OK to use "Google" or "Yahoo!" in domain/product name?

by Andy Money 23 replies
Does anyone know the legality of doing something like this?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #domain or product #google #yahoo
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  • Profile picture of the author zoulkifl
    I wonder...many seem to do that but I'm not sure it's right since those names are trademark.
    I know for a fact you can't use those keywords in adwords.

    I'm intersted in getting more info on this.

    Zoul
    P.s: Thanks for the articles. They're excellent.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    Originally Posted by mrsleep99 View Post

    Does anyone know the legality of doing something like this?
    Many has used google in their domain name and have lost them also.. Google owns last time I checked over 5,000 domain names. All taken from others.

    As I think you know they call their building GooglePlex someone thought they would be smart and registered the name and put a site on it.. Before you knoew it here came google and their lawyers.

    I would not bother to attempt it.

    James
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  • Profile picture of the author X
    Using a trademarked term in a domain, to the
    left of the extension - ie, googleclone.com or
    google.mysite.com can/will be a legal issue.

    Notice Google Cash isn't GoogleCash.com . . .
    well, glad I checked - now it is so I guess it's
    now cool to use "Google".

    I have a number of domain names with Adwords,
    Adsense, etc, in them that have not been an
    issue - except that I cannot put Adsense on
    those sites - Google won't allow it (so they
    know about my domains).

    It seems Google *was* protective of using Google,
    but not the names of their products - like
    Adwords. Of course, AdsenseSucks.com
    might be an exception.

    I think a lawyer would tell you to NOT use
    a trademarked term in any domain name -
    but what you can actually do may differ
    from company to company.

    Let it be said and known by all:

    I ain't no attorney - Internet marketing
    pays too well to waste my time on that kind
    of money. :-)

    X
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  • Profile picture of the author tommygadget
    Originally Posted by mrsleep99 View Post

    Does anyone know the legality of doing something like this?
    That's about as good an idea as standing in a lightning storm with a 20 foot iron pole in your hand.

    TomG.
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    • Profile picture of the author Andy Money
      Originally Posted by tommygadget View Post

      That's about as good an idea as standing in a lightning storm with a 20 foot iron pole in your hand.

      TomG.
      Are you sure?
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      • Profile picture of the author davezan
        Originally Posted by mrsleep99 View Post

        Are you sure?
        Heh, think of that previous post as like playing with fire: you know you might
        get burned.

        Various jurisdictions' laws don't allow users to register and use domain names
        that commercially infringe their trademark name-sakes. Domain - TM disputes
        boil down to likelihood of confusion, which is what trademarks aim to prevent.

        The more unique and famous the mark, the more likely people will confuse any
        domain name bearing that mark with its holder. Hence, it's nearly impossible to
        register, much more use, a site bearing a unique famous mark like Yahoo! and
        Google.

        One exception is if the domain name is being used in a non-commercial way,
        much more non-competing and with consent from its mark holder. But that will
        not stop them from aggressively protecting and enforcing their mark rights.

        Long story short, it depends on who you're potentially dealing with. You might
        as well avoid them...unless you're ready to play with fire.
        Signature

        David

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        • Profile picture of the author braver55b
          Its really promotion for google really, there are tons of marketers using google's name in products and and domain names,

          Google knows it really more promotion for them that's why they don't crack down where others would.

          Payload
          domination
          cash
          massacre
          manipulator

          and tons more use the google name in some form.
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          • Profile picture of the author davezan
            Originally Posted by braver55b View Post

            Its really promotion for google really, there are tons of marketers using google's name in products and and domain names,

            Google knows it really more promotion for them that's why they don't crack down where others would.

            Payload
            domination
            cash
            massacre
            manipulator

            and tons more use the google name in some form.
            Google Permissions

            Google Sues Google - The Dutch one... - Softpedia
            Signature

            David

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  • Originally Posted by mrsleep99 View Post

    Does anyone know the legality of doing something like this?
    I'm not sure what the legality is, but googlemasacre.com, googlewealthsystem.com, etc don't seem to be having problems with it.

    And there are also countless product names using "google" "adwords" "adsense" etc.

    I tried to use eBay in a domain name once and lost it...but it doesn't appear that google is out enforcing their trademarks, judging by how many of their trademarks are being used in domain names and in product names.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    Google's growing list of domains

    Total domains are past 4,700 so yes they do take names...

    WHOIS and Reverse IP Service
    James
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  • Profile picture of the author DeenaEsq
    I agree. It is technically trademark infringement. Unless you can get permission from Google, you can't get a domain name with Google, AdWords or AdSense in it and use it.

    It's a really common misconception that "if other people are doing it, it must be legal". That's simply not the case.

    Don't buy the name to use unless you get permission first.

    Deena
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  • Profile picture of the author TheMagicShow
    Don't even bother, why risk getting sued?
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  • Profile picture of the author Click Cutter
    I used "realtor" in one of my domains in the past and I had to shut it down because of trademark issues. I guess the same apply to others. google or yahoo is no defferrent. I guess it's just massive brand name exposure which makes it difficult to track all those infringements.
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  • Profile picture of the author TimGross
    Here's an actual Google cease & desist letter sent to someone using the word Google in their domain name:
    Domain Name Abuse: Sample Cease And Desist Letters For Google, Mass Mutual, And American Express

    Just because it's possible to find websites using a trademarked word in their website URL that hasn't been shut down yet doesn't give you permission to do the same thing. Your buddy may not have gotten a D.U.I. yet for driving home drunk from the bar every night... does that mean it's legal?
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  • Profile picture of the author Kory Pearman
    Yeah you can't do that. My friend owned 'blockbusterxxxx'(don't remember what the x's were) and he got sued for using the term 'blockbuster'.

    Kory
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  • Profile picture of the author JamieBing
    I know we have received "cease and desist" letters from eBay for having a good name that also contained eBay...

    I wouldn't dare get into the legalities of having someones copywrited name in your domain name but I have had a few personal experiences where they got my attention so I just choose to stay away from them now.

    That being said, there are many people running domains successfully who seem to never run into issues like that. I guess it is a matter of "do you feel lucky?" .
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    Jamie Bing

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    • Profile picture of the author Carol J Smith
      I also received a cease and desist letter from eBay. I created a 40 page unique content website with eBay included in the domain name. I closed it down immediately, I did not realize I was doing anything wrong.

      I would not risk your time and capital on something you may need to shutdown.

      Carol
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    • Profile picture of the author Jim M
      Personally I don't know about Google or Yahoo - but a couple of years ago I registered a domain - it was something like "ebay-powerseller-reveals-all" - before I even got a site up ebay contacted me wanting assurances that I would not use - trade - sell the domain - just wrote it off and down to experience.
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      Jim Montgomery www.fivestarmarketing.eu - video tutorials and more DavidJamesPublishing.Com
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  • Profile picture of the author Bearded
    Either way, don't brand yourself with another company. Adwords won't let you use the term in you ads anyway.

    And yeah, ebay is really strict about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Grossman
    Google has a fax form on their site where you can request permission from their marketing department to use their brand name in your domain or somewhere else. Only with filing that form and receiving an approval can you do so. I was allowed to use AdSense in a domain some years ago.

    If you don't request and get permission, they WILL send their lawyers after you. You'll get a C&D and if you don't transfer the domain to them, they'll bring suit to force it and damages.
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