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Could I get into trouble down the line?

Acquired a ndomain that belonged to a previously publicly listed company

   
5:39 am on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I recently acquired an expired domain. On further examination, I found that it was orginally the official website of a company that used to be listed in NASDAQ. That company was acquired by a European company in 2002, and in turn acquired by a well-known multi-national in 2005. I would if there could be any potential legal problems down the line if I use this domain?
5:52 am on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I'd go for it! Just don't use it in the same context, offer the same service OR pretend to be that company etc.. It seems like you picked it up with good intentions and found this out after the case.
5:46 pm on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



it dose not matter with what intentions you picked up the domain name.

What matters is the evidence, which in this case is what are you doing with it.

a)Parked page: you can get into trouble for bad faith

b)Website : as long as the context/industry is different than that of the previous company, you should be fine.

But even if you do b) and if the previous company still owns the TM for the domain name, then they can still pursue it up with you, that is if they want to.

7:33 pm on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



One correction to a statement above. domain names CAN NOT be trademarked (I tried using a lawyer and the USPTO rejected my application). Now domain names can contain nonsensical phrases (e.g. "Google") that can be trademarked. So if the domain name is a collection of dictionary words with a TLD you are probably okay.

As others have said stay clear of anything that might confuse your activities with the old company AND don't do anything to capitalize on the domain's last intended purpose.

4:28 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



If the old company is no longer using the name in trade (perhaps they changed their name when they were acquired), then they have no trademark protection - abandoned marks have no protection.

Still, to be safe, you should not try to profit off their reputation, or try to confuse people that you are somehow affiliated with them or else you are just asking for a nasty letter.

 

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