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domain name copyright

     
4:01 pm on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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just curious, is it legal to have a domain name that contains another website's name, let's say, microsoftusa.com
4:13 pm on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I believe that if you are personally called Mr Microsoft Usa then you would be well within your right to have that domain.
4:37 pm on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

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If you incorporate a trademark into your name, you will probably lose if you are challenged by the trademark holder. Some trademark holders are very restrictive, while others seem to allow their customers a bit of latitude if their products are being promoted.

The type of business may make a difference. If microsoftusa.com is selling software, most courts might construe that confusion could exist. However, if you were hand a new micro-weave knitting technology and put up a textile sales site called microsoftblankets.com, you might be able to hang onto it. OTOH, large companies can afford good lawyers, and lots of them - right or wrong don't always count.

2:47 pm on May 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I recently discovered that there is a site which has the same name as mine but with 'the' before it. It's a bit annoying. If I were to trademark my site name could I get them to change theirs even if it was there first? I'm not saying this is what I will do but am interested.
3:12 pm on May 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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If you were to trademark your relevant name, this would certainly add some weight to your case if taken to the dispute resolution service. But...

...as the other party registered the domain name before you acquired the respective trademark, your case may not be as straightforward as it would otherwise be. Your decision to trademark could potentially be seen as a knee-jerk reaction and harm your case.

As ever with cases like this, consulting with a domain savvy lawyer would be the best course of action to find out exactly where you stand.

R.

 

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