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Doug Nebeker ("Doug")
I know YAPNAL (You are probably not a lawyer...), but Denise's trademark thread got me thinking...
Does anyone know:
One of those companies that buys domain names then resells them for thousands of dollars has a domain name that includes my company name. (Only difference between the URL and my company name is that one name is singular, the other plural).
If I am able to register a trademark for my company name, can I then tell them to stop using it (and then buy it at regular domain name pricing)?
I would get the trademark first, and then ask them to hand over the domain for a fair price.
Last option is to file a UDRP to get the domain (http://www.icann.org/en/help/dndr/udrp). I have successfully done this, but its a bit of a length process. I have a domain xxxxxxer.com, and the other company had xxxxxx.com but started using it much later than I did, and for a similar market.
I have had direct experience of this.
The company concerned registered a the .net version of our domain, centeros.com. CenterOS is our registered trademark.
I emailed the contact shown in the whois and politely advised them that they were infringing our trademark. They responded promptly and I purchased the domain from them for under US$100 which was far less than I'd have to pay our lawyers to pursue.
You can find information about dispute resolution here: http://www.icann.org/en/help/dndr/udrp
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Thanks All. Helpful as always!
I figure it's worth a letter at least once my trademark is registered. I seriously doubt anyone else will want this particular URL. If they won't deal, whatever, they can keep it.
I have a strong, viscerally negative reaction to the domain name after market. I understand for many businesses it's worth a few thousand to get the right domain name.
But it really irks me that people buy a name just to hold it hostage to resell -- they are not creating anything or adding anything of value to the process that I can see. Of course, if I'd thought of it first I probably wouldn't care...
A successful UDRP claim generally requires that you show the current owner registered and used the domain in bad faith (note the conjunctive and)
If the domain registration predates your trademark, this usually & rightly precludes a finding of bad faith. It often shows the UDRP claimant is just being jerk.
Think about it. Somebody sees a domain name that they like the look off, but somebody else has registered and/or is using it first. So the person registers a trademark, and then files a UDRP to steal the name. Should he really be able to just take it?
On the other hand, if you have an established trademark, and somebody then registers a name in bad faith to trade off your goodwill - yeh that's pretty much a text book case that UDRP is meant for.
Monday, May 19, 2014
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