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Using brand names in domains

is it 'allowed'?



11:55 am on Sep 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Does anyone know what the general attitude is of companies toward their brand name being used in domains that aren't theirs?

I run some blog / informative type sites that do just this and I never ever had problems with it. For SEO it's obviously great.

What if you wanted to setup something like minolta-photocopiers.com (just an example!) to dropship those products? What's the likelihood that company will complain about it (considering the fact you are in fact helping to sell their products)?

Does anyone know if Shopify has a policy toward using brand names in the url of their shops?


2:47 pm on Sep 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

At a guess they would not be happy unless you were an official franchisee in which case they would dictate the format.

The legal situation would depend on your jurisdiction in some it might just be a civil matter in others you might face criminal prosecution for "passing off".


10:47 pm on Sep 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You mean like this?


1:00 am on Sep 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I have a number of successful (info/forum) sites using trademarked terms (brands) in the URL. I make it clear on the site that we are not affiliated with said company. Make sure visitors know that you have nothing to do with the real company and try to keep things clean (don't bash the brand, etc.).

I've been doing that for 13 years and haven't had a problem, I know the manufacturer is aware of the site too. In my niche you see it all day long though, companies running forums and info sites using trademark (brand) domain names. It might be something like BRANDonline.com or BRANDforums.com etc. I suppose they probably could legally try to get the domain name and $$ damages, that's just part of the risk of doing business. It's just everywhere in my niche and rarely does a manufacturer actually do anything about it.

If you go ahead and use a URL like you mentioned, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have some backup domain names ready without brand names in them if worst came to worse you could switch over.

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