Using 'garmin' in domain name. Legal?

26 replies
Hi;
I'm developing a review site but yet had no domain name yet.
Since all of the review is about garmin, can I use 'garminkeyword'.com
type of domain?


Thanks.

PS : I once had an ebaydomain.com type of domain name. Ebay representative immediately contact me regarding that domain.
#domain #garmin #legal
  • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
    You've answered your own question.
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    • Profile picture of the author Raja Kamil
      Originally Posted by Rich Struck View Post

      You've answered your own question.
      Well, not all brand as strict as ebay. That's why I'm asking.
      And, since I'm promoting their product, this should be allowed (I guess so :rolleyes

      I've one domain that use a brand inside that domain, ad had been running for some years. I never received any email asking to shut the website.

      So, this question is asked here in case, someone had experience using garmin as their domain name
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  • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
    The only people that can give you a definitive answer are Garmin. Ask them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Whether they are as strict as chasing people doesn't make any difference to whether you should do it or not.
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    nothing to see here.

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  • Profile picture of the author BloggingPro
    Is it possible to register a domain with a trademark? Yes it is.

    Is it also possible for a company to bring a trademark infringement lawsuit against you if you are unwilling to give up the domain? Your damn straight it is.

    So would you rather waste your time on a website that could POSSIBLY get shut down at some point in time?

    Or would you rather build your business on a SOLID foundation?
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    • Profile picture of the author Raja Kamil
      Originally Posted by BloggingPro View Post

      Is it possible to register a domain with a trademark? Yes it is.

      Is it also possible for a company to bring a trademark infringement lawsuit against you if you are unwilling to give up the domain? Your damn straight it is.

      So would you rather waste your time on a website that could POSSIBLY get shut down at some point in time?

      Or would you rather build your business on a SOLID foundation?
      Thanks. This is the point to stop me thinking about registering this domain.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        And, since I'm promoting their product, this should be allowed
        Yes, there are many trademarks registered for that company (but you know that already). No, it's not a good or safe way to work (but you know that already, too). Chances are in the affiliate program it tells you whether or not you can use the company name in a domain or ads.

        So your question is not not "should I" but "can I get by with this".
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

          So your question is not not "should I" but "can I get by with this".
          Not trying to be harsh, but the question is actually:

          "Is it okay to cheat if I can get away with it?"

          I'm beginning to think that threads like this should join religion and politics as taboo subjects...
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          • Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

            Not trying to be harsh, but the question is actually:

            "Is it okay to cheat if I can get away with it?"
            That's pretty cynical, although you're right: That usually is the question. But generally it's not that cut-and-dried.

            Some brands are okay with review sites that include the trademark if you comport yourself as a reputable entrepreneur and not some black-hat sneak out for a quick buck. I'm not surprised eBay objected; they suffer from a severe case of recto-cranial inversion and have repeatedly turned a blind eye to numerous marketing opportunities.

            But you've got to contact the company. Act like an adult, talk about how big a fan of the brand you are and if you have another successful brand-oriented site you can show them you're not slime.

            fLufF
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        • Profile picture of the author guitarjosh
          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

          Yes, there are many trademarks registered for that company (but you know that already). No, it's not a good or safe way to work (but you know that already, too). Chances are in the affiliate program it tells you whether or not you can use the company name in a domain or ads.

          So your question is not not "should I" but "can I get by with this".
          This is bad information. The question has nothing to do with "can I get by with this?". As BloggingPro alluded to, it should be "do you really want to build a solid business on a shaky foundation?" It would likely be easy to "get by" with it.. but don't chance it.

          Having said that, I have about 20 trademarked names in urls of different sites. They all do pretty well. Only once did someone send me a "cease and desist" email. But.. Mine are just autoblogs, so risking the url means nothing to me. If I have to take one down once in a while.. so be it. If I was building a site with a lot of unique content though, I wouldn't even consider it.

          Best of luck, Raja!
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          • Profile picture of the author davezan
            While this case involved typos, it should give a few other ideas:

            Lands' End, Inc. v. Eric Remy, et al. - Internet Library of Law and Court Decisions

            Ultimately, it depends on who you're dealing with.
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            David

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            • Profile picture of the author morrow66
              Originally Posted by davezan View Post

              While this case involved typos, it should give a few other ideas:

              Ultimately, it depends on who you're dealing with.
              Thanks for showing that Dave it just shows that if you try to be sneaky one day you will get caught. I highly recommend everyone just sticks to legit domain names that will not get you in trouble.

              Although it may be tempting to get a domain name that will get great targeted traffic. If its in anyway going to cause you trouble in the long run it is just not worth the hassle.
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              • Profile picture of the author mootonandy
                I paid for some keyword research once and they sold me one with a trademark in it - I asked them about the trademark but they told me it would be ok as long as its got other words in it and not just the trademark.
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                • Profile picture of the author davezan
                  Originally Posted by mootonandy View Post

                  I asked them about the trademark but they told me it would be ok as long as its got other words in it and not just the trademark.
                  Sigh, that goes to show you really have to be careful who you get your "advice"
                  from. Various administrative decisions indicate adding a letter or so together with
                  the trademark doesn't get around it.
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                  David

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    • Profile picture of the author HigherPrThanGod
      Originally Posted by BloggingPro View Post

      Is it possible to register a domain with a trademark? Yes it is.

      Is it also possible for a company to bring a trademark infringement lawsuit against you if you are unwilling to give up the domain? Your damn straight it is.

      So would you rather waste your time on a website that could POSSIBLY get shut down at some point in time?

      Or would you rather build your business on a SOLID foundation?
      These trademarked name things are funny if you think about it..

      If these phrases are valuable, isnt it on them to REGISTER them before hand? Otherwise it's smarter to just wait for someone to do the work to get it in Google and traffic and then take it from them.

      If I ever get sued on such a thing, I will trash the domain and delay the process as much as possible to make sure that when they recieve the domain it will be in the state that I bought it in - NOT IN GOOGLE.

      (Also, make it clear you'd only use it to promote their product/service and I think you can win the case.)
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  • Profile picture of the author BXPS
    just stay away from it and use any general keyword like gps or so.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jake Gray
    If you are questing about the keyword, chances are you'll soon find yourself in trouble. I'd highly recommend staying away from copyrighted keywords.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

      That's pretty cynical, although you're right: That usually is the question. But generally it's not that cut-and-dried.

      Some brands are okay with review sites that include the trademark if you comport yourself as a reputable entrepreneur and not some black-hat sneak out for a quick buck. I'm not surprised eBay objected; they suffer from a severe case of recto-cranial inversion and have repeatedly turned a blind eye to numerous marketing opportunities.

      But you've got to contact the company. Act like an adult, talk about how big a fan of the brand you are and if you have another successful brand-oriented site you can show them you're not slime.

      fLufF
      --
      fLuff, you're right. It is a bit cynical. But it seems like there are several threads here every day asking about different ways to infringe on a trademark, and whether or not the asker could expect trouble.

      As you've noted, the only entity capable of giving a positive answer is the owner of the trademark or their authorized representative. No one else is capable of giving permission; certainly no one on a public forum.

      People who ask here are usually looking for someone to tell them that something they already know is wrong is alright.

      This probing for loopholes is one big reason the mods here don't offer reasons for locking/deleting posts or turning off sigs. It turns into endless rounds of "what if" as those who seek the easy button probe for loopholes.

      As I see it, coming here to ask whether it's okay to use a specific trademark in a domain is like me asking a cabbie if it's OK to go to a specific restaurant and do a 'dine and dash'...

      Originally Posted by mootonandy View Post

      I paid for some keyword research once and they sold me one with a trademark in it - I asked them about the trademark but they told me it would be ok as long as its got other words in it and not just the trademark.
      And what Bar Association are they admitted to?

      That advice, and $1, will get you a cup of coffee from the Mickey D value menu - if you don't count sales tax.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Taking advice like the above will just get you into trouble. Of course Garmin owns the trademark Garmin. They don't have to register Garmin in a million different ways to protect their trademark. All they need to do to protect their trademark is to issue a cease and desist to people who are infringing on their trademark. Or they could just sue the pants off of you if they want to.

    It doesn't matter whether you are promoting their products or not. They will most likely opt for protecting their mark. Do you care about owning your stinking domain? Not in the least bit, so the above posters suggestion to destroy it is meaningless. Their purpose is to protect their intellectual property ... their trademark.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Wizard
    Hmmmmm Let's think about that for a moment? NO, not unless you want unnecessary hassles.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Gehr
    My advise is to NOT do it.

    The reason being that you can end up facing legal issues eventually.

    I've done it myself, and have been pursued to "...cease and desist or my client will take all legal steps that are rightfully in his favor..."

    It's simply not worth the eventual hassle. You may get away with it for a while, but eventually you will hear the sabres rattling behind you.
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  • Profile picture of the author heavyjay
    He could just ask Garmin. They can say no, they can't kill him.
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    • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
      Originally Posted by heavyjay View Post

      He could just ask Garmin. They can say no, they can't kill him.
      They can allow him now and sue him later
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      • Profile picture of the author RajJames
        Banned
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        • Profile picture of the author davezan
          Originally Posted by RajJames View Post

          I think you can use that domain if you want. There's nothing wrong or bad about it.
          Can you perhaps explain more why you think there's nothing wrong or bad about
          it, despite the other posts and a legal decision saying otherwise?
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          David

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          • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
            Originally Posted by heavyjay View Post

            He could just ask Garmin. They can say no, they can't kill him.
            Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

            They can allow him now and sue him later
            Large companies like Garmin don't work like that. If they do issue permission, it will be in writing with specific terms of use. There will usually be a termination clause that amounts to the same thing as a C&D with notice. Arbitrarily filing suit would be the civil equivalent of wrongful prosection and open them up to a countersuit.

            Now if they do terminate the agreement and the promoter continues to use the trademark without permission, we have a whole different story. One unlikely to have a happily ever after ending for the promoter.
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    99,9% if you already have doubts and need to ask..it's NOT legal
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