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Generic domain names - trademarks not needed

   
5:23 am on Oct 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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



Generally business' may not trademark domain names that are of a generic term. It's likely a global principle.

Websites like "lawyers.com" ; " hotels.com " ; " business.com " "travel.com " ..... appear to be unable to obtain trademarks , despite big expensive battles with the authorities. See this example : [chicagobusinesslitigationlawyerblog.com ]

And if you get over this hurdle in one country , there's over 200 jurisdictions world wide to apply to get better protection.

But these folks all appear to trade brilliantly. So why bother trademarking at all. Is trademarking for generic named domains a waste of time , and if it is why bother trademarking e-commerce business anyway?

Any thoughts out there ?
11:59 am on Oct 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Trading deceptively is the real issue - for online businesses that means defending their domain names. Trademarks are only really essential for real-world business.

If I set up a market stall selling T-shirts with "Google" printed on them, I don't think Google Inc. would be overly concerned, but if I set up an online business that tried to car sell insurance called GoogleMotorInsurance.com I suspect they would come after me with all guns blazing.

Lawyers are very good at making money for themselves, but, on average - they can never and will never make any money for their clients because, like banks, they don't actually make anything or provide a truly useful service. This being the case, they will always be happy to fight unwinnable battles provided they are assured of being paid.
If you think about it, this is also true of stockbrokers - on average their clients only make money when stocks as a whole rise (otherwise for every winner there is a loser) but the stockbrokers themselves always get paid. They are really only bookies in sharper suits.

Kaled.
6:39 pm on Oct 25, 2010 (gmt 0)



Interesting, I see they actually trade as Hotels.com L.P., I wonder if an LLC, Inc or PLC would have made any difference?

I bet hotels.de/info are glad about this ruling and I see they trade under a GmBH.

If I set up a market stall selling T-shirts with "Google" printed on them, I don't think Google Inc. would be overly concerned


Some companies guard their marks intensely. A local hairdresser to me called her salon "Smarties" and Rowntree Mackintosh descended upon them heavily!

Is trademarking for generic named domains a waste of time


Good question, in the early days of the WWW my e-mails from address would always have a TM when corresponding with potential new suppliers just in case any disreputable company thought it a good idea to pass themselves off as us.

It seems to have worked, mind you we are an extremely well-known widget trade B&M business!
7:23 pm on Oct 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



A local hairdresser to me called her salon "Smarties" and Rowntree Mackintosh descended upon them heavily!

I presume you mean they sent her a letter and she caved. My guess is that if she had stood her ground she would have been fine - I doubt Rowntree have a registered trademark for "Smarties" that extends much beyond confectionary (it is, after all, a derivative of "smarty" which is just a dictionary word - albeit rarely used).

Kaled.
3:14 pm on Oct 26, 2010 (gmt 0)



I presume you mean they sent her a letter and she caved.


Nope, this was pre Nestlé and she actually had a visitation from the company, nothing nasty, a courteous explanation and if you check their
site it actually states:

® Registered Trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A.
3:24 pm on Oct 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Is trademarking for generic named domains a waste of time


I wouldnt say so. You can buy domains during sunrise period before it goes to auction assuming there aren't few people with the same trademark. So in that sense I think it's a good ROI.
 

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