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Domain name similarity

Are there legal protections to my website's identity?

     
3:43 pm on Nov 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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In December 1996 I registered a domain "widgetshopper.com"
A check of archives.org shows pages archived continuously beginning December 1998.

I recently found that someone registered "thewidgetshoppe.com" in May 1999 and is now competing with my site on Adwords and Yahoo PPC.

Are these names similar enough for a cause of action? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

3:45 pm on Nov 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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No.

"shoppe" exists anyway..olde worlde english to try and give the site a nice Middle Ages feel to it. Although I don't imagine it has one...

1:42 am on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Unless you can prove trademark rights, no.
4:40 am on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Shoppe = a place to buy widgets.

Shopper = a person shopping for widgets.

Widges? Sounds like it might be a very general term. You're not the only source for widgets, right? You don't hold a trademark on "widgets", do you?

Doesn't seem that robust a claim, but I'd run the specifics past legal counsel in the jurisdiction where your claim arises.

6:02 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'll get more specific (without revealing the industry I'm in).

Since 1986 I've been publishing a hard copy subscription magazine (Widget Shopper - $45/year) . In 1996 I began publishing digital issues of the magazine to the widget shopper .com site. The hard copy magazine is copyrighted (I periodically sent issues to the Copyright office and have the official copyright receipts for about 10 issues)

Now a competitor has a site called widget shoppe (.com)

Is this a cause for action?

6:04 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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No. It's not.
4:10 am on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I imagine there are a lot of other close derivations you wouldn't have a claim on as well. So you might want to check some others out and consider taking control of them if you haven't already done it.
7:53 am on Nov 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'll get more specific (without revealing the industry I'm in).
Since 1986 I've been publishing a hard copy subscription magazine (Widget Shopper - $45/year) . In 1996 I began publishing digital issues of the magazine to the widget shopper .com site. The hard copy magazine is copyrighted (I periodically sent issues to the Copyright office and have the official copyright receipts for about 10 issues)

Now a competitor has a site called widget shoppe (.com)

Is this a cause for action?

If the other party copied even a fraction of your content, maybe under any and all existing copyright laws.

But again, can you prove trademark rights and all that? Trademarks and copyrights are 2 different things.