Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: not2easy

Message Too Old, No Replies

Domain name trademark of popular term

5:48 pm on Jul 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

joined:Apr 14, 2010
votes: 0


I picked up a domain name worth claiming a trademark for. The domain name however contains a popular common term within it. Can I trademark the expanded version? Should I?

example(not my terms but to give you an idea using a popular site): Wiki is a popular and now common word. Wikimedia and Wikipedia are well known brands. The term 'Wiki' however was registered as a trademark in the US by Richmond Wholesale Meat Co in Dec of 2010 and published for opposition in April of 2011. Wikipedia, and Wikimedia, would thus be using a trademark they don't own, or would they?

In this scenario my domain name, and potential trademark, would be widgetwiki and entirely unrelated to the businesses of either wikipedia or the chicken product company who registered 'wiki'. Would I be in violation of the trademark 'wiki' even if our sites are about different subjects? In my use wiki would refer to guide or manual in nature while wiki is apparently a chicken product. Very different.

Should I expect to be ok with a domain name like widgetwiki ?
I've read the documentation at [uspto.gov...] and it leads me to believe I would be fine but it doesn't reference examples and does not offer a legal opinion, just the mechanics.

There seem to be some 250+ trademarked terms containing 'wiki' which suggests I would be fine but I'm not 100% sure, if you have trademark experience I'd love to hear your thoughts.
8:51 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
votes: 280

Not sure how it might go if a third party wished to challenge, but will remind all that not to long ago two parties went to court over "appstore" and "app store" to the tune of all those lawyer costs.

"wiki" these days falls into the same category (on the web) as "store" or "app".