A billion $ Company forgot to buy the domain...

90 replies
It's true. What should I do?

Here's the scoop...

A Huge Company launches a massive ad campaign using a fictional character. It all over the net, tv & radio. Now, it's starting to go viral. (Kinda on the same idea as "Where's The Beef" commercials). Many are even starting to tweet the name... Who knows where it will go?

Well, when I saw the ad the first time, I did a search and was surprised that this fictional character's .com name domain was available, so I bought it.

I might also add that they name is not trademarked either.

So a few days ago, I put up a landing page with a little bit of copy on it and the site is getting about 1,000 new visitor hits a day and growing...

This is my 1st post and the 1st time I've done something like this...

What would you do?
#billion #buy #company #domain #forgot
  • Profile picture of the author luckystepho
    Offer to sell it to them? Do they do an affiliate program you could join and send loads of traffic their way for commission? Or are there any products associated with this selling on sites like Amazon?
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    • Profile picture of the author LasseKohau
      I do not know the legal issues about trademark in the US, but rent the domain out to the company on a monthly basis.

      1000$ a month is nothing to a billion company !

      Lasse
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      • Profile picture of the author JEasy
        Take the money and run!
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Grab the freakin' trademark while it's still available...
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    • Profile picture of the author FirstQuestion
      Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

      Grab the freakin' trademark while it's still available...
      Done! Thanks!
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      • Profile picture of the author Cool Hand Luke
        Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

        Grab the freakin' trademark while it's still available...
        Originally Posted by FirstQuestion View Post

        Done! Thanks!
        :rolleyes:
        It's not that simple. Ask a copyright lawyer or heck, Google it: anyone even remotely familiar with copyright law can tell you that just because you put in an application to trademark something before another company did, it will easily be dismissed if that company can prove that they came up with and built the value on said trademark, and then you came along and tried to claim the rights to what was already their creation.

        In even simpler terms, courts actively recognize when someone tries to pull a fast one on a company like you're doing right now. Good luck.
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        • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
          Originally Posted by Cool Hand Luke View Post

          :rolleyes:
          It's not that simple. Ask a copyright lawyer or heck, Google it: anyone even remotely familiar with copyright law can tell you that just because you put in an application to trademark something before another company did, it will easily be dismissed if that company can prove that they came up with and built the value on said trademark, and then you came along and tried to trademark what was already their creation.

          In even simpler terms, courts actively recognize when someone tries to pull a fast one on a company like you're doing right now. Good luck.
          Yeah, I thought that was a bit fast too. But I did a search and found you can actually register a trademark in 5 minutes. BTW, copyright law and trademarks are two entirely different things.

          As for pulling a fast one... That's open to interpretation. Right now the OP has all the goods. Any smart attorney could argue that the big company should have covered their bases. At the very least, if what the OP said is accurate, it's likely he can sell them the domain and trademark for a nice profit.
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          • Profile picture of the author Cool Hand Luke
            [DELETED]
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            • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
              Originally Posted by Cool Hand Luke View Post

              Trademark and copyright laws are EXACTLY the same in the eyes of federal law in regards to this specific issue.

              Registering a trademark and that trademark holding up after scrutiny are very different things, by the way. The OP does not "have all the goods"....not even close. He snuck in and took advantage of another company's time, money, and marketing efforts, and found a short-term solution to profit from a company's possible oversight. In my book, that makes him a thief.

              Luckily for the "billion-dollar company", the law overwhelmingly and unanimously agrees with that assessment.

              Frankly, I'm surprised to see anyone supporting this kind of deception and suggesting he tries to extort a company for what is rightfully theirs in the eyes of the law, as well as anyone with even the most basic sense of decency.
              I see no one sneaking to do anything. It can be argued, and has been successfully argued that if something has so much value, then the originator of the idea, concept or whatever should have had the foresight to have protected it in advance. As for having "all the goods," my basis for that statement is that possession is 90% of the law. As for extortion, that's just plain silly. Stuff like this happens all the time. Maybe this billion dollar company would be willing to toss this guy a hundred grand just so their shareholders don't find out how freakin' negligent they were with such valuable intellectual property.
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            • Profile picture of the author sovereignn
              Originally Posted by Cool Hand Luke View Post

              Trademark and copyright laws are EXACTLY the same in the eyes of federal law in regards to this specific issue.

              Registering a trademark and that trademark holding up after scrutiny are very different things, by the way. The OP does not "have all the goods"....not even close. He snuck in and took advantage of another company's time, money, and marketing efforts, and found a short-term solution to profit from a company's possible oversight. In my book, that makes him a thief.

              Luckily for the "billion-dollar company", the law overwhelmingly and unanimously agrees with that assessment.

              Frankly, I'm surprised to see anyone supporting this kind of deception and suggesting he tries to extort a company for what is rightfully theirs in the eyes of the law, as well as anyone with even the most basic sense of decency.
              I don't see how he did anything wrong... Even if the company does trademark the word/phrase they can't claim his domain since he bought if before the trademark. (Could be wrong)

              I don't see something as extortion either nobody will FORCE them to buy it from him or anything.

              He just capitalized on a great situation maybe he'll make a lot of money on it maybe he wont make any at all.
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            • Profile picture of the author Will Edwards
              Originally Posted by Cool Hand Luke View Post

              Trademark and copyright laws are EXACTLY the same in the eyes of federal law in regards to this specific issue.
              A case around a domain using the Trademark 'Think and Grow Rich' was successfully upheld and the domain was handed over the Napoleon Hill Foundation.

              The defence was that the book was not subject to copyright because it was in the public domain. They lost because, the prosecution pointed out the differences between Trademark and Copyright law.

              Just saying

              Will
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            • Profile picture of the author Toplink
              Originally Posted by Cool Hand Luke View Post

              Trademark and copyright laws are EXACTLY the same in the eyes of federal law in regards to this specific issue.

              Registering a trademark and that trademark holding up after scrutiny are very different things, by the way. The OP does not "have all the goods"....not even close. He snuck in and took advantage of another company's time, money, and marketing efforts, and found a short-term solution to profit from a company's possible oversight. In my book, that makes him a thief.

              Luckily for the "billion-dollar company", the law overwhelmingly and unanimously agrees with that assessment.

              Frankly, I'm surprised to see anyone supporting this kind of deception and suggesting he tries to extort a company for what is rightfully theirs in the eyes of the law, as well as anyone with even the most basic sense of decency.
              I tend to agree with this. Courts are taking a very dim view these days of this type of opportunism.

              I would get some legal advice fast. You will probbaly make some money out of selling them the domain, but it might not be enough to retire on :rolleyes:
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        • Profile picture of the author WraithSarko
          Originally Posted by Cool Hand Luke View Post

          :rolleyes:
          It's not that simple. Ask a copyright lawyer or heck, Google it: anyone even remotely familiar with copyright law can tell you that just because you put in an application to trademark
          Being familiar with copyright law doesn't make you familiar with trademark law.

          The words trademark and copyright aren't interchangeable or mixable like you did there

          Nevertheless I get what point you are trying to make.
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          • Profile picture of the author Cool Hand Luke
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            • Profile picture of the author WraithSarko
              Originally Posted by fool Hand Luke View Post

              Trademark and copyright laws are EXACTLY the same in the eyes of federal law in regards to this specific issue.
              Originally Posted by Cool Hand fLuke View Post

              :rolleyes: Ask me how I know you know literally nothing about the topic. Federal law is almost exactly the same with copyright and trademark law in this situation.

              Reading comprehension > you.
              Waffling n Backpedaling!! from Exactly to Almost exactly in 1 post!

              You suggested they talk to a COPYRIGHT lawyer about a TRADEMARK and your telling me that I don't know anything?? lulz

              {COPYRIGHT|TRADEMARK} They aren't synonyms. Your speaking in spin syntax and it looks like spam.

              Remember we all need to write quality content now so just don't answer any more.

              lol
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    • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
      Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

      Grab the freakin' trademark while it's still available...
      Attempting to grab a trademark that is already being used in commerce might spell legal problems down the road. The govt might grant it, but they can always sue you for your bad intentions.
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      • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
        Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

        Attempting to grab a trademark that is already being used in commerce might spell legal problems down the road. The govt might grant it, but they can always sue you for your bad intentions.
        My understanding was the name was not in use. Hopefully the OP talks to an attorney before moving forward. If this is truly a high profile company and valuable character name the TM won't be granted. Or, the OP could simply withdraw his application for the TM. Same thing would go for the domain name. I'm sure an attorney would have the answer on how to proceed.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
    If this guys needs it they probably must have gotten it before you.

    Meanwhile, you use what you have to get what you want, tender it to them and see what comes out of it.
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    • Profile picture of the author FirstQuestion
      Originally Posted by johnben1444 View Post

      If this guys needs it they probably must have gotten it before you.

      Meanwhile, you use what you have to get what you want, tender it to them and see what comes out of it.
      True, I won't know for several months if the trademark I just filed is accepted. But currently there is no trademark for this name...for what it's worth.
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    • Profile picture of the author Akin Alabi
      Originally Posted by johnben1444 View Post

      If this guys needs it they probably must have gotten it before you.
      They sure need it but they dont even know they do.
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  • Profile picture of the author TolyZ
    Sell it to them for 10mil. then retire
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    • Profile picture of the author WritingService
      Originally Posted by TolyZ View Post

      Sell it to them for 10mil. then retire
      LOL

      i will do the same thing if i were you..hahah
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  • Profile picture of the author Seatbelt99
    If you already own the domain and have put in the application for the trademark is there any reason not to share it with us?

    I'd be interested in seeing what it is, and if we know the exact company/product than I'm sure you'll get more suggestions on how to make money on it.

    Good luck though, sounds like you might have hit the lottery on this one.

    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author chemo38
      Originally Posted by Seatbelt99 View Post

      If you already own the domain and have put in the application for the trademark is there any reason not to share it with us?

      I'd be interested in seeing what it is, and if we know the exact company/product than I'm sure you'll get more suggestions on how to make money on it.

      Good luck though, sounds like you might have hit the lottery on this one.

      Michael

      I am skeptical this even happened! Could be a ploy to increase post counts.

      chemo38
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    • Profile picture of the author magiclouie
      Originally Posted by Seatbelt99 View Post

      If you already own the domain and have put in the application for the trademark is there any reason not to share it with us?

      I'd be interested in seeing what it is, and if we know the exact company/product than I'm sure you'll get more suggestions on how to make money on it.

      Good luck though, sounds like you might have hit the lottery on this one.

      Michael
      I am keen to know that precious domain name too. Although, I am not sure if he's going to share it with us but who knows?


      Cheers,
      Louie Tugas
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      • Profile picture of the author rusty1027
        Originally Posted by magiclouie View Post

        I am keen to know that precious domain name too. Although, I am not sure if he's going to share it with us but who knows?


        Cheers,
        Louie Tugas
        Well if he's already registered it - then he has nothing to lose by disclosing it.

        OP - well??
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    i would advise you to make some notes on times and dates of the relevant events such as when the character showed up, when ads started running, when you bought the domain....

    legal stuff gets picky. proof of dates and times might mean the difference in getting paid and getting sued.
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  • Profile picture of the author colinph970
    Get legal advice now......don't ask for it here. You may be sitting on a very valuable asset or you may be sitting on a real sharp spike. Only a qualified and experienced lawyer will tell you which it is!
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  • Profile picture of the author AceOfShirts
    There must be some type of CPA offer or affiliate program that would relate to the people coming to the site.

    Heck, just an ebay or Amazon link should get some clicks.
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  • Profile picture of the author HFlame7
    Monetize it as much as you can before they, possibly, threaten you for the domain.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Lawyer. Now.

    This is way too dangerous a patch of ground to be taking advice from anyone online, other than that you talk to a lawyer with experience in this field.

    Edit: Correction... David's comments about documenting everything are well-placed.
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  • Profile picture of the author virtue121
    Maybe they will make you an offer but dont take their first one!
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Obviously, this is something you're going to want to put in the hands of a competent attorney. Good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author FirstQuestion
      I'm sorry guys...maybe I will disclose the .com soon, but at this point I just am not comfortable enough.

      I will absolutely seek the advice of a domain/trademark atty...and I appreciate all the advice you have all given.

      From what little DD I've done....it seems to me if I don't try to monetize from the site and also don't proactively try to sell the domain, but rather host a type of personal tribute site and simply wait for someone to approach me with an offer to buy first...I might be viewed in better light if in the event of litigation and have greater leverage?

      But who knows? like many of your have said, a good competent attorney.
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      • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
        Originally Posted by FirstQuestion View Post

        I'm sorry guys...maybe I will disclose the .com soon, but at this point I just am not comfortable enough.

        I will absolutely seek the advice of a domain/trademark atty...and I appreciate all the advice you have all given.

        From what little DD I've done....it seems to me if I don't try to monetize from the site and also don't proactively try to sell the domain, but rather host a type of personal tribute site and simply wait for someone to approach me with an offer to buy first...I might be viewed in better light if in the event of litigation and have greater leverage?

        But who knows? like many of your have said, a good competent attorney.
        I'd suggest you don't do anything with the domain until you get legal advice first.
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      • Profile picture of the author AustinDigital
        Originally Posted by FirstQuestion View Post

        I'm sorry guys...maybe I will disclose the .com soon, but at this point I just am not comfortable enough.

        I will absolutely seek the advice of a domain/trademark atty...and I appreciate all the advice you have all given.

        From what little DD I've done....it seems to me if I don't try to monetize from the site and also don't proactively try to sell the domain, but rather host a type of personal tribute site and simply wait for someone to approach me with an offer to buy first...I might be viewed in better light if in the event of litigation and have greater leverage?

        But who knows? like many of your have said, a good competent attorney.
        Call Aaron kelly kellylawfirm.com he specializes in internet law
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        • Profile picture of the author FirstQuestion
          Originally Posted by AustinTPL View Post

          Call Aaron kelly kellylawfirm.com he specializes in internet law
          Thank you!
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  • Profile picture of the author iwillbeontop
    Here is my 2 cents...

    Dont tell ANYONE the domain... Stop giving details......

    Sit back and prepare for a nice payday...
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    • Profile picture of the author rusty1027
      Originally Posted by iwillbeontop View Post

      Here is my 2 cents...

      Dont tell ANYONE the domain... Stop giving details......

      Sit back and prepare for a nice payday...
      I just have to ask... if the OP already owns the domain - can you give me a reason for this point of view?

      To everyone reading this - how would your businesses be doing if you kept your domain name secret?

      I could type a million dollar idea in this thread right now and 99.9999% of the people who read it won't take any action on it... so exactly what is it that y'all think will happen if the OP discloses a domain name he already owns?
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      • Profile picture of the author seriousbiz
        I have a domain that may be disputable with a major corporation, but i am keeping it secret because i havent brought up the whole set of domains surrounding my idea.


        Originally Posted by rusty1027 View Post

        I just have to ask... if the OP already owns the domain - can you give me a reason for this point of view?

        To everyone reading this - how would your businesses be doing if you kept your domain name secret?

        I could type a million dollar idea in this thread right now and 99.9999% of the people who read it won't take any action on it... so exactly what is it that y'all think will happen if the OP discloses a domain name he already owns?
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    • Profile picture of the author mogulmedia
      Originally Posted by iwillbeontop View Post

      Here is my 2 cents...

      Dont tell ANYONE the domain... Stop giving details......

      Sit back and prepare for a nice payday...
      Yeah do this man...

      In the mean time you can build a meaty list with this. Get to it!
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  • Profile picture of the author goindeep
    I might be wrong, but I dont think you can just grab a trademark. I think the lawyer goes through a whole bunch of stuff like: is another company or entity using this name, brand etc?

    Either way if you play nice you could make a nice clean little profit.

    Without knowing what the company does, its hard to make any suggestions. Goodluck!
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Originally Posted by drunkenmonkey View Post

    All the legal formalities can be/will be dealt with "as and when"...

    If I was in your shoes, I would be trying to get in the sucker punch while you still can and try and monetize that traffic somehow...I'd be drilling down into the demographics of whatever Niche/market it is and slap some insane CPA offer on there.

    Even if it's just $2 email submit, a well matched offer to the demographic should sit pretty.

    $500 per day = $15,000 per month.

    Without knowing the domain/niche/market/company that's about as far as I'd go.

    DM
    No. The smart thing to do at this point is to talk to one or two different attorneys who specialize in intellectual property law. If they feel the OP has something, he should let them handle it. Owning the domain (or trademark) does not put him in any position to make demands. And an attempt to make a buck from this at this stage would be unwise. There might be something here but for it to come to fruition it will have to be handled wisely by a competent lawyer(s).
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  • Profile picture of the author Brian Tayler
    Originally Posted by Andrei Rotariu

    I might be wrong, but I dont think you can just grab a trademark. I think the lawyer goes through a whole bunch of stuff like: is another company or entity using this name, brand etc?

    Either way if you play nice you could make a nice clean little profit.

    Without knowing what the company does, its hard to make any suggestions. Goodluck!
    Having received many trademarks on my own... yes he can put in a trademark application on his own. however it remains to be seen if that application would be approved and even if it was if it'd have much standing in court. luckily the trademark attorney that got assigned to most of my applications were helpful and worked with me. however they aren't dumb. they look at every case and don't let broad trademarks through. even on my ligitmate applications I ran into issues and had to resubmit etc. furthermore after its been approved it gets added to the journal which gives anyone the right to protest the trademark for like 6 months or something. if ifs a true issue... I see it being brought up during this time. the scary part is the application itself might draw unwanted attention to the individual and could get him a nasty letter from the company in question.




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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    make an adult website out of it... j/k

    but i think if the company wants it eventually i't might be cheeper for them to get it from you via cyber squatting laws or something..

    if anything build a fan site or something you can capatize off of ..
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  • Profile picture of the author CBusiness
    create a brand name out of their name.......... but make it a diferent name

    ie:
    Fiasco = 1 brand
    Fia Sco = 2nd brand
    Fi Asco = 3rd brand

    let it sit.. see what happens
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  • Profile picture of the author Simmeon
    If a lawsuit ever comes up, guess what thread they will be using as evidence.
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
      Originally Posted by Simmeon View Post

      If a lawsuit ever comes up, guess what thread they will be using as evidence.
      Not this one for as long as he doesn't elaborate.

      I'm quite sure if a legal situation came about though, he might have to justify his intention of owning the domain name if he's to convince people that he isn't trying to "piggyback" upon a brand someone else has established.


      Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author jaiganeshv
    I thought i would see red flags only, with respect to trademark names, but i see some "go for it" kind of posts as well...

    strange

    But be on a safer side until you are more than 100% sure of what you are doing..
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    • Profile picture of the author Cali16
      Originally Posted by jaiganeshv View Post

      I thought i would see red flags only, with respect to trademark names, but i see some "go for it" kind of posts as well...

      strange
      Unfortunate and scary, actually, that some are telling the OP to "go for it". That's why asking questions (that involve legal issues) on a forum like this can get you into all sorts of hot water.

      Some of the responses in this thread contain very bad advice. Fortunately, the OP seems to be considering the responses from those who have wisely suggested that he talk to an attorney.
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  • Profile picture of the author davezan
    Originally Posted by FirstQuestion View Post

    I might also add that they name is not trademarked either.
    Registration is not required for a trademark to exist. Unfortunately if that
    billion dollar company sees what happened, you'll have a lot of explaining
    to do.

    Do check with an attorney with real-world experience in this. Good luck.

    Originally Posted by Cool Hand Luke View Post

    :rolleyes:
    It's not that simple. Ask a copyright lawyer or heck, Google it: anyone even remotely familiar with copyright law can tell you that just because you put in an application to trademark something before another company did, it will easily be dismissed if that company can prove that they came up with and built the value on said trademark, and then you came along and tried to claim the rights to what was already their creation.

    In even simpler terms, courts actively recognize when someone tries to pull a fast one on a company like you're doing right now. Good luck.
    Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

    Yeah, I thought that was a bit fast too. But I did a search and found you can actually register a trademark in 5 minutes. BTW, copyright law and trademarks are two entirely different things.

    As for pulling a fast one... That's open to interpretation. Right now the OP has all the goods. Any smart attorney could argue that the big company should have covered their bases. At the very least, if what the OP said is accurate, it's likely he can sell them the domain and trademark for a nice profit.
    Copyright and trademarks may be similar, yet they have differences:

    General Information Concerning Patents

    What Are Patents, Trademarks, Servicemarks, and Copyrights?

    Some people confuse patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Although there may be some similarities among these kinds of intellectual property protection, they are different and serve different purposes.

    ...

    What Is a Trademark or Servicemark?

    A trademark is a word, name, symbol, or device that is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others.

    ...

    What is a Copyright?

    Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of "original works of authorship" including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished.
    In this specific discussion, trademark applies more because it involves a word
    or phrase used to identify the source of its good or service. Copyrights don't
    generally apply to domain names per se, although it can be used to, say, shut
    down a domain name displaying copyrighted content depending on details.
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  • Profile picture of the author BloggingPro
    Regardless of the posts in this thread, contact a lawyer. It's that simple. Some of us on the forum (speaking generally) have gone through this same scenario, yet one thing was different and may not apply to your situation.

    For the absolute best advice contact a trademark lawyer and go from there. Litigation is not a layman's terms situation. Get appropriate advice and do things the right way. That way when you profit from this domain purchase you yourself have all YOUR bases covered! Get me?!
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    Not a lawyer. You need one.

    One thing the trademark application asks is when you started using the mark in interstate commerce. Interstate meaning more than one state. Commerce meaning something for sale that relates to the mark. My definitions may be different than a lawyer.

    If that's a reason for denying or reversing a trademark, they've most likley got you beat. They can prove via ads, etc. when they first used it in interstate commerce and it is well before you used it in interstate commerce.

    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author louie6925
    I personally would set up a site on the domain which has absolutely nothing to do with this company's ad! Forget the trademark and try and monetise whatever subject you have on the site!
    If this domain is of value to said company they will make a fair offer and never suspect you were trying to piggy back off their marketing efforts!
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    Feel free to chat if you live in the UK I may have something for you!
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  • Profile picture of the author louie6925
    I personally would set up a site on the domain which has absolutely nothing to do with this company's ad! Forget the trademark and try and monetise whatever subject you have on the site!
    If this domain is of value to said company they will make a fair offer and never suspect you were trying to piggy back off their marketing efforts!
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    Feel free to chat if you live in the UK I may have something for you!
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  • Profile picture of the author Ross Petal
    I have to say your an action taker. That was quick!

    It's great when a warrior grabs an opportunity and succeeds. This has been handed to you on a Golden plate. Just think, you won't have to spend years and years doing seo/ back linking work. Just put your feet up and see the monthly affiliate commissions coming in or wait until the Company offers you $Millions. Well done buddy!
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    • Profile picture of the author TimShrieves
      Ha ha... great, you clearly have a good eye for opportunity!!

      Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    There could be some legal glitches to this idea. First Use In Commerce can establish a trademark. You already said they have launched a campaign, so that would be first use.

    But you do need a lawyer for this, as it has been said already.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    The way I see it you have nothing worth any real value. They will get the trademark and as soon as they get that you will have to surrender the domain to them. They probably already have the application in and even if you both put it in around the same time, they would have a much better case for getting it and would be awarded it over you.

    Move on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hermawan
    register it as your trademark but for different kind of products... setup article about your business. but on sidebar put advertising related to the visitor.
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  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    Here's what's going to really happen.

    The billion dollar company is going to realize their oversight. Then they'll contact their billion dollar legal team. They will contact the OP who will have shivers run up his spine at the same time he soils his undergarments. He'll capitulate almost instantly to whatever demand they have.

    The end.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew1122
    Banned
    Sooner or later you will have to give them the domain,if you are with g0daddy they will just take it after the first complain.Dont even think offering to sell the domain to the company.Same stuff happened to me(and many others on another forum).If you havent yet,go and purchase whois guard protect ($5-$10/year) NOW
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  • Profile picture of the author virtu
    Congrats on your fast-action!

    Because of copyright issues that will rise after the booming, I'd like to make a quote to them for that domain. Hope a nice $$$ for you!

    virtu
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    • Profile picture of the author Andrew1122
      Banned
      Originally Posted by virtu View Post

      Congrats on your fast-action!

      Because of copyright issues that will rise after the booming, I'd like to make a quote to them for that domain. Hope a nice $$$ for you!

      virtu
      lol,that is more like a $$$.$$$ lawsuit
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    To the OP:

    It was a mistake for me to encourage you to get the TM for this cartoon character or whatever it is. I also want to send a thank you out to Cool Hand Luke for slapping my moral compass, which was stuck on "O" for opportunity yesterday. Just because something is legal doesn't necessarily make it right.

    First, I admire your initiative. You saw an opportunity and went for it. That's becoming more and more rare these days.

    I've looked over the TM app and found it interesting. Included in the application is an affidavit stating that the applicant is not aware that the mark they are applying for will infringe on the rights of another. This is supposed to be signed in the affirmative.

    I've also read several instruction guides on filling out a TM app. With regard to the affidavit above they all say that if the applicant is aware that anyone might have an interest in the mark that your lawyer should be notified and that the entity with an interest must be named.

    Obviously, I'm not a lawyer. And I'm not asking you to reveal the details of how you completed the application. With regard to the affidavit above it's my opinion that there are several things that could happen based on how someone sign off on it.

    If someone were to admit that another entity had an interest in the mark I believe the application would be denied flat out. Just my opinion.

    If someone were to say that they weren't aware of any possible interest in the mark and it turned out that the individual actually was aware, it's my opinion that that someone would have demonstrated bad faith, especially if they'd previously registered the domain name and later came to a public forum and asked certain questions about a valuable piece of intellectual property. Again, I'm not a lawyer and this is just my opinion. Making certain "mistakes" on a federal application can get touchy, especially if a deep pockets company were to suffer because of those mistakes. Just because a particular name isn't trademarked doesn't necessarily mean that name is available for practical purposes. It's clear by what you've posted that there's a big company with a big interest in the name.

    Perhaps the thing to do is to withdraw the application before it gets too far up the food chain as it's an easy thing to do early in the process. Of course, you'll want to check with a qualified attorney sooner than later before doing anything. It's likely you can get a 15-minute free consultation with one or more lawyers specializing in trademarks and let them know what you've got both with the domain and the TM app. And if they tell you you're on solid ground, and you have faith in them, I wish you all the best.
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  • Profile picture of the author ShayB
    I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on Twitter.

    But to me, this isn't about what's legal (although you need to consult an attorney since you've already taken some steps for monetizing this).

    I have works of fiction. I've done a LOT of world-building. YEARS of it, in one instance. Developing a fictional world in a fictional planetary system with flora and fauna and moons and....

    You get the idea.

    Also years developing characters.

    I also have a following, people that search for different aspects of this sci-fi universe.

    If someone wanted to swoop in and get a domain name and try to TM something I have worked years to create and build so that they could capitalize on my hard work....I don't care if it's legal or not. It's not the right thing to do.

    I don't have a billion dollar legal team, but even if I couldn't legally do anything about it, you'd better believe I'd stick pins in your voodoo doll every night for the rest of my life.

    Just sayin'.
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    • Profile picture of the author JEasy
      Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

      I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on Twitter.

      But to me, this isn't about what's legal (although you need to consult an attorney since you've already taken some steps for monetizing this).

      I have works of fiction. I've done a LOT of world-building. YEARS of it, in one instance. Developing a fictional world in a fictional planetary system with flora and fauna and moons and....

      You get the idea.

      Also years developing characters.

      I also have a following, people that search for different aspects of this sci-fi universe.

      If someone wanted to swoop in and get a domain name and try to TM something I have worked years to create and build so that they could capitalize on my hard work....I don't care if it's legal or not. It's not the right thing to do.

      I don't have a billion dollar legal team, but even if I couldn't legally do anything about it, you'd better believe I'd stick pins in your voodoo doll every night for the rest of my life.

      Just sayin'.
      Ethically speaking, I hear exactly what you're saying. However, it's all just business so you have to cover your bases. If OP hasn't broken any laws, then I say get all the money you can. He was out in front on this one.
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      • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
        Originally Posted by JEasy View Post

        Ethically speaking, I hear exactly what you're saying. However, it's all just business so you have to cover your bases. If OP hasn't broken any laws, then I say get all the money you can. He was out in front on this one.
        I completely agree and I for one do not care how much work this company put into establishing their brand or trademark.

        Why? Because if they were working that hard in the first place, wouldn't they have had the sense to BUY this domain before the OP did? Plus like the poster above me said, big biz is cut throat, they wouldn't get that domain out of my cold, dead, hands.

        This is just a case of survival of the fittest. Sure it may not be ethical to euthanize the runt of a litter, but people still do it. Its how the real world works, so more power to the OP.

        If you DO get a call from their legal team, do not let them intimidate you. Call your own lawyer, tell them you will not speak to them directly.

        Moreso, I'm curious where the OP went. Doesn't seem to have posted anymore so maybe you can update us when you get a chance.

        -Red
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  • Profile picture of the author williamk
    Banned
    If you have the trademark and the domain name, then offer to sell it to them. For a billion $ company you could easily get a few million for them. Its a question about their identity at least.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ducksauce
    Do you have a link to how you registered the trade mark?
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    I love life an everything in it. Don't worry, be happy.

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    • Profile picture of the author FirstQuestion
      Originally Posted by Ducksauce View Post

      Do you have a link to how you registered the trade mark?
      I did it through Legalzoom.com

      Was like $450
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      • Profile picture of the author davezan
        Originally Posted by FirstQuestion View Post

        I did it through Legalzoom.com

        Was like $450
        What you did was file an application, which some people mistake as possessing a
        trademark already. It doesn't work that way.

        Assuming you told your lawyer absolutely everything about your scenario, what'd
        he say anyhow?
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        David

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  • Profile picture of the author peewhy
    I wish you all the best and genuinely hope they play fair and not use the weight of their lawyers to pursue you for whatever it is they pursue people for that by domains containing trademarks.

    Even Kellogs forgot to register 'Corn Flakes' all those years ago!
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  • Profile picture of the author CrossHash
    Id say anyone trying to ride the coat tails of a company thats already branded themselves .. and trying to profit from said company will have a short and questioning career. If you have to ask the question, then your head already knows you will receive bad karma .. Think of it this way, would you suggest it to a client and put your neck on the line when they could possibly come back at you as the authority figure who "told them to go for it" .. ??

    Let common sense and morality prevail
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    • Profile picture of the author JEasy
      Originally Posted by CrossHash View Post

      Id say anyone trying to ride the coat tails of a company thats already branded themselves .. and trying to profit from said company will have a short and questioning career. If you have to ask the question, then your head already knows you will receive bad karma .. Think of it this way, would you suggest it to a client and put your neck on the line when they could possibly come back at you as the authority figure who "told them to go for it" .. ??

      Let common sense and morality prevail
      They'd do it to him if the situation was reversed. Business will always be cutthroat. Again, if he gets the ok from attorneys and whatnot that lawfully he's in the clear then it's payday time.
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  • Since it's on tv, purchasing the trademark wouldn't be such a good idea because they can rove that they came up with the idea first. The only thing left is the site, I say make the most of the website without using any copyrighted content and bank on the idea without really using any of their ideas. Can be pretty tricky, but may be worthwhile.
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  • Profile picture of the author computermesh
    Honestly, I would try and sell them the domain name. Turn a nice profit, don't try and drag them over the coals backside first or anything. That will probably get them no where. Don't make an offer ask them for one. If there interested.
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    If you build it, they will come. If you write it, they will read it. If it's good, well, they will tweet it, like it, share it, stumble it, pin it, post it, copy it, click it, buy it, question it, digg it and comment on it. Let's write useful, meaningful content on our sites and clean the internet up :)

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  • Profile picture of the author sanjx01
    Sell it to them.

    There was a guy who lives here in Australia about an hour away from me who purchased apple.tv apparently.

    Apple came a knocking to buy it off him.

    They made a deal, and he left a very very happy man

    All you can do is offer to sell it to them, and see if they bite.

    If not - keep and use the site.

    You're getting a bunch of free traffic - why not make some merchandise and sell it on the site?

    Hope that helps!

    ~S
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  • Profile picture of the author Rojak Moon
    I'd be a team player; contact them and sell it; the publicity alone may be worth more to you than the sell of the domain. Marketing is expensive unless its provided to you for free by chance.
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  • Profile picture of the author 2ndopkate
    Just curious. This is a US billion dollar company right? Agreed on the attorney, but if it's not a US company you need advice on international trademarks/copyrights, etc.

    I just think it's great you had the moxy to see this opportunity and act on it. Awesome!
    Kater
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  • Profile picture of the author Wendy Maki
    I strongly suspect that you may be dealing with the UDRP (Uniform Domain Resolution Policy) sometime in the near future...
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  • Profile picture of the author karlmay1980
    I would consult a lawyer, but don't see the domain being a problem to you, although the Trademark may be a different story
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  • Profile picture of the author JeremTheMarketer
    You should be aware that at any time they can sue you...
    There was a guy that owned googlee.com and redirect it to a porn site, I believe that he went into jail or something like that.

    You get the picture, beware of what you do.
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  • Profile picture of the author zk46
    if the company will be interested buying your domain you will earn a lot of money try to contact them and to sell them the domain
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  • Profile picture of the author ttdub
    Someone hit the jackpot! That's all I've got to say.
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    • Profile picture of the author iMassMarket
      Unfortunately I see just one scenario happening going by the faint details you've given in your post and it's rather simple.

      If they want the name they will get it without having to pay for it. Zip, nada, zilch and you'll read why in a second.

      However, the basis of your post is that this company has built an ad campaign around a fictional character and the domain name relating to the character is what you have purchased.

      If this is the case I am positive this character is TM but that doesn't matter either as you'll read why. So all this talk about copyrights and trademarks don't mean squat. really.

      Now of course you should speak to a lawyer. You should have done that before spending $450 on a trademark which can't be had in the first place - again, going by your faint details in your post.

      Imagine you bought ronaldmcdonald.com, bigbird.com, or chestercheetah.com. There would be no question these names identify a particular brand. You would have no legal right to profit or keep any of these domains.

      Again, consult a lawyer. Many laws have changed since the www-wild-west days and they favor big business.

      More importantly, none of us OWN any domain we pay for. It's true. We buy an agreement with the registrar to register a domain. That's it.

      I have bought and sold an uncountable number of domains in my time and before you speak to a lawyer you need to print the contract out from your registrar. Your lawyer needs to read this completely. It is the ONLY contract that really matters at this point and asking any questions without out knowing whats in the contract is pointless and you'll get a pointless answer.

      You'd be surprised how easily a registrar can confiscate your domain and how quick they can just shut it down (usually for any reason they feel like without notice because again, you don't OWN anything). If you don't have a lawyer who has read this contract your domain is good as gone when your registrar is contacted by this business you speak of.

      Now read the ACPA - Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. Because this is what this business in your post will be referring to when they serve you papers. Specifically "bad faith use".

      Someone mentioned UDRP. The UDRP handles cybersquatting (which this simply is) and they'll argue trademark infringement (which it is - again by your post). But they will sue you in civil court under ACPA. Reason is the UDRP is arbitration. Which means civil court will cost YOU more and lawyers like to think they are above arbitration anyway.

      Lastly, this is the TEST for ACPA cases in regards to "bad faith".

      The company protesting only has to prove that you bought the domain intending to use it in bad faith for profit.

      And, that the name is trademarked or... wait for it.... FAMOUS at the time of registration.

      So trademark don't mean jack if they can prove it was FAMOUS enough to describe their brand.

      I think this pretty much answers it for you but again - ask a lawyer.

      All in all you can only hope to sit and see if they offer you money. Most likely, not, and if they do it will be less than the cost of filing court docs and their in-house lawyers time.

      The worst thing you or anyone can do is jump on a forum and start asking what should I do questions on subjects like this. Do you think if you actually went to court they wouldn't request to examine any "business" related items stored on your computer?
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  • Profile picture of the author DesignWizz
    This brings back memories of Mike Rowe, and his company Mike Rowe Soft

    MicroSoft Didn't find it funny.

    Microsoft vs. MikeRoweSoft - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  • Profile picture of the author daddykool
    Are some of these replies for real???

    OP - Make contact with the Bi$$ion Dollar company, before they start proceedings, do NOT try and beat them to a ™ or © on the DN, simply be professional and proactive in your approach, tell them that you are a GENUINE IM'r and would like to suggest either a JV or some form of $ compensation which may or may not include the use of the DN.

    Regardless of anything, you will loose the DN, it may be quick, or it may be drawn out in the courts, dragging your name and anyone you know, work or network with, into a pile of crap you do not need.

    Yes, you can cybersquat the DN as much as you like, but at the end of the day, this thread is far more evidence, normally presented in DN cases, similar in stance, that would be used AGAINST you, to show you might/could/would/tried to, gain a financial or otherwise hold over something that already has providence for the Bi$$ion Dollar company... after all that is why they are a Bi$$ion Dollar company!

    If you have gone out and ™ a © name/company/product in anyway, say goodbye to $xx,xxx + when they get you in court

    No luck with the company, move on and give it to them in exchange for a "Holiday/Fishing Rod/Fridge/BlahBlah or Whatever they make/do!" ...if they still want it!!!
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
      Originally Posted by daddykool View Post


      Yes, you can cybersquat the DN as much as you like, but at the end of the day, this thread is far more evidence, normally presented in DN cases, similar in stance, that would be used AGAINST you, to show you might/could/would/tried to, gain a financial or otherwise hold over something that already has providence for the Bi$ Dollar company... after all that is why they are a Bi$ Dollar company!
      That's highly unlikely. The domain, nor his identity is evident here.

      This thread could potentially relate to any domain / business in the world.


      Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author FirstQuestion
    Lot's of good insight here.

    One day I promise to reveal the domain and the outcome.

    Thanks Again!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jordan Kovats
    I'll start with, I am not a lawyer.

    However, after being privy to the trademark registration process about two years ago, the process isn't over night. Once you get past the application and various other steps, there is a contesability period where others have the right to come forward and contest the application. This period lasts at least a month, longer if memory serves me correct. So to say trademark it and sell it to them for bla bla bla...you are a long way from being close to achieving that. Almost wishful thinking.

    However, if the other company trademarks the phrase / slogan whatever. Your domain is worth about $10 to them.

    Talk to a trademark lawyer, (as everyone else has stated) and see if it is even worthy of your time to call the company and offer the domain for sale in the meantime. My guess, is the payday won't be as lucrative as you think.
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