Many times a company will ask you to hand the ownership of the domain name over to them. For example, if you registered "Coca Cola Zero" after Coca Cola trademarked the name "Coca Cola Zero", you'd probably get a letter/email stating that you must hand over ownership of the domain or face legal trouble.
Very rarely do companies offer to buy a domain that they know they are entitled to legally. Companies usually leave sueing for a last resort. Legal fees and time consumption are both drawbacks to sueing domain name owners, and companies will try other methods before taking the domain owner to court.
There are many cases in the past where companies have simply demanded a transfer of ownership of the domain name. There are also a number of cases where companies simply send a cease and desist email (C&D) where the domain owner may not use the domain name for any purpose. You may also easily get away with using a domain name that is a copyrighted title, however the chances are slim that nothing will happen in the long run...
I believe if they sue you, the max. monetary damages that can be imposed are $100K...
Cheers for the reply. How do I find out if a slogan or phrase has been trademarked or copyrighted? Also if I purchased the domain "best coca cola softdrinks" would that be an issue do you think as I have used "coca cola" in the wording but mixed in with other words (best & softdrinks)...
I figure it this way....These people have ALOT more money than I do....I wouldn't go register a name such sonyPS2 or ect...But if some big company threatend me with a law suit...Turn about is fair play...I would file a couter suit on thier a##,For what? mental distress or ect...There are tons of things you can counter sue for..Fribolous you say? Not if my welfare and funding for living is being threatened...Come on big dogs...Bring it!.
By the way....this is not advice for anyone...Just an observation and my own opionion...
FFirst thing I would do is use the search box and lookup "trademark" and "tm", then spend about 5 days reading all the information given. Read all the pros and cons. Everything has been discussed to the Nth degree. This will help you and all hte newbies immensely...
The worst that could happen...
Loss of the domain.
Loss of all revenue obtained from the use of the domain.
Complainants legal fess (along with your own).
100,000 fine for violation of the Lanham act.
Black mark against you for cybersquatting that could be used against you in future disputes.
If you are going to get into this game, read up first and decide your risk/reward levels. Playing the TM game can put you in hte poor house, but it could also payoff, it all depends on how you play the game. But remember, if you do play, you always start at a disadvantage...
In true reality...You couldn't have written and explained it any better DNQuest,That pretty much explains it all imo...
Whenever I come across a potentially troublesome domain, such as the one you are apparently contemplating, I take one simple action: "Run Don't Walk To The Nearest Exit". There are lots of good domains out there, begging to be regged, that do not require you to put all that you have, and all that you might ever be at risk...
Thw worst that can happen is probvaly.
Lose domain name.
Maybe a law suit.
Got lawyers on your case..
Read above.... and then maybe read up on TM law...
Ok so where is the line then? For example if I get the domain "GreatFordMotorCars.com" am I infringing on the "Ford" trademark? What if the tradmark is an everyday word or initials, for example what if I register "CoolHPTechStuff.com" I could state that the HP is not Hewlett Packard but rather "Hip Printers"...
DNQuest as he usually does, has given extremmely wise advice..
However, just to play the devil's advocate here..
What would happen other than the obvious loss of the domain, if the whois data is fake..
Obviously, eventually the domain will be lost, but in the mean time, the money made by PPC etc...??? what happens to that..
And to add to this example, what if the domain owner is, let's say located in Vietname, or somewhere in Africa, does the $100K fees and lawyer fees and whatever one wants to add still carry any weight?.
I am just playing the devil's advocate here, and I am by no means in favor of this. But Philip has proved that he is knowledgeable and I would be very interested to hear his opinion, or any one else's..
This will show you American companies: http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?...ate=gf3re6.1.1.
It's actually kind of fun seeing who has the most trademarks...
Quite honestly, you need to reasearch and read. I told you what to look up. We ahve literally covered just about every senario you could think of. But the bet way to help yourself is to read everything on this and other boards about TMs and domains. It is too complex starting from square one. After reading the posts fromt he past 6 months or so about TMs, you will be able to answer your own question and know why.
Btw- creating a reason to use a domain is different than actually using the domain in good faith.
There are ways. But remember, where there is money, there is a electronic paper trail. There is code in web pages, you could find a person that way.
About the 100K, I don't know if this has ever come up, but what is to stop a person from going after other domains a foreign person owns, it is located on US property (jurisdiction). This is just a thought I've had but never really looked into. But it is up to the plantiff to collect the award judgements, not the court. Very rarely would you see a domain dispute go this far. It is usually too much work and too much wasted money to do so. But it does provide good scare tactics if needed...
Philip, If I was located in 'x' (where x is a country that it is very difficult to enforce international laws, and there are many such nations) , the only loss is the actuall domain..
While this is unfortunate, the fact is, NO ONE can get a single penny from anyone in these nations..
The laws quoted are as good as the reseipts given from KFC for some fried chicken, for example in the philipenes, or, across in Africa and Asia..
Nothing can be done other than the loss of the domain(s) in Question..
I understand you need more time to analyze this hypothetical scenario, however, not only is it an imaginary one, but it has real applications..
Finding someone in a nation that will not agree with your *findings* is very easy.
There are many nations that consider the UN a BS vehicle, so they do, on a daily basis, give it the middle finger..
Awating a reply :-)..
If you are tryng to justify a name like this, don't register it. If your domain name contains trademark or a misspelling of a trademark it is best to steer clear.
What you should be doing is: Come up with an idea for a site; Think of a good name that suits that site (but doesn't contain any obvious trademarks); register the name and build the site.
What you shouldn't be doing is: Think of a name that uses a well known trademark; register the name; put up a parking page, advertising and/or try to sell it.
Steer well clear of anything to do with other companies' trademarks...
Several years ago we registered RegisterDotComDomains.com to promote our WWD reseller account...without checking for a TM.
Along came Register.com who has a TM on both Register and Register.com - they filed a UDRP. We didn't bother responding as the domain really was worthless to us and was not getting any business.
Basically the TM laws state, at least in our case, that OUR domain SOUNDED too familiar and would be confusing to anyone who heard it (now that's a stretch!).
As everyone else has mentioned - stay clear of TM's unless you have WRITTEN permission from the TM holder to "promote" or "use" their TM.
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I have agreed that it could be a wasted effort to go that length for something which the plantiff is awarded. But again, if I awarded some big judgement against a foreigner, I will definately pursue their other property located in the US.
Also remember, there are many nations that do honor other nations IP laws (TMs, copyrights) and nations may work with the US to bring justice for violating these laws). But this is going a little beyond my knowledge if you want specifics...
The WORST that could happen?.
The people from google will arrive in the googlemobile and take you to their googlizing plant. They will then crawl on you and eventually spider you. Trust me you do not want to know what that involves. By this time you wish you where dead but then.. they hand you over to 1and1...