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Domain at risk?

Does my domain constitute a trademark infringement?



12:58 am on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have owned the .ORG version of a major corporation's .COM name since 1999. We're talking lots of attorneys here.

Sedo.com using just the domain name as the keyword.

In my defense, the domain is a dictionary word and I have never intentionally used it for anything that would violate trademark. I've already un-parked it just to be safe (because the parking page results were related to the corp's business).

I'm wondering if I should just let the name drop. I'd hate to pay the registration for years longer just to have it yanked down the road. Any thoughts?

[edited by: Webwork at 1:16 am (utc) on April 4, 2006]
[edit reason] Charter [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]


1:01 am on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Most likely you're safe.
If the domain earns more than the $8.00 registration fee, just keep renewing it yearly. Otherwise let it drop.


1:06 am on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Dictionary words cannot be trademarked in the US, so you are not infringing trademark. However, ICANN can take away a domain even if it's not infringing trademark, they use their own set of rules (it's not just based on trademarks).


4:03 am on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Put up a website immediately related to your dictionary word. Write some relevant content. One page is enough. No one can take away your domain.


8:35 am on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Dictionary words cannot be trademarked in the US

What about apple? What about sun?
I thought that dictionary words could be trademarked, but only for specific trademark categories. But I could be wrong.


4:36 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yes, you're right. What I meant to say is that dictionary words cannot be trademarked if they are used the same way the dictionary uses them. So if you are a computer company named Apple, you can get a trademark. But if you are an apple farm company named Apple, or a computer hardware store named "computer hardware" then you can't get a trademark.


8:11 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It's always a big mistake to let go of a dictionary word domain. Why waste it? :)

Just make sure how you use the domain name isn't similar or related in any way to what the trademark holder is "known" for. You can actually still park it with ads, but how to make sure it doesn't display competing ads is another matter.


1:48 am on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Focus on showing 'good faith' that you don't have intent to infringe or confuse. Don't approach the .COM owner or competitor if you choose to sell the domain. Such actions are viewed as a sign of bad faith.

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