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selling a trademarked domain name?

 4:32 pm on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

last week i purchased a domain name that is the trademarked name of a product. it is the name of a toy no longer in production, but made by a company that is still very popular.

i intended to use this domain as a site for collectors of toys related to this product, but i also intended to make a (small) profit from the site (basicly i wanted my hobby to at least pay for itself.)

before i started setting it up, i decided to research the idea more, which brought me here. and i found that a for profit site using somebody elses trademark for a domain is a bad idea. (i suppose that is obvious to you guys, but i thought thats the way the web worked; if you buy the name, its yours to do with what you want.)

so, now since i feel like i'm basicly squating this name, is it at least legal for me to try to sell it on ebay? (perhaps somebody else might want it for non-profit site) i mean, i can buy a trademarked product and resell it on ebay, so...

or should i just mark it up as a loss and wait for my ownership to expire?



 4:41 pm on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

You can happily use a trademark if you get written permission...

It can be surprisingly easy if you take the right approach.

A few years ago I was given wirtten permission to use South Park trademarks, graphiics, characters and sound clips for a non-profit project (which sadly never materialised). How did I do that? I just asked, explaining in detail what it was about and hoped they would agree, and they did!

It could well be that asking the trademark owner will result in gaining permission to use the name, if not you may need to hand it over or use it for something completely different.

The most important parts of this is getting the message right and asking the right people.

Good luck


 4:45 pm on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi sdmark,
Welcome to WebmasterWorld. Enjoy.

We can't provide legal advise, but we can comment in general.

I would contact the company and tell them what you want to do with it. You may be surprised at their reaction. Collector sites are great advertising for a company. The one I maintain has given us boxes of materials for our use. They maintain a link to the site. It really is a win-win.

If they object to your plan, offer to sell them the domain. You will at least get your money back.


 2:22 am on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

If they object to your plan, offer to sell them the domain. You will at least get your money back.

As mentioned, we all can't provide legal advice.

However, I can say that you would probably be asking for trouble if you contacted a company about their trademark domain, they said no, then you responded by trying to sell it to them.

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