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Potential domain name conflict -- I need some opinions

domain trademark conflicts

10:58 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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joined:Feb 21, 2006
votes: 0

Hello everyone,

I recently registered a domain that contains a generic word that also happens to be someone else's trademark and I'd like some input on whether I face a potential dispute down the road.

The facts are as follows:

1. I registered a .com that takes the form of "AdjectiveNoun."

2. That same noun, followed by .com, is someone else's registered trademark.

3. The noun in question is a word in common use, and searching that word with Google produces millions of results, most of which make no reference to the business that uses the noun as its .com domain. The first result is Wikipedia and it does NOT mention that business. It really is a word in common use -- it is not an arbitrary word like "Kodak."

4. My website does not compete directly with the other business -- the topics are somewhat similar but that website is for women and mine is for men, and they take completely different approaches.

5. There is no chance of my website being confused with the other one, or of diverting business away from them, owing to the long adjective in my domain name and non-overlapping audiences.

6. There are several other websites that have that generic noun in their domain name, and they are not owned by that other company and do not appear to be involved in disputes.

7. I registered the domain in good faith, but if there is a risk of conflict, I would prefer to find out sooner rather than later.

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!

Many thanks.
9:43 pm on Oct 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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joined:June 13, 2003
votes: 3

You need a lawyers advice imo but if it was me, I wouldn't worry, but you might have to be prepared to defend any action against you, if they are the aggressive or protective type.
6:12 pm on Oct 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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joined:June 14, 2010
posts: 618
votes: 8

IANAL - this is opinion.

Does the other domain owner have enough money to bury you in legal proceedings, ultimately forcing your hand to drop the domain? If so, spend more time to cover your bases.

I rebuilt a commerce site several years for a company that was branded as verbnoun.tld. Another very big brand uses the same verb as their business and domain name, which is also a general term used to describe a type of product.

The very big brand had their very big lawyers contact the business owner, and through a series of very threatening letters for legal procedures and more than $15k in attorney fees, they just quit fighting them and turned over the domains and all branding info.

It was purely a case of who could afford to get buried in legal proceedings... a big company with millions in expendable income, or the small-fry barely showing a profit each month.

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