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I was curious and was wondering if you can provide any insight on whether or not I would be infringing on any copyright or trademark with another website located at: <snip>
I plan on my site being completely different but I was curious on the similarity with the names.
Any help would be greatly appreciated
[edited by: engine at 2:29 pm (utc) on Mar. 8, 2006]
[edit reason] No urls, thanks. See TOS [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]
IF the other site's name is trademarked, and if it's very similar, and if you are selling similar products or providing information of the same type, you could have a problem.
As a first step, check their site. Do they say anywhere that their name is trademarked? If they do, you have a choice. You can wait for them to come after you, or you can change your name now.
"TRADEMARKS. (examples) and other section titles are trademarks of Example, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. "
Their main domain is example.com but they have their main forum section located at [forums.example.com...] Mine is set to be www.exampleforums.com.
I must correct myself when I said my site would be completely different. I do plan on creating a message board system and of course some of the content (topics and such) may be similiar to the one at [forums.example.com...]
[edited by: rogerd at 10:02 pm (utc) on Mar. 8, 2006]
[edit reason] specifics removed & URLs examplified [/edit]
Anyway, it does appear to me that the 2 sites will share significant similarities in name and purpose. Even though "firehouse" is a generic English word in itself, I would choose a different name to avoid confusion and possible legal threats.
Anyway, I chose to change the name of the site - called my hosting company today and since it was only a week ago since I purchased it they went ahead with the new name for me
The problem is that the domain name is a generic term if you are dealing with firefighters. It would not be so generic if you were dealing with a hot sauce company.
An example of this would be Amazon.com. You can get at least a weak trademark on a bookstore called Amazon, but you should not be able to get a trademark on the name Amazon if you rent boats on the Amazon River. If the word or term is generic to the business, then they should not grant the mark.
You can look up the status of the trademarks at [uspto.gov...]
You also want to read the trademark information carefully. Sometimes the trademark is on their logo, and not the word or name itself. An example of this is Best Buy. Their name is too generic to get a mark, but they do have their big yellow tage that says "Best Buy" trademarked.
Yes but its not hard to work around. Just use generic terms. For your case you could say you bought widgetforums.com but someone else already has forums.widgets.com.
Your situation looks to be a tough call. While they post that they have trademarked their site name, they may not be able to if it is too generic. In your case, that seems pretty generic. I can't just go copyright paper.com and prevent anyone else from talking about paper or paper products. Now if I owned SuperDuperDogBisquits.com then you may have legal liabilities if you tried to start up SuperDuperDoggyBisquits.com since it is so close and not a common word or phrase.
Anyway you've got to plan for success: What if Captain Ron's site became a huge success? He'd have neverending branding problems because of this other site. Not to mention other "firehouse" sites diluting the brand. Best to have a name that's bold and unique.