15 replies
I think i have made a big mistake today. I have bought a domain that contains a trademark. I thought it was ok to buy say (trademark)dogleads.com however im assured it can lead to big fines.

Has anyone had any experiance in this field?
#domain #mistake
  • Profile picture of the author Kevingators
    I wouldn't recommend using it at all, if it is trademarked. It could lead to some serious issues down the road.

    Kevin
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  • Profile picture of the author Gene Pimentel
    Trademarks are created for a reason. To prevent others from using that term. Here is some good info: Domain Names and Trademarks FAQ - Free Legal Information - Nolo
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  • Profile picture of the author monitorit
    I thought if the domain was for sale it would be fine? So basically if i want doglead.com and its taken then i would have to settle for dogleaduk.com or whatever and that is the best i could get for seo purposes without using the trademark.
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    • Profile picture of the author Elmer Hurlstone
      Originally Posted by monitorit View Post

      I thought if the domain was for sale it would be fine? So basically if i want doglead.com and its taken then i would have to settle for dogleaduk.com or whatever and that is the best i could get for seo purposes without using the trademark.
      There are many things available for sale on and off the internet which aren't necessarily legal.

      More than once law enforcement agencies have arrested people for selling stolen goods on auction sites and general classified listing sites.

      Online and specific to your situation domain registrars are concerned only if the set of characters you choose for a domain are not currently registered to another.

      They are not in the business of making legal judgments or invoking morality. It's not their job.

      Both Gene and Dan made valid points based on years of experience. You'll note they also qualified their comments as personal observations and not legal definitions.

      As has been said many times before, don't ASSUME. Anything.

      Elmer
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  • Profile picture of the author Gene Pimentel
    It's important to understand that Trademarks are protected only within the industry it is registered for. For example, "Windows" is a registered Trademark. But if your company sells and installs windows (the glass kind), you would have no problem with a website offering this product, with a domain like "windows-sales.com". Just don't try to sell anything software related with that domain name.

    This is not legal advice -- just my personal opinion and understanding.
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    I would not mess with trademark at all. I suggest that you email the company that you registered with for the domain name and tell them about this.

    Even call them up if you need to.

    Tal
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  • Profile picture of the author pbcustom98
    i would suggest not even using it.

    you can try to sell the domain to a company though.
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
      Originally Posted by pbcustom98 View Post

      i would suggest not even using it.

      you can try to sell the domain to a company though.
      If you are suggesting he sells his domain to the trademark owner that would be a bad move with a capital 'b'! The company could then sue him for trying to make profit from their trademark!

      Rich
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  • Profile picture of the author policy
    Most likely the owner of the trademark will snatch the domain from you, rather than issue fines.

    I don't think you want to put a lot of work into something that can potentially be taken from you like candy taken from a baby.

    I recommend you register a new domain, do a trademark search if you have to (google search trademark and you will find the site).

    Also let me point something else out, say you were to contact them and they said it was fine for you to register the trademarked domain...later on that could haunt you, so I would say: Just stay away from trademarked domains.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Gene's right. Trademarks (generally) only apply to certain niches.

      Thus, you can have Champion Windows, Champion Sportswear, Champion Spark Plug, etc. Few people are going to confuse Champion Windows with Champion Sportswear.

      So, if the trademark you have found is in a different niche than Dog Leads (or whatever your actual niche is), then you may be okay. But, some trademarks are so well known or unique, that it could pose a problem. For example, you might get away with Apple Dog Leads or Amazon Dog Leads, but probably not Xerox Dog Leads. It does depend, to an extent, on the uniqueness of the term. A common word (apple, champion, etc.) is less likely to be an issue (so long as the niche is different) than a less common word, especially a word that may be made up.

      Of course, your best bet is to ask an attorney. But, to an extent, you can use common sense. If it is an otherwise generic word, in a different niche or industry and not confusingly similar to the trademark in question, you may be okay. But, no one, besides a lawyer, can give you a definitive answer based on the info provided.
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  • Profile picture of the author monitorit
    obviousely dogleads.com will be taken so would you just go as far haveing dogleads as part of the domain for seo purposes?
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I'm pretty sure that the domain is in exactly the same niche as the trademark. If you registered it at Godaddy, call them up today and cancel it. They will refund you. I don't know what the other registrars will do. Otherwise, if they don't refund, just delete the domain ... will keep you out of trouble. You won't get fines but will most likely get a cease and desist notice and they can take the trademark from you. Best not to register trademarked names.
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    • Profile picture of the author Amanda_Davis
      You don't know whether the company (which owns the trademark) will care.

      They may well be happy to have you promoting them if they have an affiliate program.

      If you're going to dump it anyway, you could contact them first and be up front about it and show them you mean them no harm.

      Just look at the number of people that register names like "mass-control-bonus.com" and yet Frank Kern (etc) are happy to let them promote the product as long as they do it in a legitimate way.

      You have to be careful not to make it look like you ARE the company... just recommending their products.

      This has worked for me many times - let me know if you want more info
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  • Profile picture of the author monitorit
    id rsther not take the chance as said above the comant might just agree but when the site is established they could take it away from me.
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  • Profile picture of the author tunukwa
    Hey the sky is not falling. Just get another domain and don't use the one we are discussing. Simple, quick, easy..........

    Tunukwa
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