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Legal action against my blog

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by arrisweb, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. #1
    Hello,

    I have received email from another webmaster:

    "What are you trying to pull with your site XXXXXXXX?? Using copyrighted names, trademark infringement, etc... If you don\'t shut it down we will be forced to take legal action further."

    I have domain name with .info extension. Someone have the same name, but with .com
    I have a blog about hosting with ads.
    I am surprised. My domain was registered in December 2007.

    What do you think? shoud I have to worry?
     
    arrisweb, Jun 8, 2009 IP
  2. theman12468

    theman12468 Peon

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    #2
    Is there domain name a copyright/trademarked? Do a simple search for it...
     
    theman12468, Jun 8, 2009 IP
  3. arrisweb

    arrisweb Well-Known Member

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    #3
    how to /where/ check this?
     
    arrisweb, Jun 8, 2009 IP
  4. Matt Ellis

    Matt Ellis Peon

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    #4
    If the other master with the same domain name runs in a similar industry and he registered first and has a legible company, you could be sued, although alot has to be proved.
     
    Matt Ellis, Jun 8, 2009 IP
  5. mjewel

    mjewel Prominent Member

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    #5

    The short answer is, yes you need to worry. If your site uses their name (and it doesn't even have to be registered) and which the usage is similar (i.e. their site is auto related, and so is yours) and their name isn't a generic usage (i.e. carblog.com) and they were using it before you, then you could have your domain taken from you and/or be sued for trademark infringement.

    You should consult an IP attorney for a specific answer for your site's name.
     
    mjewel, Jun 8, 2009 IP
  6. arrisweb

    arrisweb Well-Known Member

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    #6
    thank you for replies

    So, shut it down site it means, give them domain name?
     
    arrisweb, Jun 8, 2009 IP
  7. mjewel

    mjewel Prominent Member

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    #7
    Many times it's the usage on the site that determines infringement. You could own apple.net and there would be no problem operating it as long as you didn't put content about music, computers, etc. on it. If you sold apple pies or wine barrels, you could use the domain without any infringement issues from apple.com.

    If you have a domain like "applemacbooks.net" then you should automatically turn it over.
     
    mjewel, Jun 8, 2009 IP
  8. arrisweb

    arrisweb Well-Known Member

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    #8
    how about domains like jewelryshop.com and jewelryshop.net

    I see these are not active websites. Let says someone (not US person) will register jewelryshop with another extension and start active website.

    Do you think that would be problem?
     
    arrisweb, Jun 8, 2009 IP
  9. spycraft

    spycraft Member

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    #9
    I would say that this is a semi-grey area. Jewerly Shop is a generic term and it's hard to claim there is TM infringement on it.

    However, if there is an established website using that name and you have taken another extension with the same name it can be tricky.

    If you are in any way implying that you are related to the original and you are not - you could get in trouble.

    That's my 2 cents :)
     
    spycraft, Jun 8, 2009 IP
    arrisweb likes this.
  10. arrisweb

    arrisweb Well-Known Member

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    #10
    No, these are not active websites, only parked
     
    arrisweb, Jun 8, 2009 IP
  11. Remixlife

    Remixlife Banned

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    #11
    Well Parked domains do have owners .. dont they?
     
    Remixlife, Jun 9, 2009 IP
  12. mjewel

    mjewel Prominent Member

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    #12
    Giving you an opinion on a hypothetical name really isn't going to help you with your specific situation. A different extension doesn't get around trademark infringement. To get the right answer on whether or not your usage is generic, you really need to get a hold of an IP attorney and spend a little money if you are thinking of not complying with their request.

    Even if you have a good argument to keep the domain, they can still sue you and force you spend huge sums of money proving your case. You are talking about tens of thousands, probably well over a hundred thousand dollars if it goes through a court trial. If you win, you will still be out you attorney fees. A small company is less likely to want to spend the money and file suit vs. a large company, but you never can be sure. I'm not clear if they want you to change your usage and let you keep the domain, or if they are demanding you turn over the domain.

    A good attorney can go over all your options after they have researched your specific domain name. If you don't want to spend the money to get a professional opinion, you either do nothing and hope they don't sue you or you do what they want.
     
    mjewel, Jun 9, 2009 IP
  13. arrisweb

    arrisweb Well-Known Member

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    #13
    so how they start it? contacting to domain registrar? and taking my address, tel no .......
    What if I am not US citizen. Do you know that procedure?

    I am just curious :) BTW, I shot it down my hosting blog and contacted to web hosting company.

    Thanks for replies
     
    arrisweb, Jun 9, 2009 IP
  14. mjewel

    mjewel Prominent Member

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    #14

    In the US, they would get a court order to force the registrar to release the owner of the domain (even if they have whois protection). If that was false, they could get payment information for the domain, the IP address of the person who accessed the domain to upload the content, then go to the ISP and get contact information. It's really going to depend on exactly where you live, but they can eventually track you down no matter where you live.
     
    mjewel, Jun 9, 2009 IP
  15. arrisweb

    arrisweb Well-Known Member

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    #15
    and this is increadible for me to spend tens of thousands dollars to get a domain not worth $100

    So, maybe registering all known extensions is a good idea?
     
    arrisweb, Jun 9, 2009 IP
  16. OnInternetBusinessGuide

    OnInternetBusinessGuide Peon

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    #16
    You could you have problems, but there are precise rules to be sued. Based, on what I read about trademark infringement you need the following conditions.

    - People are confused about the 2 marks. Otherwise, they do not differentiate them clearly.
    - There are damages like lost of profits that are done.

    It depends on the marks status. Common terms can be confusing, but they do not make the mark very strong. An original and unique name is stronger.

    I a sentence, you can tell have an idea if you are really wrong by determining: Are people searching the mark of the other website driven to my website instead of his website? If yes, he might consider you are stealing his clients and then there is clear infringement only if he built a well-define mark.

    This is a complex case and only an attorney can fully clarify this.
     
  17. mjewel

    mjewel Prominent Member

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    #17

    Registering a domain name gives you no trademark rights. Being the first to use a name/mark in a particular classification is what establishes rights. You could own every single possible extension of a of a mark (lets say "purplefishbones") and say you wanted to use them to sell jewelry. Another person has a business that have been selling jewelry mailorder under the brand "Purple Fish Bones" for the last 5 years (but never had a website). It doesn't matter that you own all the domain extensions, you would still be infringing upon his mark if you used them to sell jewelry. They could take action against you for trademark infringement.

    Only a "likelihood of confusion" needs to exist. It doesn't matter how long you have owned a domain name, it could be 10 years, unless you use it, you haven't established any rights to the name.
     
    mjewel, Jun 9, 2009 IP
  18. arrisweb

    arrisweb Well-Known Member

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    #18
    sorry, but for me it is twisted like russian tank, anyway, before registering domain need to check every company in 236 or more countries in the world to make sure that everything will be fine

    "Registering a domain name gives you no trademark rights."
    Ok, so every domain has trademark? How to get?
     
    arrisweb, Jun 9, 2009 IP
  19. Dave Zan

    Dave Zan Well-Known Member

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    #19
    You could say that. While users aren't really required to search exhaustively
    for any and all possible trademark uses for the term or so, some parties have
    the means to ensure users do their homework.

    Speaking of which, your homework for the week is to determine if the party in
    question indeed has trademark rights to the term. You can start by going to
    Google and type "word trademark", then expand on whatever online trademark
    database possibly shows it like uspto.gov.

    Note: they're only places to start, not as some final authoritative sites saying
    there's a trademark for the word/s. In countries like the U.S. and U.K., TMs
    are established through use in commerce and not always through registration,
    although the latter act can do more stuff.

    The bigger question, as mjewel said, is whether "likelihood of confusion" exists
    in this situation, meaning are people likely to confuse your domain name with
    its trademark-namesake. That's for the other party to demonstrate that, but
    they just might if they especially have the means to do so.

    One detail I'll reveal, however, is the alleged trademark holder might have a so
    called case against you if your domain's parking page ads showed services or
    products of competitors against that mark. It's possibly too late to change it
    if the other party was smart enough to take a screenshot first.

    If this thing gets too complex to handle by yourself, then check with a lawyer
    as few said. No online forum will exhaustively and authoritatively tell you if the
    domain you have infringes their mark, and you risk getting their attention more
    if you post specifics here.
     
    Dave Zan, Jun 9, 2009 IP
  20. arrisweb

    arrisweb Well-Known Member

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    #20
    arrisweb, Jun 9, 2009 IP