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trademarking very common keywords



4:17 pm on Apr 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


someone has emailed me telling me they've trademarked


i don't use genericfitnessterm.com in my urls but i do use it as very seperate keywords (generic fitness term) for the services i sell in my business which...fwiw, everyone in my business sells.

basically they trademarked something as common as 'workout'.

i happen to rank higher organically in my city than this other persons heavily adworded stuff. i dont use adwords at all, and all my search results are entirely organic, and the result of years and years of working on my website & brick and mortar business content.

can this person sue me for using keywords? even though, i'm more well known, have been in business longer and every other person doing what i do uses these key words too?

all i did was seo my pages and no one would ever confuse our services as i target a very high end customer, and she does not.


5:19 pm on Apr 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

The first thing I'd do is go to the U.S. Trademark Office site at uspto.gov and verify that the trademark has been registered or applied-for. If it has, then dispute that registration if it is indeed a common word.

I suspect that the claim of trademark is a bluff, in which case I wouldn't bother answering or changing anything. But if the trademark has been granted and you choose to dispute it, then you'll likely want to consult with a trademark attorney.

Also, if someone tradmarks "widget.com", this has no effect on the use of the word "widget" -- Only the complete string "widget.com" is trademarked; OfficeDepot.com cannot stop people from using the words "office" or "depot" on-line: If they could, most of the English-language Web would likely disappear. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is not likely to grant a trademark that would force it to change its own name...

Again, if there are any 'sticky details' to this, I suggest that you consult with an attorney who is well-versed in these issues.



5:34 pm on Apr 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

awesome thank you so much...they do have the trademark...and your widget.com example is exactly my situation...

i have words in a logical sentence like 'abc widget workshop' that people in my business use to search for this and it's so common i cant believe anyone would be so DUMB to waste a trademark on it...

and she's trademarked the words as widgetworkshop as one complete word ...and mine are seperated as one does, when you write sentences in the english language.

thanks again...


6:32 pm on Apr 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

There's always "clinic," "seminar," "class," "course," "training," "instruction," "conference," "session," "workout," "convention," "symposium," and likely several other synonymous and related words that can be used individually or in phrase combinations, as appropriate to your specific case. Target them too -- at your convenience, of course; Some of these may yield even better traffic and/or conversions, and using them would demonstrate that you are not specifically targeting a match on her domain or trademark.

If you *are* specifically targeting her potential visitors, then consult with an attorney (and no need to say so here).



6:57 pm on Apr 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

i already do that's probably why i rank higher than her in organic search results and i dont need to use the adwords.

i target people that pay alot for individual personal service, she targets a low cost strictly online membership...not even remotely close.


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