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Domain names that have a company's name

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by paul5, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. #1
    Is there anything wrong with using a company's name in a domain name?
     
    paul5, Nov 2, 2009 IP
  2. AnniCanClick

    AnniCanClick Active Member

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    #2
    AnniCanClick, Nov 2, 2009 IP
  3. alexa_s

    alexa_s Peon

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    #3
    Yes, it's illegal in most countries to use a trademarked name in, or as part of a domain-name.

    If they're big enough for their name to be potentially valuable to people abusing it, they can normally afford a lawyer. ;)
     
    alexa_s, Nov 2, 2009 IP
  4. AnniCanClick

    AnniCanClick Active Member

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    #4
    Mm, Alexa's right. What I'm referring to is purchasing a domain name such as "ofr.com" or something equally innocuous; later on, it might become a company name. Many of my domainer clients have faced issues with registering or purchasing domain names, that just happen to have the same name as a company, and faced legal issues because of it.
     
    AnniCanClick, Nov 2, 2009 IP
  5. PhilipR

    PhilipR Peon

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    #5
    No, Paul, there is not a thing wrong in doing that.

    :rolleyes:
     
    PhilipR, Nov 2, 2009 IP
  6. ksw

    ksw Greenhorn

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    #6
    In many countries there can be a domain is equated to the trade mark. Only here рускоязычные regions are not burdened by it. Here again, who the first has registered the domain, that and the rights.
     
    ksw, Nov 3, 2009 IP
  7. Law-Dude

    Law-Dude Active Member

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    #7
    Yes, a company's name is a trademark and you can't use someone else's trademark without their permission.
     
    Law-Dude, Nov 3, 2009 IP
  8. browntwn

    browntwn Prominent Member

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    #8
    There are many examples where several companies have rights in the same business name. It is certainly possible for one party to legally use a domain name that is also another company's registered trademark.

    It really depends on the particular name and how it is being used by the parties in question. Nobody can offer a definitive yes or no response without much more information.

    Don't you agree dude?
     
    browntwn, Nov 3, 2009 IP
  9. Law-Dude

    Law-Dude Active Member

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    #9
    Yes, I agree. Perhaps I jumped the gun. I'm assuming the worst for the purpose of answering a question where no information is given, i.e., the poster is wanting to use someone else's business name to get prospective buyers to buy products from him instead of similar products that his competitor sells, confusing the customers in the process. The safest answer going only on what is known (which is nothing other than that the OP wants to use someone else's business name in his domain name--the uniqueness of that name and the intended use and the country whose laws it is subject to are not known) is, "No."

    It's also the most pragmatic move, for a couple of reasons I can think of:

    First, it avoids others making threats over trademark infringement which, even if unfounded, certainly would require some time and paid legal advice if the OP were to want to be prudent in responding to them, which is always inconvenient.

    Second, if the OP comes up with a unique name instead of using someone else's business name, more fields are available for him to register a trademark in at future dates. For example, if there was a trademark for the name "Widget Fruits" as it relates to the sale of fruit, and another company wanted to use the name for the sale of vehicles, then even if the company could make "Widget Automobiles" they would be prevented from using their brand name to expand into the fruit sector in the future, because that trademark would already be taken. This isn't important to many people, but for others who like to work in multiple niches and relate them to each other, it might be relevant.

    Also, as I understand it, even if something isn't considered a tortious use of someone's trademark under the law, certain domain registrar organizations like ICANN don't have the exact same wording in their rules as trademark infringement laws might contain. Therefore, even if a certain use of a previously trademarked name is considered to be legal in a particular jurisdiction, the domain name management organization could still transfer it to a complainant if the name violates the rules specific to that organization.

    Of course, legal information is worth what one pays for it. If the OP has concerns about whether something he is doing is legal, he should pay a licensed legal professional for advice. It might save him a lot more money in the future.
     
    Law-Dude, Nov 3, 2009 IP
  10. browntwn

    browntwn Prominent Member

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    #10

    I figured that was what you meant. And I agree, the short answer to most of the "can I" questions around here is certainly "No".
     
    browntwn, Nov 3, 2009 IP
  11. dreadman

    dreadman Peon

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    #11
    This very much depends on where you are, is the company name trademarked, as well as a number of other issues.

    there has been a number of cases where businesses have managed to get thier names from domainers

    At the end of the day as the above stated it can be costly so i prefer to avoid such things and concentrate on making money not law suits lol.
     
    dreadman, Nov 5, 2009 IP
  12. kellogs2k3

    kellogs2k3 Peon

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    #12
    i got an email just 2 days ago from a big company whos name i wont mention, since some of my domains had their name in it. So i had to transfer them the domains or face some serious lawsuits. I ended up deleting a bunch of other domain names i had, just to never have to deal with the risk in the future. As dreadman mentioned, it comes down to whether the company whos name yer using has the trademark registered in the particular country where u are located. My pages were just landing pages so while i ranked well on google, i didnt flip out about having to lose them. I mean, it sucked, but it didnt suck as much as getting sued for possibly 300k. I wasnt abusing it either, i was selling that companys products. In the end its better to avoid the trouble.
     
    kellogs2k3, Dec 1, 2009 IP
  13. arrisweb

    arrisweb Well-Known Member

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    #13
    Which countries you mean? Nepal, Ukraine, etc?
    In many countries trademark issues looks different.
    I suppose all answers coming from US trademark view.
     
    arrisweb, Dec 18, 2009 IP
  14. jbourne34

    jbourne34 Member

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    #14
    This thread was a good read and a heads up as I have a domain with "paypal" in it. I should second guess going live with the site even though it's been indexed and a top search result in under a month. Probably won't be worth the possible legal issues for the income.
     
    jbourne34, Dec 25, 2009 IP
  15. xmart

    xmart Peon

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    #15
    In short, it's illegal. If you wants to void the rules by yourself then of course you can register from many registrars but you might have to face legal issues later one. It is not recommended to register a name which is copyright trademarked by certain business/company. If you're not referring to domain registration of a registered trademark name of any business then you are allowed to register.
     
    xmart, Dec 25, 2009 IP
  16. chandan123

    chandan123 Prominent Member

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    #16
    its illegal if the company name is Trademarked or its a made up word

    its ok if you have general domain name like ice.com u need not worry abt ice soft ;) unless u put ice soft products :)
     
    chandan123, Dec 25, 2009 IP
  17. StoneCS

    StoneCS Peon

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    #17
    Yeah, you may have trouble with that in the future(especially since they are part of eBay). A site I joined a couple years ago had a similar situation.

    I'm talking about wordpressdirect.com After they had a little success, WordPress contacted them and said they had to change it to avoid legal issues, :confused: so they switched it to wpdirect.com and redirected the original link.

    B)>
     
    StoneCS, Dec 31, 2009 IP