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Trademark domain audi cars

Discussion in 'Domain Names' started by tigersoft, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. #1
    Hi,

    I want to register a domain example a4cars.com Is this unlegal or a kind of trademark protected? I think it is not trademark due to it is not audi word in domain.

    Thanks
    SEMrush
     
    tigersoft, Aug 1, 2007 IP
    SEMrush
  2. ASM Design

    ASM Design Peon

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    #2
    surely Audi cannot trademark A4!
     
    ASM Design, Aug 1, 2007 IP
  3. bluegrass special

    bluegrass special Peon

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    #3
    Actually, Audi has two US trademarks for a4. I'm sure they also hold European trademarks for it.
     
    bluegrass special, Aug 1, 2007 IP
  4. tigersoft

    tigersoft Peon

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    #4
    Do you know how i can find they hold european trademark? I have tried to search a us database of trademark but doesn´t find out about europe.
     
    tigersoft, Aug 1, 2007 IP
  5. bluegrass special

    bluegrass special Peon

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    #5
    bluegrass special, Aug 1, 2007 IP
  6. enworb

    enworb Peon

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    #6
    If your intention for an A4 named domain is to sell nothing but Audi A4 cars, then I would recommend that you don't waste your money.

    If you are using it for all car manufacturers, then they wouldn't bother trying to make you transfer it to them because a drs dispute will cost in the region of £500...and they would very likely lose because you are not intending to pretend to be an a representative of Audi.

    There is an A4 taxi company in my home town.... because the main road in the A4:)
     
    enworb, Aug 1, 2007 IP
  7. BrianJump

    BrianJump Active Member

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    #7
    IMHO A4 is too generic and you wont have a problem. If, however, you used ANY form of their name, AUDI for example in a url (Bestaudisite.com), you could get heat. Here is the reasoning behind my opinion:
    Awhile back Porsche was suing ANYONE who used their name in any shape or form in a url. They did NOT however go after the model # urls, such as 911.com, or 928.net etc etc, as those are just #'s and would be hard pressed to win a legal battle on that front.
     
    BrianJump, Aug 1, 2007 IP
  8. htmlindex

    htmlindex Prominent Member

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    #8
    Personally I couldn't see any TM issues. When seeing the name, I didn't even think of Audi! It's too generic to have any issues IMO
     
    htmlindex, Aug 2, 2007 IP
  9. Dave Zan

    Dave Zan Well-Known Member

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    #9
    Generic for what?

    Apple is generic for the fruit. But not for selling computers.
     
    Dave Zan, Aug 2, 2007 IP
  10. r3born

    r3born Active Member

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    #10
    A4 is paper size :) Don't worry and reg it :)
     
    r3born, Aug 2, 2007 IP
  11. bluegrass special

    bluegrass special Peon

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    #11
    But you wouldn't have a domain called a4cars.com and then sell paper. The "cars" part of the domain indicates the site will be about cars. When talking about cars, A4 is an Audi.

    Different countries have different laws, and in some places the trademark holder does not have to prove actual customer confusion, just the potential for it. That would be if it went to court. If it simply went to WIPO resolution, then they will simply look at the fact that Audi holds this trademark in several countries and that they are well known. They would give the domain to Audi in a second.

    That being said, Audi has disputed a number of domains (both through WIPO and in the courts). I found many instances where they fought domains with Audi in the title. I did not find any where they did so for A4 being in the title. In addition, the complaints they have had seem to be with sights that either tried to sell the domain names for profit, only providing links to purchase cars from other manufacturers, or were selling unlicensed products with the Audi logo on them. I did not see any cases where they went after people that had sights that merely provided reviews or information.
     
    bluegrass special, Aug 2, 2007 IP
  12. kohashi

    kohashi Well-Known Member

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    #12
    Im not a lawyer, but that is not a defensible name (at udrp). You have a4 which is generic, combined with cars which makes it not because audi is a car company with that branded. Under ACPA you are liable up to $100,000 in damages for infringing on TM domains. Go find another domain would be my advice.
     
    kohashi, Aug 2, 2007 IP
  13. goodpasture

    goodpasture Peon

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    #13
    I agree that it is WAY too generic.

    *** A4 Aggregate 4 (German V2 rocket)
    *** A4 Automatic Four Speed
    * A4 Cryptographic standard for mobile/cellular phones
    * A4 International Paper Size closest to US Letter Size; 210mmx297mm or 8.27x11.69"


    Go to acronymfinder.com and if there is several listings for it in there and wiht a little common sense, I'd say you have nothing to worry about.
     
    goodpasture, Aug 2, 2007 IP
  14. bluegrass special

    bluegrass special Peon

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    #14
    If this were to come into dispute, and I'm not saying that it would, only one of your examples would have any relevance. The domain that is being referrenced is a4cars.com. The "cars" part of the domain name would render using German rockets, paper size, or mobile phone cryptography standards as meaningless. What do German rockets have to do with cars?

    That leaves a4 as a short term for automatic four speed transmissions. If you delve into the acronymfinder details a little bit more you would see that they consider that definition to be rare. If this were to go to court or arbitration, you can be sure that they will not consider what some people do on forums in order to type fewer keystrokes. The term in that manner is limited in scope to enthusiatsts, whereas the A4 model Audi is well known by the general populace.

    As far as it being too general and there being no worries, if it were too general a term the US Patent & Trademark Office would not have issued Audi a trademark on the term in the first place. The fact that there is a trademark says that the trademark office disagrees with you.

    Now if the domain were simply a4.com or a4stuff.com, then it could be a different story. But with cars in the domain name, it becomes apparent what the domain would make people think of. Content can make a difference as well. If the domain is simply parked, has competitors products on it, or has information not related to cars at all then the court/arbitrator would say there is no good reason for the site to use that name (again note the cars part of the domain). However, if the site were about cars with 4 speed automatics then an argument could be made that the term has a different meaning. That's about it.

    Of course, this would only make a difference if Audi decided to contest the ownership of the domain. Google Audi domain dispute to see why they have gone after domains in the past.

    As far as the argument that they wouldn't bother because it would cost £500 is just short sited thinking. This is not some mom-and-pop operation. Audi has done this many times, and that kind of money probably isn't even large enough make them blink.
     
    bluegrass special, Aug 2, 2007 IP
  15. Dave Zan

    Dave Zan Well-Known Member

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    #15
    Unfortunately you've also fallen into the same mistaken perception many have
    found themselves in. It's not really a question whether a domain is generic or
    not, but how it's intended to be used.

    Now I don't know much about Audi, nor their A4 car until I started reading the
    thread. But what's the likelihood that people will think a4cars has nothing to
    do with Audi at all?

    Or if you're up to answering this question, why do you think the OP wants to
    register the domain name to begin with? Domain names bearing trademarks do
    not happen out of thin air, you know.

    Bluegrass essentially nailed it in the head.
     
    Dave Zan, Aug 2, 2007 IP
  16. BrianJump

    BrianJump Active Member

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    #16
    As with almost all legal battles, its not who is right, its who has the most money folks...
     
    BrianJump, Aug 2, 2007 IP