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What to do with domains containing a trademark

What's a guy to do with these?

4:04 pm on Jun 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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joined:June 27, 2007
votes: 0

For all the creative minds out there. Here's the senario

A Manufacturer makes the "Wigetron" a trademarked thingy.

Local dealers for wigetron buy their device and use it to provide "wigetron" service in their area.

There are often several of these dealers in each area. They register every imaginable variant of "wigetron" to get search traffic of customers searching for the service.

i.e. WigetronSeattle.com / WigetronService.com etc

A really nice guy owns several of the WigetronSeattle.com variety that he originally intended to develop as directories to list the local wigetron dealers in each area.

He developed a few with only a single wigetron dealer in each area and those are working really well for the dealers.

The others are just sitting.

Then one day he realizes that people are getting sued over this stuff.

Not "abstract, I heard anecdotal stories sued" more like "the mortar round hit my buddy, and I think that goo on my shirt is what's left of him" sued.

But the local wigetron dealers never get sued. Because the manufacturer would have to sue their own customers.

What should the guy do with all the domains? The other local wigetron dealers would love to have them. But selling them to these dealers would appear to solidify a case for cybersquatting against the really nice guy. Leasing them / marketing partnerships may be construed the same way.

Developing them as directories now also looks challenging.

The two directories that are running are in the names of the dealers, so that should be okay.

The really nice guy got a lawyer, so he's heard most of the law, and not seeking front porch amatuer law theory.

Looking more for out-of the box ideas and real world experiences.

7:09 pm on June 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Moderator This Forum

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

joined:June 2, 2003
votes: 62

Sorry to advise but for reasons spelled out in the Domain Forum Charter [webmasterworld.com] we have stopped hosting threads related to any member's trademark law or legal issues. Legal issue threads have never produced better advice than this: "Talk to a lawyer".

From the Charter:

  1. Posting domain name details is a violation of the Charter of this forum, yet, such details are what competent legal counsel would insist on knowing before offering advice.
  2. There are hundreds of jurisdictions, each with their own variation of intellectual property and trademark law.
  3. Statements made in public forums can and will be used against their maker.
  4. Trademark holders can search domain forums for threads triggered by their communications. Declaring "I was just contacted by a lawyer about a domain . . " can signal "This thread was started by the person you just called." See #3.
  5. Money judgments for cybersquatting, trademark violations and other intellectual property wrongs can bankrupt people and companies.
  6. Threads that involve personal legal or trademark issues inevitably lead to the same conclusion: "We are neither qualified nor sufficiently informed to offer competent legal advice. Talk to a lawyer".

For these and other good reasons, from this point forward [webmasterworld.com], the Domain Forum will no longer host threads related to any individual's or any company's domain trademark issues. The only place to seek opinions concerning specific legal matters, such as the ability of any party to assert trademark rights or defend against such a claim, is a law office in the proper jurisdiction.

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.

If someone posts a legal issue thread, wherein they state that they have been contacted by legal counsel for "the other side" the only advice that should be given is to strongly encourage the person to stop posting details in public forums and to immediately seek a private consultation with a lawyer.

This thread is now locked.

[edited by: Webwork at 8:33 pm (utc) on June 11, 2008]