Will I get sued for this?

33 replies
For Micro niche sites what are the chances of actually getting sued for a EMD with a brandable name inside it?

I want to promote a certain product, lets say its called NutriCraze1000. Nutricraze being the brand. 1000 being model number.

Buyer Keywords to find my site: nutricraze1000, nutricraze1000 review


If I wanted to comply with trademarks id call it: nutri1000review.com
(however because this is only partial EMD, how much does this effect the ranking from a search engine with the above buyer keywords?)

If I wanted to do what I wanna do. id call it: nutricraze1000review.com
(full EMD)

I had a friend who was making a good profit a few years back using kasperskyreview.com. I dont recall him ever getting sued or anything like that.

Id be affiliating for the product also through amazon, so the company would be generating more profits in the end anyway.

I figure its better to have a thriving site that eventually may get a cease and desist rather than a dead site that generates nothing forever.

So in the end, would I get sued and how much of a difference does a Full EMD (nutricraze1000review.com) make over a Partial EMD (nutri1000review.com). When it comes to ranking a small micro niche site?
#sued
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8751573].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author AffiliatingAlan
      Im not really asking for legal advice title was just for views.

      Ideally im just wondering how much more effective full emds are vs partial emds.

      pirating music and videos are illegal too, drinking under age is illegal too, I am just wondering how often people actually get in trouble for this and under what light.

      there is tons of websites using branded domains without any issues and some get sued. there must be a algorithim or correlation to the ones who get sued for emd's

      I have a feeling the websites getting sued for branding domains are trying to do there own thing and failing.

      ie.. mikerowesoft.com some guys name where his site wasnt related to pc's probably

      ie. appleinsider = not getting sued, probably because there promoting apple products in a positive way
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8751658].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Bradley McK
        I bought a domain with Epson and model name in it through Go Daddy. Their lawyers told GoDaddy, they locked down the name and charged me 30 bucks to do it. I lost the domain in the end. You probably won't get sued for damages, but you'll lose out eventually. Big brands are very protective of their names. EMD do not carry the weight they once did anyway. Just my experience and opinion........
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8751682].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
        Originally Posted by AffiliatingAlan View Post

        Im not really asking for legal advice title was just for views.

        Ideally im just wondering how much more effective full emds are vs partial emds.

        pirating music and videos are illegal too, drinking under age is illegal too, I am just wondering how often people actually get in trouble for this and under what light.

        there is tons of websites using branded domains without any issues and some get sued. there must be a algorithim or correlation to the ones who get sued for emd's

        I have a feeling the websites getting sued for branding domains are trying to do there own thing and failing.

        ie.. mikerowesoft.com some guys name where his site wasnt related to pc's probably

        ie. appleinsider = not getting sued, probably because there promoting apple products in a positive way
        Sorry this is complete rubbish. A trademark holder must defend their trademark otherwise they may lose it! Some companies defend their trademark agressively but there is no way of knowing if this company will sue you or just get you to hand over the domain and get Amazon to ban you.
        The only way to legally do this is to write to the company and ask for permission (in writing).
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8751690].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Steve B
        Alan,

        You are never safe infringing on a tradename or trademark. No one can tell you with any degree of surety that you will or won't get sued. The only logical answer is to not trespass on someone else's name. Period.

        Originally Posted by AffiliatingAlan View Post

        Ideally im just wondering how much more effective full emds are vs partial emds.
        There is no such thing as a "partial EMD." Either you have an exact match or you don't. If you don't have an exact match then go for short, memorable, descriptive domain names.


        Originally Posted by AffiliatingAlan View Post

        there is tons of websites using branded domains without any issues and some get sued. there must be a algorithim or correlation to the ones who get sued for emd's
        650,000,000,000 flies eat stinky garbage every day - does that mean you should do the same?

        Sure, there are scads and scads of people infringing on others' rights but every one of them is at risk to some degree. Why put yourself in harm's way when you can make money legally and ethically without stepping on others' rights?

        Steve
        Signature

        Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources
        SteveBrowneDirect

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8752254].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author An Al
      Why do you care if someone asks for legal advice? It's their life, not yours. And just because someone made a post on the issue doesn't mean you can't think for yourself, lol.

      Now, to answer the op's question...sure you could get sued. Will you? Probably not. They'll send you a cease and desist order first, and if you comply, that's usually the end of the issue. If you don't comply, they may take it further.

      As for the EMD value on seo, it is negligible. Having or not having an emd isn't going to be the deciding factor when it comes to ranking. That's why, if you're smart, you won't bother with an EMD that you could potentially lose. Why would you when you can get the same results without having to lose all your hard work?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8760156].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author davezan
        Originally Posted by An Al View Post

        They'll send you a cease and desist order first, and if you comply, that's usually the end of the issue. If you don't comply, they may take it further.
        And believe it or not, some trademark holders sue rather than send a C&D letter.
        There's no legal requirement to send C&D letters to try to resolve issues AFAIK,
        which understandably sucks for some people.

        Anyway, the OP seems to get the idea. It's up to him what to do.
        Signature

        David

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8760314].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
    Yes you could get sued for riding on the back of a trademarked name. There have been cases were companies have sued for 6 figures. Yes you could lose your amazon account.
    To me I'd not start a business that could mean I'm on the wrong end of a lawsuit or may lose this income but that's just me.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8751643].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author awledd
    They will aquire that name once you get traffic. I don't think they will sue you in the courts b/c you are working for them.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8751654].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Wolster
    A couple of years ago I had part of a trademark name in my domain name.

    Nothing was said at first till I ranked on page one of Google. About a month after that a lawyers letter appeared in my physical mailbox followed by an email from Namecheap saying the domain had been suspended. The issue continued for about 3 months.
    I no longer have the domain.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8752009].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author agmccall
      Why is it that nobody can read the terms of service for products they want to promote

      OR

      Ask the product owner these questions

      al
      Signature
      "Theater, sports, movies, and church are all driven primarily by an ancient desire to be in each other’s proximity." ~David Marcus~
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8752023].message }}
  • I got sued for telling the truth online the guy suing me said doesn't matter if it's true or not later i found out he was in financial trouble just sued everyone. You can get sued no matter what true or not. that being said if you are broke it's less likely you will every get sued.
    Signature
    soon people... Relax...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8753070].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author thedanbrown
    You should probably consult your lawyer about that....

    I don't think anyone posting on this thread is a lawyer.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8753090].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author AffiliatingAlan
      Originally Posted by thedanbrown View Post

      You should probably consult your lawyer about that....

      I don't think anyone posting on this thread is a lawyer.
      Im making an affiliate site to sell a $100+ product through amazon in hopes of earning 4%. You think I have a lawyer?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8754520].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author DotComBum
        Yes, you still can get sued, the safer way is seek the permissions from the company involved.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8754551].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
        Alan,

        Originally Posted by AffiliatingAlan View Post

        Im making an affiliate site to sell a $100+ product through amazon in hopes of earning 4%. You think I have a lawyer?
        If not... then
        1. you can't afford your legal defense if you were to be sued, and
        2. you definitely can't afford a judgement against you from such a lawsuit

        'nuff said?
        Signature

        Sid Hale
        Coming Soon... Rapid Action Profits (Pro)

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8760162].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Originally Posted by AffiliatingAlan View Post

    If I wanted to comply with trademarks id call it: nutri1000review.com
    (however because this is only partial EMD, how much does this effect the ranking from a search engine with the above buyer keywords?)
    Using nutri1000 anything at all is not compliance with trademark law. You can't use the brand name and model in your domain without risk of getting sued or having the domain taken from you via UDRP.

    EMDs do not carry the weight they used to at all. There's really no point in violating trademark law for something that has lost it's advantage in Google. Minisites also aren't as successful as they once were, if they are still at all.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8754919].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author RobinInTexas
      It is very likely you will be told to stop. Amazon will likely cut you off without a second thought, they can cancel your account, and you can lose the domain.

      It doesn't matter if you are promoting their product, they have to protect their trademark.

      Failure To Enforce Trademarks: If You Snooze, Do You Lose? - Forbes

      Consider whatever you have already spent a cheap lesson and move on. Register another domain name without a trademark in the name.

      I am not a lawyer, in fact have no legal training whatsoever. I don't even play a lawyer on tv.
      In no event will I be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of my opinion. Taking legal advice from anyone via the internet is a bad idea, you should do your own research and consult proper legal counsel before embarking on anything after breakfast.
      Signature

      Robin



      ...Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just set there.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8754975].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author AffiliatingAlan
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Using nutri1000 anything at all is not compliance with trademark law. You can't use the brand name and model in your domain without risk of getting sued or having the domain taken from you via UDRP.

      EMDs do not carry the weight they used to at all. There's really no point in violating trademark law for something that has lost it's advantage in Google. Minisites also aren't as successful as they once were, if they are still at all.

      This is bullshit 100% bullshit. Your pulling this out of air.

      A company that is called say "Vitatan 1000" does not own the rights to the words "Vita" or "1000" in a domain. They own the full phrase strung together. Without it this is just two seperate words.

      I suppose they could sue Vitamin.com or Vitamin(dot)com can sue Vitacost(dot)com. Vitacost can then sue Costco.

      dumb post
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8755384].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Steve B
        Alan,

        It sounds to me like you already had your mind made up about what you were going to do in your original post . . . "I figure its better to have a thriving site that eventually may get a cease and desist rather than a dead site that generates nothing forever."

        Especially when you said "what are the chances of actually getting sued" . . .

        I think most folks here are just trying to warn you about something that could be potentially very costly. A cease and desist order may be just the beginning of a more lengthy and costly legal suit. Of course, it's up to you whether you move forward and accept that risk or not.

        I would suggest you get professional legal help if the name is that important to you. It will be money well spent and a very small fraction of what could end up being your legal "bill" to defend and pay off a judgement.

        Here is a scholarly article you might want to read on trademark infringement. The problem, it seems to me, is not just the use of a name that has been reserved. One of the key "tests" of infringement is whether the name you choose "confuses" consumers. So if your site is in a totally different niche than the trademarked site there is less chance of confusion. If you deal in the same niche, obviously, you are on thinner ice.

        Good luck to you,

        Steve
        Signature

        Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources
        SteveBrowneDirect

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8755476].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by AffiliatingAlan View Post

        This is bullshit 100% bullshit. Your pulling this out of air.

        A company that is called say "Vitatan 1000" does not own the rights to the words "Vita" or "1000" in a domain. They own the full phrase strung together. Without it this is just two seperate words.

        I suppose they could sue Vitamin.com or Vitamin(dot)com can sue Vitacost(dot)com. Vitacost can then sue Costco.

        dumb post
        Do you read? Where did I say that Vitatan also owns Vita or 1000? You cannot use Vitatan or Vivatan 1000 in the domain, and that is what I said. Try it with Facebookreviews or Ebayreviews and you'll find out lickety split how aggressively some protect their trademarks.

        But I have new advice. Register all the trademark domains and continue on with your outdated plan of launching minisites with EMDs. No skin off my back.

        Just in case you can read, you may have missed all the EMD algo stuff from over a year ago.

        searchenginewatch.com/article/2214115/Google-Warns-of-Upcoming-Exact-Match-Domain-Algorithm-Change

        Google EMD Update: Good Or Bad For Search? | WebProNews

        Deconstructing The Google EMD Update

        Google: Algorithm Updates | Search Engine Land

        FROM 2011: Today Matt Cutts who is the Principal Engineer at Google, posted on Google's blog that they was gunning to eliminate junk sites, including what many would refer to as mini-sites and content farms from being indexed in Google.
        Google: Content Farms & Mini-Sites We Are Gunning For For You | TheDomains.com
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8756085].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Please correct me if I am wrong but the whole idea of trademark law (I thought) was to stop people from profiting on the back of well known products/brands/celebrities, etc. Trademark law is there to prevent any confusion between the real brand and those trying to use the reputation of a well known brand for their own profit or gain.

    The important point here is the confusion part. If the average consumer could easily believe your website was created and/or endorsed by the official brand, THAT is when you have an issue.

    To give you an example of this, the website PaypalSucks.com is still alive and kicking and has been for many years. It uses the trademarked word Paypal in their domain. Paypal has tried to have the site taken down but they failed because obviously no consumers visiting that site would think it was a site created and/or endorsed by Paypal. Therefore no confusion exists between the real brand and this website and thus they were allowed to keep going.

    So does a domain name that uses productnamereview.com actually pose a trademark issue? I'm no lawyer but I'm guessing someone reviewing a product would not be the actual official brand and so this might be ok since consumers would not be mislead into thinking this was a website by the official brand.

    Again I am no lawyer but it's not as clear cut as everyone above who has just said 'NO!'.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8755028].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author AffiliatingAlan
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Please correct me if I am wrong but the whole idea of trademark law (I thought) was to stop people from profiting on the back of well known products/brands/celebrities, etc. Trademark law is there to prevent any confusion between the real brand and those trying to use the reputation of a well known brand for their own profit or gain.

      The important point here is the confusion part. If the average consumer could easily believe your website was created and/or endorsed by the official brand, THAT is when you have an issue.

      To give you an example of this, the website PaypalSucks.com is still alive and kicking and has been for many years. It uses the trademarked word Paypal in their domain. Paypal has tried to have the site taken down but they failed because obviously no consumers visiting that site would think it was a site created and/or endorsed by Paypal. Therefore no confusion exists between the real brand and this website and thus they were allowed to keep going.

      So does a domain name that uses productnamereview.com actually pose a trademark issue? I'm no lawyer but I'm guessing someone reviewing a product would not be the actual official brand and so this might be ok since consumers would not be mislead into thinking this was a website by the official brand.

      Again I am no lawyer but it's not as clear cut as everyone above who has just said 'NO!'.
      Finally someone who actually thinks and doesnt just hop on the bandwagon

      I think there is a grey area

      http://apple-review(dot)com/
      http://bitdefenderreview(dot)com/
      http://www.macworld(dot)com/ (could also seem official to some)
      http://nortonformac(dot)com/norton-review/
      http://www.nintendolife(dot)com/3ds (could seem like the official site to some)
      http://www.androidcentral(dot)/reviews
      http://www.androidpolice(dot)com/ (brand name + trusted law title = mega sue?)

      These are all ranked top 5 on google.

      Serious unless you guys give me some proof of why its wrong or excessive people getting reemed up the ass and not just this bandwagon no answer. I dont trust it. Im not saying its not frowned on or even bad. Im just starting to feel like its like pirating music. Technically its illegal, but Everyone does it but nobody cares. Just like jaywalking

      I have a feeling a company wouldnt care unless they just wanted to start shit and or you were insinuating you were them and acting stupid
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8755363].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Cali16
        Originally Posted by AffiliatingAlan View Post


        I have a feeling a company wouldnt care unless they just wanted to start shit and or you were insinuating you were them and acting stupid
        Good luck with acting according to that "feeling" you have. Listen, you obviously aren't open to what most people are telling you here. Anyone who's been around the block isn't going to tell you "sure, go ahead and use the trademarked name in your domain - it'll be just fine."

        If you want to take your chances, by all means, go ahead. You might get away with it. At least for a while. But I sure wouldn't want to be in your shoes if a company decides to take legal action against you. You've been warned by countless people in this thread - many of them very experienced marketers.

        And if you think a company "wouldn't care", then the entire concept of why companies spend big $$$ to register a trademark (and keep attorney's on retainer to protect their interests) in the first place is clearly lost on you.
        Signature
        If you don't face your fears, the only thing you'll ever see is what's in your comfort zone. ~Anne McClain, astronaut
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8760097].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author bertyounger
    Having been on both ends of this issue I can tell you that you most likely will get a simple C&D (Cease and Desist) letter requesting that you stop your marketing efforts and turn over the EMD to the original trademark party. That doesn't sound as scary as being taken to court but you could lose your website and all of your marketing efforts.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8755132].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sghsqing
    Banned
    [DELETED]
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8755144].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      If the OP is looking at this exercise as some kind of affiliate shortcut, and is trying to determine the odds of getting caught when violating a trademark, he should be aware that being sued isn't the only issue. It's unlikely that Amazon will pay any commission anyway, and will probably close the account for non compliance with its terms of service.

      From the latest Associates Program Participation Requirements:

      12. You will not seek to purchase or register any Proprietary Term for use in any Search Engine; purchase, register, or otherwise use any Proprietary Term as or in a domain or subdomain name; or register or use any Proprietary Term as or in any Associates ID or “tag.” In addition to any other rights or remedies available to us, upon our request you will cause any Search Engine designated by us to exclude Proprietary Terms from keywords used to display your advertising content in association with search results (e.g., request exclusion by negative keyword bidding), assuming the Search Engine offers such exclusion capabilities.

      Proprietary Term: n. (Business/Commerce) a name that is a trademark
      Signature
      TOP TIP: To browse the forum like a Pro, select "View Classic" from the drop-down menu under your user name.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8755236].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author brutecky
    Just a FYI the domain name has almost NO bearing on the ranking of the site in Google. Its the content that matters. You could call the site. asslsdsdksdk.com and it would rank just as well for the same keywords with the same content.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8755500].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author davezan
    Originally Posted by AffiliatingAlan View Post

    For Micro niche sites what are the chances of actually getting sued for a EMD with a brandable name inside it?
    Do a Google search on the product or brand owner in question. That might give
    you some clues. If they haven't pursued anyone for consumer confusion or TM
    infringement, though, well...first time for everything.

    And yes, a TM holder may pursue a review site in some circumstances:

    WIPO Domain Name Decision: D2009-0701

    Unfair as that may be, try not to give whoever a material cause against you.
    Signature

    David

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8756704].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author moneymakingpillars
    Banned
    [DELETED]
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8757069].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author RobinInTexas
      Originally Posted by moneymakingpillars View Post

      If that's an existing trademark name then you shouldn't be doing that or you'll get sued. What your friends have done in my speculation is that for every profit, he'll withdraw his money so that whenever there will be a time that he'll get sued and confiscate all his online belongings, he already had his money deposited on his bank which no online stuffs can terminate or confiscate.
      Don't know anything about the law outside the USA, but here, if you get sued and lose and they get a judgement, they can take whats in your bank account and nearly everything else of yours.
      Signature

      Robin



      ...Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just set there.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8758401].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author bengirwb
        Just did a Google search and found these sites

        fordreallysucks.com
        otisfordsucks.com (this is a car dealer)
        google-sucks.org

        Trademark does not give exclusive right to a name except in the use of commerce.
        Trademark does not limit free speech about a company or product.
        Trademark does not stop reviews (good or bad)

        If a domain company blocks your site, is that the only domain host in the world?
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8758969].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author bertosio
    I once had a site called betfairmethods.com. Betfair being a big betting exchange.

    They contacted me and said they loved the site and content but i cant use the domain name. They were very polite and understanding but i lost my site in the end.

    I would not use one again.
    Signature

    Gouranga

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8760105].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Zayne
    The way I look at it is this - if you were the company that you were working for, would you want an affiliate ranking for the main keyword that relates to your product?

    So If I had 123.com and there was an affiliate ranking for that keyword, i would be losing revenue because of that affiliate.

    Just my view on it, but I wouldnt take the risk.

    Besides there are plenty of other ways to rank, its not all in the domain name ya know!

    Z
    Signature

    "Being Successful is A State of Mind - Thinking Successful = Being Successful"

    www.newageonlinebusiness.com - Who Else Wants to Make $1000 a week online?

    www.dollarzayne.com/free-offer - 43 Businesses You can Own Today - FREE!

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8760152].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jgant
    Just go with a branded domain. It's easier and looks better.
    Signature
    How I hit $10,000+ per month very fast w/ 1 niche blog - Click Here to learn more (no opt-in).
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8762957].message }}

Trending Topics