Domain Names and Company Name Conflict!

12 replies
Hi there Warriors,
I am looking at domain names to buy and flip with websites, and i am a little unsure about what happens if i buy a dot com, net, org or biz that is same as a registered company in the UK or USA. I read that some website owners have been asked or threatened in the past with legal proceedings if they refused to relinquish domains that have same name as registered Biz or Trademark name.
I'd appreciate any members to give some feedback on this one.
Thanks in advance.
#company #conflict #domain #names
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Absolutely. Registering trademarked names for your domains can be problematic. They can file a UDRP or sue, whichever they prefer. It's not worth the potential headaches.
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    • Profile picture of the author Pauly60451
      If you register a domain containing or consisting of a trademarked name or phrase and profit from it, you could be liable for monetary damages should the trademark owner sue you. At the very least, the trademark owner will have a case for taking your domain and you have no defense.

      I'd avoid trying to build a business around trademarked domains.
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    • Profile picture of the author londoncoffee
      Thanks Suzanne.
      I don't actually want to register trademarks. I'd like to know if there are any guidelines to prevent any problems when choosing a domain name and flipping it with a site. I've just looked at Companies House UK which lets you search to see if a name is available - cool and it's free. But not sure where else to look for USA etc. There are many net, org and biz domains that are available - dot coms being taken already. I'll give you an example: fishytales.com is taken and so is fishytales.co.uk, but fishytails biz, net etc is available. I buy the biz, set up site and flip it. Six months later, buyer rings me up and says he/she is being told to close the site. They freak out and want a refund. Okay, i am probably worrying too much here, but as a wannabee flipping success, i Just Got to Know!
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    • Profile picture of the author londoncoffee
      No no no. I'm not trying to grab anyone's trademark as a domain squatter or whatever. I am asking how or where can i check to see if the domain i want to buy is not an existing company name (USA/UK) or a tradename. I guess i'm being over cautious!
      Thanks for such fast feedback. This Warrior Forum is Hot!
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      • Profile picture of the author Pauly60451
        Originally Posted by londoncoffee View Post

        Thanks Suzanne.
        I don't actually want to register trademarks. I'd like to know if there are any guidelines to prevent any problems when choosing a domain name and flipping it with a site. I've just looked at Companies House UK which lets you search to see if a name is available - cool and it's free. But not sure where else to look for USA etc. There are many net, org and biz domains that are available - dot coms being taken already. I'll give you an example: fishytales.com is taken and so is fishytales.co.uk, but fishytails biz, net etc is available. I buy the biz, set up site and flip it. Six months later, buyer rings me up and says he/she is being told to close the site. They freak out and want a refund. Okay, i am probably worrying too much here, but as a wannabee flipping success, i Just Got to Know!
        Originally Posted by londoncoffee View Post

        No no no. I'm not trying to grab anyone's trademark as a domain squatter or whatever. I am asking how or where can i check to see if the domain i want to buy is not an existing company name (USA/UK) or a tradename. I guess i'm being over cautious!
        Thanks for such fast feedback. This Warrior Forum is Hot!
        Ah, OK. I guess we all got corn-fused a bit then. LOL

        To look up trademarks in the US you can check
        Code:
        uspto dot gov/ trademarks/ index dot jsp (sorry, I can't post real links yet)
        Simply because someone owns a domain with a certain TLD like com, net, org or anything else does not necessarily constitute a trademark and will not prevet you from owning the same domain with a different TLD.
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  • Profile picture of the author ColinChia
    Yupp... AGREED!

    Definitely not worth the trouble and the looking over your shoulder 'bad conscience' on your side. So to be safe, it's not worth the trouble!

    I mean, you might get lucky if it's a small company and they won't do much about it. But, if it's any of the larger organisations they could take legal action!

    However, don't let me scare you with that... they just simply ask you to give up the domain name - simple as that!

    NOTE: I'm talking from experience here, I've been pretty lucky and only had to give up one domain. But, decided after that - it's not worth the trouble and constant thinking if I'll receive a notice about the site to get it shutdown.

    So hope this helps,

    Colin
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  • Profile picture of the author OrangeBull
    It's called domain squatting and has potential criminal liability even in the U.S. I believe.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gene Pimentel
    "Registered company" can mean several things. There are LOTS of company names that you may buy as a domain name without problems, because the name is generic enough. I would not hesitate to register something like "TedsAutoCare.com" if there were many "Ted's Auto Care" businesses around (different owners, not a chain), or if there were NO businesses by that name. If the name is generally associated with just one company, that's when you're looking for trouble. You do have to be careful that it is not a trademarked term.

    I'm not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
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  • Profile picture of the author OrangeBull
    Oh, USPTO.gov for a simple quick and dirty trademark search.

    Delaware, New York, California, Nevada, Wyoming Divisions of Corporations would be high on my list of places to check for business names too, at least in the U.S.

    Then a Google search.
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  • Profile picture of the author JSProjects
    I know that this is a little off topic from the original post, but a lot of people make the mistake of registering a product name as their primary domain.

    Just play it safe and register a niche related phrase or keyword as your domain. You can then target product names on your other pages.

    Ex: keyword1keyword2(dot)com/productnamehere

    Most of the time it's pretty easy to rank the additional pages for the exact product name since there's usually not an enormous amount of competition. Usually just a bunch of shopping pages which are easy to outrank with proper on-page SEO and a handful of quality backlinks.
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  • Profile picture of the author michaelcorvin
    Stay away from purchasing trademarked names. It happened to me in 2000. I bought a domain name with a major manufacturers name in it and the site hit $35,000 in sales first month. Then I got a call from their attorneys telling me I have 7 days to remove the domain. Had to change the domain and start all over. Lesson learned. :-)

    Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author CheapTrafficDude
    Do your homework first. Avoid registering domains which the "branded" or where an incorporated name is involved. Doesn't matter if there is a registered trademark in play, corporate names are also protected by law, it's like a person's legal name. For example, if you register a domain like GeorgeClooneyWebsite.com in which you intend to make a profit or are already making noticeable profits, you may end up hearing from Mr. Clooney's lawyers but in most cases, if you are promoting someone's business and you're earning that company profits then it's a fair trade IMHO but not everyone thinks like I do. Lots of patent and registered trademark trolls out there.
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