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Domain Names Forum

Trademark and my domain
Someone else registered a close version, but I have no trademark.

 6:20 pm on Feb 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

I recently found that someone has registered a domain very close to mine, and they've set up a search spam parking page on it. If my domain is www.wigetsofexample.com, the one with the search on it is www.thewidgetsofexmaple.com. My site has been up for about 10 months or so and I've just started a small traffic boom. The other site was registered last month, and the way the terms within the domain are set up I find it hard to believe that the other domain isn't a shot at getting some of my traffic. I had planned on eventually purchasing the www.thewidgetsofexample.com in the future in order to protect myself... I guess hindsight is 20/20.

I don't have a trademark on my name. Again, I had planned on getting one, but trademarks, even at the online legal sites, are very expensive and it just isn't the type of money I can justify spending at this point.

I really don't care that much about the other domain, I just don't want them copying my idea since I'm really the only place online that does what I do, and I'm just now getting popular. Even though I haven't registered a trademark, is there anything I can do to keep someone from copying my idea and using that site for it since I've been using those exact terms for almost a year?

Were I to get a trademark, would I have any power over what happens to that domain even though my trademark registration came AFTER their domain registration? I don't want to steal anyone's domain away, but I don't want someone milking my ideas and using my name for it either.

Not looking for legal advice, I know that YANAL, just hoping for some input on what my potential options are. My website and I are both in the US, as is the registrant for the other site.



 7:38 pm on Feb 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Were I to get a trademark, would I have any power over what happens to that domain even though my trademark registration came AFTER their domain registration?

Just repeat that to yourself a few times. Does it make any common sense?

That said, if you have been using the name in a "trade or business", then you may have some rights even though you have not filed a trademark. (But not deriving from your later filing of a trademark.)

Read the uspto.gov site (if in the U.S.), read the ICANN information, and then consult with an attorney, if it is worth the cost.


 8:21 pm on Feb 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the reply. The question was due to the fact that I have been using the name without trademark for longer than the other site has been registered, and the other site has not (as of yet) put up any content that mirrors or imitates mine in any way.

Obviously I couldn't register the name now and take their site away as it stands... I just want to know if I could prevent them from using it to more or less copy my idea by registering a trademark or if I'm already afforded a certain level of protection from simply having the name in use on my site.

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