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Rich Jerk wants to Sue me!

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by rparker, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. #1
    Hey guys/gals,
    I'm the owner of www.richjerkscams.com and today I received this dirty letter from Kelly Felix saying that my domain is using his trademark "rich jerk" which he isn't happy about and wants me to vacate the domain. Do you guys think its legit or should I just ignore it? I tend to believe that laws on the internet aren't that strict yet, what your views?

    Anyway attached is letter I received from Kelly Felix. Just google "rich jerk" and you'll see my website at No.1, I can see why he would be so pissed off, I mean couldn't have spent more than $USD300 (Mine PR4) for SEO and I'm so sure that he's spent many tens of thousands $$$ (His PR7). Goes to show the small guy can always go against the big fellas until ofcoz the lawyers get in.:eek:

    On another subject, if all this does prove true and I need to get another domain, how do I do a redirect? Can I still maintain the Rankings on Google if I just redirect everyone that goes to richjerkscams.com to my new domain?

    Cheers lads.
    Ryan
    :confused:

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Kelly Felix [mailto:kelly@therichjerk.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, December 26, 2006 12:15 PM
    To: rparker@asiadeep.com; admin@richjerkscams.com; hostmaster@ipowerweb.com
    Cc: T.C. Johnston
    Subject: domain trademark violation - richjerkscams.com


    To the owner of richjerkscams.com,

    I am writing concerning your registration of
    www.richjerkscams.com which contains the
    famous "Rich Jerk" trademark.

    United States Trademark Reg. No. 3,171,019

    As you undoubtedly know, "Rich Jerk" is a leading provider of personal financial growth information,
    goods and services. CreditPro, Inc. (CPI) adopted the name and trademark "Rich Jerk" in June 2005 and, since that time, CPI has actively used the "Rich Jerk" name and trademark in connection with its online eBook, newsletter and related services, including maintaining the web sites
    www.therichjerk.com and www.richjerk.com. The coined term "Rich Jerk" is one of the most famous
    money related trademarks on the Internet and CPI
    owns the exclusive trademark rights to the "Rich Jerk" name in the United States and
    internationally, including related common law rights.

    CPI has made a substantial investment in developing and providing its products and services. As a result of CPI's pioneering efforts and its devoting substantial effort and resources to providing only high quality information, products and services, the "Rich Jerk" name and trademarks are
    widely known among the consuming public worldwide, and the name and trademarks embody substantial and valuable goodwill.

    Accordingly, we were concerned when we learned of your registration and use of the richjerkscams.com URL. As we hope you can understand, protection of it's trademarks is very important to CPI. We are concerned that any use of the domain name in question, will cause confusion as to whether you or your company's activities are authorized, endorsed or sponsored by CPI when, in fact, they are not.

    We understand that you may have registered
    richjerkscams.com without full knowledge of the law in this area. The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (http://www.submerged-ideas.com/litigation/anticybersquat.htm)
    provides for serious penalties (up to $100,000 per
    domain name) against persons who, without
    authorization, use, sell, or offer for sale a domain
    name that infringes another's trademark.

    While CPI respects your right of expression and your desire to conduct business on the Internet, CPI must enforce its own rights in order to protect its valuable and famous trademark. For these reasons, and to avoid consumer confusion, CPI must insist that you not use the domain name for any purpose (immediately removing all content from the site) and that you do not sell, offer to sell or transfer the domain name to a third party (instead simply let the domain registration expire).

    Please confirm in writing that you will agree to
    resolve this matter as requested. If we do not receive confirmation from you that you will comply with our request, we will have no choice but to pursue all available remedies against you.

    Sincerely,

    Kelly Felix
    CEO - Creditpro, Inc.
    www.RichJerk.com

    cc: T.C. Johnston, Esq.
    cc: IPowerweb Hostmaster

    * * * This electronic mail transmission originates from CreditPro, Inc., a Professional Corporation and contains confidential information intended only for the person(s) named. If you are not the intended recipient, you should immediately delete it from your system. Any use, distribution, copying or disclosure of this message or its attachments is strictly prohibited. ***

    ***End Transmission***
     
    rparker, Dec 26, 2006 IP
    Will.Spencer and MTbiker like this.
  2. Lexiseek

    Lexiseek Banned

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    #2
    Just get a lawyer and fight back. "Rich Jerk" is one of the most recognizable trademarks on the internet... HAHAHAHAHA....in who's dreams?
     
    Lexiseek, Dec 26, 2006 IP
  3. TheSyndicate

    TheSyndicate Prominent Member

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    #3
    Sounds legit but i am not sure about the law. If paypalsucks can do this so can you.
     
    TheSyndicate, Dec 26, 2006 IP
  4. Lexiseek

    Lexiseek Banned

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    #4
    Somewhere on your website you say "We are not associated with CPI inc or the Rich Jerk". "We are a parody website".

    I've been in business since 1991. I've been threatened to be sued around 50 times, and only one went to court.
     
    Lexiseek, Dec 26, 2006 IP
    gemini181 likes this.
  5. koolasia

    koolasia Banned

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    #5
    why dony u just go to http://www.icann.org/ and contact them

    and yea if paypalsucks dreamhostsucks dont face such problems in dont think u will 2
     
    koolasia, Dec 26, 2006 IP
  6. rparker

    rparker Peon

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    #6
    Lexi and the rest:
    Thanks for the vote of confidence, so which one went to court? I'm kinda intriqued.

    Anyway, I've changed the page footer to your recommended wordings, do you think its enough?

    Ryan.
     
    rparker, Dec 26, 2006 IP
  7. Connections

    Connections Active Member

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    #7
    lol I see you rank like number 3 in most SE's for the term "rich jerk"

    no wonder he is angry hehehehe....
     
    Connections, Dec 26, 2006 IP
  8. exodus

    exodus Well-Known Member

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    #8
    Yes, using trade marked names in a domain name can get you into trouble, but cybersquating as was stated in the message does not apply, because #1 reviewing your site you not hurting thier site, it reads like you are promoting thier site, then you are not offering to sale the domain to them. The only thing is you are making a profit off thier trademark and that could be made to look bad. As was stated I would try to see what icann has to say about it.
     
    exodus, Dec 26, 2006 IP
  9. Lexiseek

    Lexiseek Banned

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    #9
    Ryan,

    The one where the guy's brother was clerk of courts. And he got $325 :)

    Read this:

    The whole case comes down to whether people are confused by your website. IMHO, put a BIG DISCLAIMER right at the top, and respond to the email, telling them you did that. If they don't want people to be confused, that should settle the issue.

    Or maybe they don't like the word "scams" in there :) Plus, do a trademark search. Trademarks are expensive to maintain. Don't just cave in to the "Rich Jerk". LOL
     
    Lexiseek, Dec 26, 2006 IP
  10. rparker

    rparker Peon

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    #10
    Checked with the trademark thing, apparently he does have one...dammit :(

    Anyway emailed ICANN already and waiting for their response. Good case study for all I guess. I'll post the correspondence so everyone can learn from this.

    Oh and guess what, latest email:


    -----Original Message-----
    From: Kelly Felix [mailto:kelly@therichjerk.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, December 26, 2006 6:37 PM
    To: Ryan Parker
    Subject: Re: domain trademark violation - richjerkscams.com


    Ryan,

    Fortunately international hosting companies and domain registrars do recognize U.S. trademarks, therefore we can get a permanent injunction against you to prevent the site from being hosted anywhere until the trial.

    We are not interested in retaining any affiliates using a domain name that negatively promotes our website.

    We are willing to spend substantial amounts of money to protect our brand. Since our lawyers are in-house, we pay them the same whether or not they go to trial, so money and time is not an issue.

    Regards,

    Kelly Felix
    CEO - CreditPro, Inc.
     
    rparker, Dec 26, 2006 IP
  11. Lexiseek

    Lexiseek Banned

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    #11
    Ryan,

    The Rich Jerk plans on living up to his name.

    I guess he's pretty upset about you ranking for his "trademarked name". I mean, it's sort of funny...he's the "internet marketing" expert and here you are, owning him. LOL

    Good work on the SEO and don't give up until the final shot.
     
    Lexiseek, Dec 26, 2006 IP
  12. koolasia

    koolasia Banned

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    #12

    guess the guy is reading the dp topic tooo coz i dont think any official parties will send emails every hour or like dat
     
    koolasia, Dec 26, 2006 IP
  13. Seiya

    Seiya Peon

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    #13
    Probably haha would love him to post too ;)

    Anyway, nice SEO youve done there lol, if a site such as paypalsucks is allowed to exist i am sure yours is too, his company is not more special than ebay so...
     
    Seiya, Dec 26, 2006 IP
  14. MattKNC

    MattKNC Peon

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    #14
    Just because someone threatens to sue, doesn't mean that they will follow through. This person could be throwing a lot of bluster your way in hopes of intimidating you to vacate the domain name.
     
    MattKNC, Dec 26, 2006 IP
  15. Rezo

    Rezo Well-Known Member

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    #15
    Did anyone actually buy that ebook? I mean, does it have anything in it?
     
    Rezo, Dec 26, 2006 IP
  16. James12513

    James12513 Active Member

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    #16
    As this is posted on DP and IF they are reading this thread, I don't think they would risk their rep infront of everyone. If they didn't sue, loads of people may think they can make a site criticising them and get away with it using part of their name in their domain name.

    I would suggest seeking legal advice with someone who knows a lot of legal stuff online.

    Good Luck!!!
     
    James12513, Dec 26, 2006 IP
  17. daboss

    daboss Guest

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    #17
    my advice is for you to take a pragmatic view in this case from your own perspective.

    are you making tons from that site? is there a lot of potential? can you foresee yourself doing this long term? if not, why waste time fretting over it and fighting it?

    right or wrong is another matter. my question is 'is it worth it?'

    :) good luck!
     
    daboss, Dec 26, 2006 IP
  18. imgtube

    imgtube Active Member

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    #18
    Yeah, get professional advice.
     
    imgtube, Dec 26, 2006 IP
  19. -Abhishek-

    -Abhishek- Regaining my Momentum!

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    #19
    I'd go ahead and sue someone saying anything bad about my company. Especially, if the business was generating the moolah that I wanted it to.

    Again, it's not that PayPal and Dreamhost sucks are not facing problems.

    http://www.aboutpaypal.org/ebay_tries_to_bully_the_domain_paypalwarning_com

    The respective site clearly mentions that PayPal and Dreamhost are registered trademarks of their mother companies. And if you use them on a "website" and still talk about them. You are in the same arena and that's copyright infringement.

    Similarly, the http://www.therichjerk.com/site/disclaimer page too mentions that Rich Jerk is a registered trademark, so I don't think you should take this very lightly.

    Abhishek
     
    -Abhishek-, Dec 26, 2006 IP
  20. tomzx

    tomzx Peon

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    #20
    most of the time they send you those email to scare the hell out of you so you quit like a beginner. In fact, it cost them too much for too little gain. They just want to see if you have the balls to keep it up.
     
    tomzx, Dec 26, 2006 IP