GoDaddy customer reviews : Suggest I invest in GoDaddy?? "Zilla" Lawsuit: Your Opinions?

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You are all aware that there are thousands of "Zilla" domains registered and hundreds of "Zilla" trademarks approved by the USPTO..

As even the Wikipedia notes:.

" "Zilla" is a recent Internet phenomenon involving the naming of websites and services with the suffix -zilla. This trend has been observed since the popularization of the Mozilla Project, which itself included the Internet relay chat client ChatZilla. The suffix is derived from the character Godzilla."

You are also aware that Toho of Japan holds the Godzilla trademark and sometimes tries to go after "Zilla" domains.

My question is two fold:.

Let's say the USPTO approves your trademark on your "zilla" domain (that you were using for legitimate business, not in anyway related to Godzilla) and it's gone unchallenged for enough years to become a Registered mark, does Toho still have a chance to win a WIPO or lawsuit against your use of a "zilla" domain?.

Secondly, if Toho goes after your un-trademarked "zilla" domain (that you were using for legitimate business, not in anyway related to Godzilla), what do you think your chances of winning are if you theoretically had unlimited funds and a great lawyer on your side?.

Here's some Toho/Zilla background (if I'm missing some history, let me know):.

To differentiate Godzilla from the version of Godzilla that appears in the 1998 TriStar Pictures film Godzilla, Toho Studios' official name for the title creature later became, "Zilla." This info is taken from Wikipedia's entry for "Zilla":

History of Toho lawsuits from the best that I can find:.

Toho's Godzilla has won some and lost some. His name and persona were found to be protected against trademark and copyright law infringement in Toho Co., Ltd. v. William Morrow and Co., Inc., 33 F.Supp.2d 1206 (C.D.Cal .,1998). In contrast, the "King of the Monsters" lost his claim against Retail Giant Sears arising from the promotion of "Bagzilla" plastic lawn bags, Toho Company, Ltd. v.

1981), a decision which turned on the differences in the products ("fire-breathing, pre-historic, often-schizophrenic dinosaur," 33 F. Supp.2d at 1214; vs. "Monstrously Strong Bags" ), the character representations, and the marketing channels.

I found this link to be very informative on the Toho vs. "Zilla" history and tells the rumor that Mozilla has a deal with Toho:

Many of you will remember Toho versus the blog, Here's some more balanced links from the Trademark blog that show Toho just wanted DaveZilla's dragon gone:

Here's a case that is harder to find as it never went to WIPO and never became a lawsuit:.

One company changed their name of their product from Hubzilla to "Firewire Dino" after receiving a C&D letter from Toho. I have added the company's response below. However, their product was made to look exactly like GodZilla's likeness. Here is the response from the former "Hubzilla" when they were asked why they changed the name for their product :.

"I hope all is well. I am writing to make you aware of a situation regarding the product formerly known as Hubzilla. We have been contacted by Toho Co. Ltd, the company that owns all service marks, trademarks and copyrights to the Godzilla intellectual property and in an effort to avoid any future issues or confusion in the market place we will now refer to our firewire hub as "Firewire Dino." All references to Hubzilla have been removed from our site, if your project has not yet gone to print we would appreciate you making the changes as well.

Thank you very much for your help. The product will still move forward, we'll just be referring to him with a different name.


Comments (12)

Just answered your thread about this in another forum, Deluxe. Toho's lawyers.

Are doing their job, but they "seem" pretty "reasonable" compared to others...

Comment #1

Thank your for your reply Dave, for those that did not get to see Dave Zan's reply in the other forum, I've copied it here:.


Originally posted by

My question is two fold:.

Let's say the USPTO approves your trademark on your "zilla" domain (that you were using for legitimate business, not in anyway related to Godzilla) and it's gone unchallenged for enough years to become a Registered mark, does Toho still have a chance to win a WIPO or lawsuit against your use of a "zilla" domain?.

If the domain name's usage bears any similarity or relation to that.

Of the trademark, then yes. But I mean they have a chance, not.

That they'll absolutely win.

If they challenged the mark at the USPTO but the mark eventually.

"passed" anyway, then that's another plus for you.


Originally posted by

Secondly, if Toho goes after your un-trademarked "zilla" domain (that you were using for legitimate business, not in anyway related to Godzilla), what do you think your chances of winning are if you theoretically had unlimited funds and a great lawyer like John Berryhill on your side?.

Oh very big. Very very big.


Dave Zan says Vidi, Vici, Veni!.

Check My Blog..

Comment #2

I find that to be interesting. If I was the company receiving this email, I would use this email as proof of extortion, then I would go after all proceeds derived from the domain, all my legal fees, punitive damages and enforicng the Lanham Act of $100,000.00 per domain...

Comment #3

Phil, did they really pay you $5000 or did they just leave you alone? What was the "zilla" domain you were selling?..

Comment #4

For those of you who don't read the other forum, I thought I would make it easier by re-posting those replys over here (but that doesn't mean I agree with everything they say). This is a post by username, "ObtainADomain":.

I believe Toho is committing massive trademark overreach by going after Zilla domains.

If I was a betting man, I'd bet that Toho "later changed" the name of their American Godzilla to "Zilla" in order to try to build more legal basis to take your Zilla domains from you. Sounds like a calculated scheme.

The thing that rubs me wrong is that's dragon they had him remove, didn't look ANYTHING like Godzilla. It was the profile of a T-Rex, in skeleton form! That is ridiculous that Toho had a problem with it and they should be ashamed at that overreach.

All of the Zilla owners should find a way to unite into an organization that will defend each member from Toho. The owners would organize if they would realize that every victory Toho gets over a zilla domain, gives them one more piece of precedence that they can later use as amunition in court so they can later take your zilla domain. right now, with the BagZilla case, the precedence is against Toho but that won't last long. Some of these owners have a lot of investment in their zilla sites.

Even though MoZilla was probably the first to use the "Zilla", may be one of the most successful, it was sold to Scripps a few years ago for 525 Million Dollars! ( ).

That is a nice chunk of change. Other notable "Zilla"' major players include.,, and

Comment #5

Just remember that these things are case to case. So Phil's response for this.

Case can work for him, but it can not necessarily work for you...

Comment #6

It's understandable that Toho gets upset when someone uses zilla in combination with any lizard like logo. That's clearly playing off the Godzilla image. Still, you have to look at each case to determine whether there might be any confusion.

The zilla suffix itself is a different story. While it was no doubt inspired by Godzilla it has taken on it's own meaning. Regardless of any claims of a trademark it's clearly a generic term. Toho can make claims, send letters, etc., but they really haven't got a case.

Personally I'd never let a zilla name go for cheap just to avoid potential legal trouble. It's just a bullying tactic. I guess if you can unload a crap name for a few grand it would be worth it but many names have a lot more potential than that. I've never received a nasty letter so I assume they are very rare is that Toho is aware of my position on the matter. I don't know if it needs to be that organised, but it would be easy enough. Most of the zillas are owned by a dozen or so people.

Just noticed your name under your user name, which is not unfamiliar. I'm with Essatte. Feel free to drop me a line. You might also want to talk to Grrilla. He's got a lot of zillas as well.

It's a small zilla world I hope these guys don't get into trouble for lying to the SEC.

"On June 27, 2005, we completed our acquisition of Shopzilla, Inc., a Web-based comparison shopping search engine. We paid $525 million in cash for 100 percent of Shopzilla. Shopzilla shareholders also received the amount of Shopzillas net working capital at the time of closing, which was about $39 million."

Comment #7

Man I ain't gonna buy a zilla name.. too confusing..

Comment #8

I understand your feeling, there is a lot of risk involved in developing a "zilla" but try buying many easily recognised internet suffixes or prefixes these days and some crazy company or crazy person will come after you becauese they selfishly believe they should have sole rights to even the most generic of terms.

Add "easy" or "ez" to your domain, for example. Sounds innocent enough. But no, crazy man, Stelio Haji-Ioannous, just because he bought, but mostly because he's crazy, will WIPO you or sue you or both. That would be like me buying "" and then suing anyone that uses "web" in their domain. Under the category, "Brand Thieves" Haji-Ioannous posts this on his site:.

"Some people think they can make a fast buck by stealing our name and our reputation. They set up websites and companies using the name 'easy' (or phoenetic versions of it) which can either pay a passing resemblance to an easyGroup company or be a direct copy.".

It's like, hello, the word "easy" has been used in businesses and domains LONG before you came along Haji-Ioannous. Sounds like someone's been sipping the kool-aid again. Primacomputer, it's for posts like yours that I started this thread, your opinion is very thought out, thanks for contributing and I will definitely drop you a line. For those of you who don't recognize Primacomputer, among many other high level transactions, he sold for $35,000 a few years ago. For sure a "Zilla" major player.

Also Prima, the guy I think of as the "Zilla" Godfather is also a member of this board and goes under the username: "ehits". He is the owner of and many other valueable "zilla's".

I wish someone would create a "Zilla" directory similar to what Stelio did at where Zilla owners could pay a reasonable rate to join the "Zilla Group" which would pool the money for a "Zilla defense fund" as well as serve as a way for our sites to network together for increased search engine rankings and brand recognition. The fact that Toho would be less likely to sue if we were organized would increase the value of our "zilla's" as the risk of loosing our sites would go down (I know I would pay to join such a group). Something akin to what the "easy" domains did in response to EasyGroup:

I've asked Ehits if he would consider posting on this thread so here's hoping...

Comment #9

I gotta get me one of those zilla names, then...

Comment #10

LOL @ "mostly because he is crazy".

I think you simplify this somewhat. Whilst I have no desire to defend Stelios, in the UK he is synonymous with cut price goods and services based on the easy brand. Examples are: easyJet, easyMoney, easyRentacar, easyEverything (I kid you not), easyInternet, easyCruise, easyHotel and others I'm sure.

In the solicitors letter I got relating to a domain I owned that started with "easy" they claim rights to the word easy followed by any English word. They also claim it was "inconceivable" that I had not heard of the easy group's businesses prior to my registerung the domain.

Given the range of businesses that the easy group currently operate in, and the fame of the brand, especially on this side of the pond, easy group are duty bound to protect their brand.

That said, there are a number of websites that for one reason or another easy group are not going after, easyMassage being one of them and some which are putting up a fight, easyArt, for example.

Not wanting to defend his actions, merely bringing a different perspective.



By the way, you might like to know that is available..

Comment #11

Phil, have you tried using User CP to access your profile, then click unsubscribe.

Below the thread you don't want to receive emails for?..

Comment #12

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


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