I have owned the .ORG version of a major corporation's .COM name since 1999. We're talking lots of attorneys here.
Sedo.com using just the domain name as the keyword.
In my defense, the domain is a dictionary word and I have never intentionally used it for anything that would violate trademark. I've already un-parked it just to be safe (because the parking page results were related to the corp's business).
I'm wondering if I should just let the name drop. I'd hate to pay the registration for years longer just to have it yanked down the road. Any thoughts?
[edited by: Webwork at 1:16 am (utc) on April 4, 2006] [edit reason] Charter [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]
Dictionary words cannot be trademarked in the US, so you are not infringing trademark. However, ICANN can take away a domain even if it's not infringing trademark, they use their own set of rules (it's not just based on trademarks).
Yes, you're right. What I meant to say is that dictionary words cannot be trademarked if they are used the same way the dictionary uses them. So if you are a computer company named Apple, you can get a trademark. But if you are an apple farm company named Apple, or a computer hardware store named "computer hardware" then you can't get a trademark.
It's always a big mistake to let go of a dictionary word domain. Why waste it? :)
Just make sure how you use the domain name isn't similar or related in any way to what the trademark holder is "known" for. You can actually still park it with ads, but how to make sure it doesn't display competing ads is another matter.
Focus on showing 'good faith' that you don't have intent to infringe or confuse. Don't approach the .COM owner or competitor if you choose to sell the domain. Such actions are viewed as a sign of bad faith.