Hi, I just found this site when looking for some information on domain bullying. I am an amature web designer, its part-hobby, part-income, I just build sites for friends, family & their friends e.t.c.
This week, 2 of my clients (well, my best friend and my sister) got letters from solicitors demanding transferral of their domain names due to trademark infringement. Both separate letters from separate firms, just co-incidence they happened at the same time I think.
In the case of my sister, it is a domain that we point to her site for a particular product. The domain describes what the product is, but according to this very threatening letter I received from a US lawyer, a rival brand has registered it as a trademark. There is no proof about the trademark and I can't find any info about its existance. Besides, this company is in USA and we are in UK (although we have both .com & .co.uk and it is the .com they are after). My guess is they must have recently registered the trademark in the USA and now realise that I own the domain. Their letter says that they note that the domain is used to display advertising, which clearly shows they haven't even looked at it! Can they just take it from me like that? I'm sure I read somewhere before that there is some legislation to stop these big companies just registering trademarks in order to bully the domain from the other guy?
What really annoys me is this is their first contact with me about it their letter (well, a pdf attached to an email) just demands the transferral of the domain and threatens thousands of dollars in damages e.t.c.
In the case of my friend, he is a local tradesman.
A company registered a UK trademark on his name in Nov 2009. However, he has been trading under this name for 5 years and we registered his domain and built his website back in 2007, so am I right in thinking this is enough to prove he has a legitimate right to use this domain?