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Applying for a Trademark

Legal Question about domain names...

     
8:58 pm on Oct 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have a site that has grown in popularity and is fairly profitable. I'm thinking about applying for a trademark and I currently own the .net name (ie: futuretrademark.net and future-trademark.net )

If I would apply and receive the trademark, would I have legal rights to the .com name although it is already registered to someone else?

I've been trying to obtain the .com names, however, neither party is interested in selling. Probably because they receive type in traffic from people looking for my site. They are asking way too much for the .com's.

Any comments or advice?

9:16 pm on Oct 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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

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This depends on way too many details to give any advice except make an appointment with a trademark attorney with a specialty in domain names. And not to say that it is, but you can be sure that somewhere along the line the phrase reverse hijacking will be brought up.
9:22 pm on Oct 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We've been host to several similar threads recently. They are largely productive of nothing ultimately helpful to the member's specific circumstances. Take a look back into the last 2-3 months of threads in this forum and you will see what I mean.

For example: [webmasterworld.com...]

Since we've recently been over this ground and, as stated it leads nowhere except to the inevitable conclusion that the person needs to "speak with a trademark lawyer", I'm going to euthanize this thread by putting a lock on it.

Talk to a trademark lawyer who will ask you for very specific information - the type you would be foolish to post here, as whatever you say might be used against you in a future hearing - but also the type of information that is essential to both an intelligent discussion and intelligent advice.

You might also read a selection of the WIPO and National Arbitration Forum domain dispute opinions to get a somewhat better idea of the issues involved and the facts that matter. Merely operating a business that employs "word" or "word word" is seldom conclusive of anything, especially if the word or words have a generic meaning that can be applied to a variety of circumstances and businesses.

Also, you might take a look at trademark filings with [USPTO.gov...] . You may be surprised to learn how common it is for multiple businesses to register trademarks that employ the same words.

It's an area of some complexity. Be prepared to spend a goodly sum if you plan to travel this route, with no certainty of outcome. Also, keep in mind that many of the players in the domain realm are people with the assets, lawyers and motivation to put up a good fight.

From the Domain Forum Charter:

TRADEMARKS AND LEGAL ADVICE:

For many reasons public forums are not the place to disclose details of your personal legal issues, so don't.

Webmasters ought not be confused with lawyers. The only place to seek opinions concerning specific legal matters, such as the ability to assert trademark rights, is a law office. Please do not attempt to use the forum to vet your trademark issues. Our membership is not qualified and you are not authorized to post specific domain details, the type of details without which no one can realistically offer advice even if qualified to speak.

Generalized discussions about legal issues not specific to a member's circumstances, discussions about finding or using authoritative government sources (USPTO.gov, Patent.gov.uk, WIPO, etc.), or discussions concerning significant WIPO, ICANN or court decision are proper material for discussion.

Bottom line: If you are serious about staking a trademark claim talk with a lawyer, not a webmaster. ;)

[edited by: Webwork at 9:57 pm (utc) on Oct. 23, 2006]

 

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