administrative panel will not cancel nor transfer the domain name.

Among the ways that a domain name owner can prove a legitimate right or interest in a domain name is by showing:.

Use or preparations to use the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services prior to any notice of the dispute;.

That the domain name owner has been commonly known by the second level domain name; or.

That the domain name owner is making legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent of (i) commercial gain, (ii) misleadingly diverting consumers, or (iii) tarnishing the trademark at issue.

A trademark owner can show that a domain name was registered and used in bad faith in a variety of ways, including by showing that the domain name owner:.

Registered the name primarily for the purpose of selling or transferring the domain name to the trademark owner or a competitor of the trademark owner for a price greater than out of pocket costs;.

Engaged in a pattern of registering trademarks of others to prevent the use of the domain name by the trademark owner;.

Registered the domain name primarily to disrupt the business of a competitor; or.

Is attempting to attract users to a web site for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with the trademark owner's trademark...

Comment #32

Could this also be read as A GoPc company? Wouldn't that be similar to The GoPC company in your example? (just playing devils's advocate).

I still maintain this is beyond the domain issues, it is about company branding. I would still contact a lawyer. This one is on the fence...

Comment #33

Well I think that's his beef but as an objective person I just think they would argue the differences in a legal battle. I think they have a chance of winning as well...

Comment #34

Right that is why I said "on the fence". GoPC is the company name, IE- thier TM if they can prove it (and it seems they can, they appearently have been using the business name since 1996 I believe). This is a lawyer thing....

Comment #35


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

 

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