I Received a Cease and Desist e-mail from a company saying that my domain name is infringement

22 replies
Yesterday, I received an e-mail from a lawyer telling me to cease and desist any and all use of my subject domain name. I disagreed with it - but today, I took my site down. The only thing I have up on my domain name is a short HTML page that has nothing on it - including the title tag. So - if you go to my website - you'll see nothing but a blank page and that's it - no links - no nothing.

However, they didn't mention anything about them wanting my domain name. However, I called my hosting company (blue host) to drop my domain name, but they said they can't do anything about it until my domain name expires next March.

I just want to get rid of my domain name - is there a way I can release it back out into the "wilderness" where I no longer have ownership of it?
#cease #company #desist #domain #email #infringement #received
  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    It seems strange that a lawyer would use email to contact you. Official
    business is usually done through a certified letter. How can the lawyer
    be sure you received the email?

    This sounds strange.

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  • Profile picture of the author marax
    I'm not aware of any methods to drop it immediately.
    But maybe you can get a whois privacy for the domain.
    Or open a new account on another registrar with another name.
    Then transfer your domain over.

    Just my curiorsity.
    Did your domain contain a trademark?
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    • Profile picture of the author cbpayne
      Originally Posted by marax View Post

      Did your domain contain a trademark?
      I curious too. It could just be a bluff.
      Can you post the URL or PM it to me.
      I have been involved in a few of these. I have had my lawyer issue cease and desists.
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  • Profile picture of the author ecoverdesign
    Hello,

    Did you register the domain name through Bluehost, e.g. is Bluehost the Domain Registrar?

    Regardless what they say, you can anytime cancel and delete a domain prior to the expiry date. After a short period of time the domain will be released and is available for registration.

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

      Regardless what they say, you can anytime cancel and delete a domain prior to the expiry date.
      Which depends on the domain provider giving that option. Many (if not all) of them don't allow
      it because there's essentially no turning back if customers cancel and then reconsider.

      Originally Posted by Cali16 View Post

      I do find it odd that you were sent an email and not a letter; as someone else mentioned, attorneys usually use snail mail to contact people regarding legal issues (to the best of my knowledge, anyway - I'm not an attorney).
      Some lawyers have been sending C&D letters or similar via email for years. In some cases I
      read, court orders have been emailed (some even via Facebook). Sign of the changing times.

      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      I expect the email was from a legal employee of the pharma company that owns the trademark. I've seen email used as initial contact and often that gets the message across.
      Or sent by an intellectual property monitoring firm (e.g. MarkMonitor, Melbourne IT) for a client,
      especially a drug manufacturer.

      BTW, bigcat1967, ensure the domain name isn't on auto-renew with Bluehost.
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      • Profile picture of the author Cali16
        Originally Posted by davezan View Post


        Some lawyers have been sending C&D letters or similar via email for years. In some cases I
        read, court orders have been emailed (some even via Facebook). Sign of the changing times.
        Thank you for clarifying that, David. I have heard of some lawyers sending an email in addition to a regular letter, but not as the primary or only means of communication regarding something like this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    Just delete the domain from your registrar account. It will take you a minute, tops. If you don't know how to do it, I can either advise you here in the thread, or you could Google the solution.
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  • Profile picture of the author bigcat1967
    Just delete the domain from your registrar account. It will take you a minute, tops. If you don't know how to do it, I can either advise you here in the thread, or you could Google the solution.
    Get Rich Methods - can you help me on this thread?
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  • Profile picture of the author bigcat1967
    I curious too. It could just be a bluff.
    Can you post the URL or PM it to me.
    I have been involved in a few of these. I have had my lawyer issue cease and desists.
    I just want to get rid of the domain name - no where can I find that BlueHost will allow me.
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    • Profile picture of the author Cali16
      Originally Posted by bigcat1967 View Post

      CBPayne - I'll tell you the domain name. It is klonopinhigh dot com.

      Klonopin is an anti-anxiety medication. I found out that the med is owned by a company.
      Klonopin is the brand name for clonazepam, a benzodiazepine. Using brand names in a domain is always risky and can land you in legal hot water, which is why most experienced WF members don't recommend it.

      I do find it odd that you were sent an email and not a letter; as someone else mentioned, attorneys usually use snail mail to contact people regarding legal issues (to the best of my knowledge, anyway - I'm not an attorney).

      If you still want to continue with your website, you might consider changing the domain to benzohigh.com or clonazepamhigh.com (both domains are available at the moment). I'm not sure if there would be any problem with the latter, as that's the generic name, but I'd still double check with an attorney first if you choose to go that route.
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  • Profile picture of the author bigcat1967
    I replied to the e-mail asking me to cease and desist today - asking for his phone number so I could talk to him. Shoot, I'm willing to give him the domain name.

    However, I didn't get a reply back from the lawyer today. Not sure this is legit - but to be on the safe side - I just want to give up the domain name and let them have it. At least release it "out into the Wilds".
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  • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
    I would contact Internet Marketing Law Center - Membership Brian kindsvater here on the Forum. Some one could be scamming you to steel your domain if there is no patent or copyrights on it.. Disclaimer I'm not a lawyer.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
      If Klonopin is a brand name/registered trademark, registering/using that name anywhere is indeed trademark infringement. Very dangerous territory!

      I'm always amazed when people register/use brand names that don't belong to them. Maybe the trademark owner won't catch or pursue you, but who wants to take that chance???? If you're building a business on someone else's trademark, you really have no business at all.

      Hopefully you get this resolved soon.

      Michelle
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  • I did a little research regarding the term 'Klonopin' and I can't find anything that says it's trademarked - A domain would only the infringing the law if it contains trademarked word.

    If you google any of the trademarked words e.g Realtor, NeedAnArticle etc, you see either a 'rounded R' or 'TM' on top of the trademarked word whenever it's mentioned! I couldn't find the same pattern for klonopin.

    If a company is so keen to protect it's trademarked rights that they'd give a C&D order to you, I can't seem to understand why they're ignoring the page 1 results of Google.


    Having said all that, I still could be wrong. I would also advise on either consulting a lawyer or confronting this lawyer through other means to confirm their authenticity - This might just be a scam to rid you of your domain.

    Hope it helps.
    Dan
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeff Hampton
      Originally Posted by Chaudhary Daniyal View Post

      I did a little research regarding the term 'Klonopin' and I can't find anything that says it's trademarked - A domain would only the infringing the law if it contains trademarked word.

      If you google any of the trademarked words e.g Realtor, NeedAnArticle etc, you see either a 'rounded R' or 'TM' on top of the trademarked word whenever it's mentioned! I couldn't find the same pattern for klonopin.
      That's because this method is completely unreliable.

      If you want to find out if a word is trademarked, search TESS (the actual Trademark database.) No harder than searching Google, and it will give you a definitive answer.

      Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)

      BTW, Klonopin is definitely covered by trademark.
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      • Profile picture of the author cbpayne
        Originally Posted by Chaudhary Daniyal View Post

        I couldn't find the same pattern for klonopin.
        Remind to never get any legal advice from you!!!

        Originally Posted by Jeff Hampton View Post

        BTW, Klonopin is definitely covered by trademark.
        Yep.

        It is illegal to use a trademark in a domain name if you do not own that trademark or have permission to use it. Its that simple.

        OP - even if the lawyer was not legit (though they probably are) what you did is infringe on someone' trademark, so it was illegal and they well within their right to stop you using it.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Chaudhary Daniyal View Post

      I did a little research regarding the term 'Klonopin' and I can't find anything that says it's trademarked - A domain would only the infringing the law if it contains trademarked word.
      Hope it helps.
      Dan
      Guess you missed the United States Patent and Trademark Office
      TESS
      Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)

      In addition, the page one Google results that you mentioned are authority medical sites that are giving drug information. They have not registered a domain with the drugs name.


      Klonopin (Clonazepam) Drug Information: Description, User ... - RxList
      www.rxlist.com/klonopin-drug.htm

      Klonopin Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Warnings - Drugs.com
      www.drugs.com/klonopin.html

      Clonazepam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clonazepam

      Klonopin oral : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings ...
      http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-92...pin.../details

      clonazepam, Klonopin: Drug Facts, Side Effects and Dosing
      www.medicinenet.com/clonazepam/article.htm

      CLONAZEPAM - ORAL (Klonopin) side effects, medical uses, and ...
      www.medicinenet.com/clonazepam-oral/article.htm

      Clonazepam (Klonopin) - Side Effects, Dosage, Interactions - Drugs ...
      www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/clonazepam

      Klonopin - (Clonazepam) Side Effects, Dosage, Uses, Interaction ...
      www.pdrhealth.com/drugs/klonopin

      Clonazepam: MedlinePlus Drug Information
      http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/d...s/a682279.html

      Xanax vs. Klonopin: The Verdict - Gawker
      gawker.com/5083445/xanax-vs-klonopin-the-verdict
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  • Profile picture of the author helper86
    I do not know of any way to relinquish or renounce ownership of a domain name, but I would like to offer you a bit of advise. Ever since I published my website a couple of years ago, I have received over 100 emails from so called "attorneys", stating that I am using a copyrighted URL. The emails typically instruct me to take down my website and surrender the domain name. When I received the first email, I was obviously concerned, but skeptical. I did some research to find out who the sender was and I searched for the attorney who had signed the email. After much research, I came to the conclusion that the email was some sort of scam. To this day, I still receive similar emails from time to time, but I always delete them. If you haven't already, I recommend that you do some in depth research. You might be a victim of this scam.

    Take a look at these articles to get more information on this type of scam:

    http://mikeyounglaw.com/copyright-in...fake-law-firm/
    Domain Name Scams | Northwest Corporate Law LLC
    Trademark and Domain Name Scams from China : Austin Technology Law Blog
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeff Hampton
      I suspect that Paul Palmer is correct and that the email from the "attorney" is bogus.

      However, it may be a good wake-up call.

      Since your domain actually does include a trademark, it's probably in your best interest to go ahead and dump it.

      Especially considering that it's a mark owned by a pharmaceutical company. They don't screw around, and they have infinitely deep pockets. The next contact you get might be the real deal.

      Unlike copyright, there is no such thing as "fair use" for trademarks. And they are not required to start with a cease and desist. They could hit you with a lawsuit immediately.

      I highly recommend always choosing a domain name that does not put your business in legal jeopardy. It's just not worth any slight benefits you may achieve.

      Jeff
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        I expect the email was from a legal employee of the pharma company that owns the trademark. I've seen email used as initial contact and often that gets the message across.

        No drug manufacturer is going to tolerate someone using their trademarked brand name drug - followed by the word "high".

        You don't have to "get rid of" the domain - just take down the pages and let the domain expire.
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  • Profile picture of the author MaxGalitsyn
    I'm not sure if there could be any legal issues just because you have any keywords in your domain name even if these keywords are trademarked. There is a rule in .com, .org and .net: first-come, first-served. If you use your domain name in good faith you are save.

    The other thing is when you abuse someone else trademark. For example if you use a trademark and promote related products. Or use it for cybersquatting.

    So, if you somehow used your domain name to knowingly take advantage of the trademaked keywords then you have to worry.
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    • Profile picture of the author cbpayne
      Originally Posted by redbird1 View Post

      I'm not sure if there could be any legal issues just because you have any keywords in your domain name even if these keywords are trademarked. There is a rule in .com, .org and .net: first-come, first-served. If you use your domain name in good faith you are save.
      What a load of excrement! You can not use a trademarked name in a domain name - first come first serve is BS!
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