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Domain Names Forum

    
Using Brand Names in domain name
Is it always legal?
IntegraGsrBalla




msg:697693
 5:16 pm on May 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is it always legal to use brand names in your own domain name.

Say the brand name "Widgetphonez" (an example) was a popular cell phone company. (another example).

And say I wanted to create a forum about "widgetphonez"

would it be okay to use their brand name in my domain name such as:

widgetphonezforum.com
or
widgetphonez-forum.com

Do some companies not allow their brand name to be used in other peoples domains?

 

kodaks




msg:697694
 7:42 pm on May 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Do some companies not allow their brand name to be used in other peoples domains?

Yes some companies allow it and some do not. The best bet would be to ask the company first before doing anything. Make sure you get it in writing from the company that you have their permission to use their name. This will help to eliminate legal battles between you and the companies.

IntegraGsrBalla




msg:697695
 5:09 am on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks Kodaks for the response,

I am still waiting for the business to respond.

I have noticed some other people using their company name in their domain name, but not too many.

This company is a popular company.

I hope they respond!

About the other people using their domain name: Think the company hasnt cought on yet, or think they just dont care?

What is the worst they will make someone do if they catch someone using their domain name without permission? ( just curious )

Change the domain name?

Press charges?

Other?

There is no way we are going to use their brand name unless we get 100% written permission from the company!

Webwork




msg:697696
 2:21 pm on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

There's only 1 sound business strategy in the realm: Get written permission.

Industry is still groping for how to deal with this issue and rightfully so. There's a lot to think about. It might serve your purposes to present a detailed offer (contract?) relating to how you will use the domain, what you won't do, how you will surrender the domain if you stop doing business, etc.

kodaks




msg:697697
 9:05 pm on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

What is the worst they will make someone do if they catch someone using their domain name without permission? ( just curious )

Change the domain name?

Press charges?

Other?


Theres no way to tell how far an individual company may go, but you should always expect the worst if you don't ask them first.

suzyvirtual




msg:697698
 3:44 am on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Most people would just send you a legel letter demanding that you give them the name--this could suck if you had spent time building traffic/user base etc.
The CAN sue you for the money you have made off of their trademark--this could really suck and is why you want written permission.

metrostang




msg:697699
 9:45 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

A 1999 law allows a company to collect up to $100,000 damages for trademark infringement per domain name if they can prove the name is rightfully theirs. So called "bad faith" also has to be proved on your part.

One of the big three auto makers is trying to take my 6 year old domain and 16 year old business name.

Webwork




msg:697700
 10:24 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I just noticed a massive movement of automobile related domain names, domains including a certain manufacturer's models, xyzDistributor.com, xyzDealer.com, etc. It looked like a pretty clean sweep and, no, these were not new defensive registrations but old registrations from many sources.

Might just be the wake-up call I've been warning people about for a few years: Multi-party lawsuits brought by major brand holders. Name 1500 defendants in one federal court lawsuit and then use the court's multi-state enforcement arm and international legal support where judgment enforcement is needed.

Frankly I think the domain PPC parking companies who jointly profit from "traditional" cybersquatting domains make an easier target and I look to see these companies under the gun soon, either by FTC action or lawsuit.

All the industry has been looking for is a cost effective remedy. The music industry has helped to prove the enforcement model: Target 100-500 individuals, negotiate somewhat painful settlements and go hammers-to-hell against the stalwarts.

Wake up people. Party is soon to be over. Don't be one of the last ones out the door or your tailcoat might get stuck in the doorway.

metrostang




msg:697701
 3:09 am on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Webwork - When you say massive movements, do you mean domains changing ownership or disappearing? What is the significance? Are they protecting assets by changing registration

Webwork




msg:697702
 1:42 pm on May 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ownership appears to be moving from individuals who registered domains containing trademarks into the manufacturer's control. Not dissappearing, which would tend to invite another individual to register them.

Significance? Assume trademark holder is protecting their various trademarked words and phrases.

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