by BP72
39 replies
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I have a site thesmartdate.com that is not a dating service but provides tips, suggestions and dating advice to help people date smarter. Hence the name "The Smart Date".

Unfortunately another site smartdate.com is attempting to steal my site, traffic and work by seizing my domain name.

I received this notice....

//////////

from Fabrice Le Parc
to myemail

date Tue, Nov 16, 2010 at 6:12 AM
subject Cease and desist notice

Dear Sir/Madam,

this is a one-time friendly notice that you are knowingly infringing the copyright of “Smartdate”, a registered trademark with the OHIM and WIPO, with your recently registered website thesmartdate.com

Unless you cease exploiting this website within 48h hours, our US attorneys Orrick will initiate a procedure to recover our rights, which will incur significant cost on your end, in addition to the damages we will obtain for attempting to parasite our traffic and brand.
In addition, our legal team are contacting the USPTO to claim anteriority and make any registration you may have attempted void.

Best,

Smartdate SA, Legal


//////////


What can i do about this and what are the proper steps to stop them from stealing my domain?

Or is this legal theft and anyone with the term "smart date" in their domain, dating service or not subject to legal theft?


Thank you in advance for any help or guidance anyone can provide.
#cease and desist notice #legal theft
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    What can i do about this and what are the proper steps to stop them from stealing my domain?

    Or is this legal theft and anyone with the term "smart date" in their domain, dating service or not subject to legal theft?
    They aren't trying to steal your domain - they are protecting their own trademarked business name. "smartdate" is a registered trademark with a domain of that name used since 2000.

    Suggest you hire an attorney quickly if you want to claim "rights" on this.

    kay
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    Just wait a second – so what you're telling me is that my chance of surviving all this is directly linked to the common sense of others? You’re kidding, right?
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    • Profile picture of the author BP72
      And the sound of 4 years of my life wasted.


      ///////////

      Please confirm if you choose to pursue the matter legally, in which case, refer us to your attorney.

      We prosecute copyright infringement to the fullest extent of the law and will claim extensive damages.

      Please let us know within 48h if you wish to find an amicable agreement to the matter.

      Best,

      ---------------------------
      Fabrice le Parc
      Signature

      - Just a guy that wants to learn about a great deal of things. -
      If you cant make a helpful comment then move along please.

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  • Profile picture of the author BP72
    Hiring anyone to represent me is not a option at this point as this site is built to help me pay bills. I have had the domain now 4 years and invested time, software, effort and money in building the site up from nothing. I have done my best to be as thrifty as i could about building the site and finally starting to break even on it.

    Why wait 4 years until i finally start going in a positive direction building traffic?

    I understand copyright and the importance of protecting a copyright but if it was so important why wait 4 years?

    They will profit from my time and effort for free.
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    From just a quick study, it appears that trademarked words cannot be common words, unless they are unrelated to the product (Like Apple - for computers). Apple was able to trademark that common word because they weren't actually selling apples.

    So I think that you'd have a real chance at winning this if you chose to fight it. Because "smart date" is a phrase of common words, and it has everything to do w/ the product being presented. For instance, someone couldn't just come along and trademark the name "cheeseburger and fries", because that would put the rest of the burger joints out of business. Now they might be able to obtain the trademark, but they wouldn't be able to defend it in any litigation against another burger joint.

    But that being said, my advice would then be to weigh the cost. If you're not really making much money w/ this site, then just let it go. It's not worth the effort. Or maybe you're making a halfway decent amount of money, then maybe consider just finding a new domain name, transfer everything over, and then duplicate your efforts. But if you're making good money, then this is definitely a winnable fight.



    edit - also be aware that many companies out there like to flash their lawyer card, but then never really intend to use it. If you're brave enough you could force them to show more of their hand. Most that are serious will send you a letter in the mail. Was this notice an email or a letter?
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  • Profile picture of the author sans
    Maybe you could change you domain name to the dating smarter or smarter dating
    Then it should be okay
    Just write and tell them you will cease to use their name and apologize it will save you a lot of money and heart ache. If you have a list for this site you can let them know of the name change or use a redirect for a while.

    Wishing you the best of luck
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      From just a quick study, it appears that trademarked words cannot be common words, unless they are unrelated to the product
      In this case, the phrase IS a registered trademark so it would seem there is a problem. I am not a lawyer and won't try to interpret the law - but it doesn't take law school to see there's a problem for the OP here.

      Companies aren't required to notify you the moment you register a domain or start a site that infringes on their trademark. They may wait to see what you do before objecting.

      If the OP can't afford to hire an attorney for advice - it's unlikely he can afford to fight in court for months or years...where he may win or may lose.

      It is why so many of us tell people to check trademarks and avoid using them - it's just not worth the hassle.

      kay
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      Just wait a second – so what you're telling me is that my chance of surviving all this is directly linked to the common sense of others? You’re kidding, right?
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    • Profile picture of the author BP72
      I honestly have nothing but student loan debt that is about to make me homeless.

      I dont know an attorney in town that knows sign language and cant afford a interpreter.

      The threat now has forced me in a position to have to stand up for myself.

      Being i cant afford a attorney which is easily to prove, i wont be able to afford a interpreter so that will have to be provided as well... i clearly had no intent to infringe any copyright.

      Odds are a dating site that sues someone hearing impaired will have it documented online for life. I would think most women would find that worse than kicking a dog so it wouldn't help a dating site at all and would be self inflicted damage.

      So i am looking at fighting for a domain that at least is starting to put gas in my car and standing up for myself. Even if i loose they will only damage themselves as it will be documented for all time online.

      Going to see what they define as amicable agreement and at least allow them the opportunity to be reasonable.

      The domain name comes from a conversation many years ago in high school (way before 2000) when some friends and i were discussing settling down with one lady while casually dating two girls.. it was to the point of making a choice.

      The one that was chosen to pursue a serious relationship with was know as "the smart date" since the buzz phrase among us was "be smart about it".
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      • Profile picture of the author HeySal
        Originally Posted by BP72 View Post

        I honestly have nothing but student loan debt that is about to make me homeless.

        I dont know an attorney in town that knows sign language and cant afford a interpreter.

        The threat now has forced me in a position to have to stand up for myself.

        Being i cant afford a attorney which is easily to prove, i wont be able to afford a interpreter so that will have to be provided as well... i clearly had no intent to infringe any copyright.

        Odds are a dating site that sues someone hearing impaired will have it documented online for life. I would think most women would find that worse than kicking a dog so it wouldn't help a dating site at all and would be self inflicted damage.

        So i am looking at fighting for a domain that at least is starting to put gas in my car and standing up for myself. Even if i loose they will only damage themselves as it will be documented for all time online.

        Going to see what they define as amicable agreement and at least allow them the opportunity to be reasonable.

        The domain name comes from a conversation many years ago in high school (way before 2000) when some friends and i were discussing settling down with one lady while casually dating two girls.. it was to the point of making a choice.

        The one that was chosen to pursue a serious relationship with was know as "the smart date" since the buzz phrase among us was "be smart about it".

        Hearing impairment doesn't justify trademark violation -sorry. Threatening to cry online to the world that you should be allowed to steal their name and business because you are deaf isn't going to move a lot of people to tears. Also - being broke doesn't justify theft. If it did, grocery stores would be so looted they couldn't exist.

        The bottom line is that you stole someone else's name and are now stealing their viewers and customers and they are not going to put up with it. You thought you were in the right and look how YOU felt about it. Beyond that - there's no proof or reason for anyone to believe that you did so unintentionally.

        You are just going to have to chalk up the domain name and find a new one. It's really a shame -- but it's also a shame that you didn't know enough about business to know you need to watch what you are doing and do some research before you do things.

        I felt a little sorry for you until you started to whine that you are special and shouldn't be held to legalities because of your financial situation and physical restriction. Now you just piss me off.
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        Sal
        When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
        Beyond the Path

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        • Profile picture of the author BP72
          Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

          Hearing impairment doesn't justify trademark violation -sorry. Threatening to cry online to the world that you should be allowed to steal their name and business because you are deaf isn't going to move a lot of people to tears. Also - being broke doesn't justify theft. If it did, grocery stores would be so looted they couldn't exist.

          The bottom line is that you stole someone else's name and are now stealing their viewers and customers and they are not going to put up with it. You thought you were in the right and look how YOU felt about it. Beyond that - there's no proof or reason for anyone to believe that you did so unintentionally.

          You are just going to have to chalk up the domain name and find a new one. It's really a shame -- but it's also a shame that you didn't know enough about business to know you need to watch what you are doing and do some research before you do things.

          I felt a little sorry for you until you started to whine that you are special and shouldn't be held to legalities because of your financial situation and physical restriction. Now you just piss me off.
          Errrr.... i didnt threaten to cry.. and far from think i am special. I was looking at it from business point of view on why they would open up with so many threats and if they are going to really just flat out sue me, if they even could on such common words or if they will work with me and allow this to be handled professionally.

          I am working with them but they want me to transfer the domain to someone not listed as a domain contact which seems fishy. I have no idea why they waited 4 years but Seasoned's point of view offers a point of view i didnt see before. I guess to them it would look like i was stealing although i had no such intent.

          Kay King made a really good point that they have to pursue this to protect their trademark. I was too fired up from the threats to see that.

          If this had not started off with threats i might of been able to see those points of view. Fortunately those points of view were offered here and helped put it in perspective and might of kept me from making the mistake of telling them to just screw off.
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      • Profile picture of the author tazmaniac
        I see the basic differences in your site and theirs and understand where you are coming from, but I'm not sure the differences are big enough to get you in the clear. If your website was about dates that come from palm trees you might stand a better chance.

        I'm not sure that the collateral damage their site might suffer because prosecuting you is a mean thing to do is something they will be too worried about. I would be careful going directly to them with that argument.

        Now this "way before 2000" thing might actually help your argument if you have some copyrighted, notarized, registered, postmarked or even dated something that shows your intent from way back then. If you can dig that up, use it. Unfortunately, without documentation, the idea itself doesn't really mean much.

        I had the perfect name for a new health club back when I was in high school, but it was just an idea. Now there is one little club in Ohio with the same name. Even though I had the "idea" first, he has the territory. If I rolled out my health club chain nationwide tomorrow, I would have to deal with him. Buy the name, buy him out, whatever. Or I would end up paying him through the nose. And he would probably wait four years until I cornered the health club market before he contacted me too.
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        • Profile picture of the author BP72
          Originally Posted by tazmaniac View Post

          I see the basic differences in your site and theirs and understand where you are coming from, but I'm not sure the differences are big enough to get you in the clear. If your website was about dates that come from palm trees you might stand a better chance.

          I'm not sure that the collateral damage their site might suffer because prosecuting you is a mean thing to do is something they will be too worried about. I would be careful going directly to them with that argument.

          Now this "way before 2000" thing might actually help your argument if you have some copyrighted, notarized, registered, postmarked or even dated something that shows your intent from way back then. If you can dig that up, use it. Unfortunately, without documentation, the idea itself doesn't really mean much.

          I had the perfect name for a new health club back when I was in high school, but it was just an idea. Now there is one little club in Ohio with the same name. Even though I had the "idea" first, he has the territory. If I rolled out my health club chain nationwide tomorrow, I would have to deal with him. Buy the name, buy him out, whatever. Or I would end up paying him through the nose. And he would probably wait four years until I cornered the health club market before he contacted me too.

          People will see potential for domain names others will not. I have quite a few domains that have always been for fun, experimenting and learning. With the way the economy has been i have bought more and attempted to convert most to making some sort of income with varying degrees of almost success. :rolleyes:

          It is just much harder to pick affiliate topics and sell affiliate products than i ever thought it would be.
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          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            It's normal to be "fired up" when you feel attacked - good to settle down and think about it from all sides (especially the legal aspect) and make the right decision.

            Some battles aren't worth fighting - and to me this is one of them. Live, learn, move on.

            kay
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            Just wait a second – so what you're telling me is that my chance of surviving all this is directly linked to the common sense of others? You’re kidding, right?
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            • Profile picture of the author BP72
              Already have replacement domains that are very close but far enough as to where there is no dispute and will allow me to expand my keywords and keep in my intended concept.

              Just awaiting GoDaddy to unlock the domains to transfer...

              RIP SmartDateOnline.com and TheSmartDate.com

              Funny thing is a lawyer friend contacted me wanting to help.

              Going to see about incorporating a primary domain, listing all $120+ domains under that and no more of this dba no protection stuff. Need to convert all play & learn domains to business make money domains.
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              • Profile picture of the author CrhisD
                Originally Posted by BP72 View Post

                Already have replacement domains that are very close but far enough as to where there is no dispute and will allow me to expand my keywords and keep in my intended concept.

                Just awaiting GoDaddy to unlock the domains to transfer...

                RIP SmartDateOnline.com and TheSmartDate.com

                Funny thing is a lawyer friend contacted me wanting to help.

                Going to see about incorporating a primary domain, listing all $120+ domains under that and no more of this dba no protection stuff. Need to convert all play & learn domains to business make money domains.
                You're giving up too early. He said he had a trademark, but USPTO has no such filing. Someone filed in March 2010, but you filed years ago.

                Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)

                So what makes him think he has a case?
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            • Profile picture of the author BP72
              Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

              It's normal to be "fired up" when you feel attacked - good to settle down and think about it from all sides (especially the legal aspect) and make the right decision.

              Some battles aren't worth fighting - and to me this is one of them. Live, learn, move on.

              kay
              I have asked for a document from him outlining our agreement that upon transfer the matter is closed with me in good standing.

              Unfortunately that seems to be ignored. Now i still want to do the right thing despite his ignoring my simple request as a email doesn't really serve as a legal agreement especially not fragmented over several messages.

              So, i have consulted 2 lawyers.. after following up on the recommendation of KimW (thank you KimW!!!!) Come to find out that it appears exploitation of their domain didnt start until May 2010. Also appears there is no US copyright at all.

              So now or at least until they decide to send me a release letter in which i will release the domains, without one it is just not going to happen. I plan on researching copyrights and trademarks to confirm if there is a copyright and trademark or not.

              You wouldnt happen to have an resources you recommended would you?


              This "for fun" and learn affiliate marketing domain is really starting to become a lot of work.
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by BP72 View Post

        I honestly have nothing but student loan debt that is about to make me homeless.

        I dont know an attorney in town that knows sign language and cant afford a interpreter.

        The threat now has forced me in a position to have to stand up for myself.

        Being i cant afford a attorney which is easily to prove, i wont be able to afford a interpreter so that will have to be provided as well... i clearly had no intent to infringe any copyright.
        If you are in the US, you OUGHT to be able to get an interpreter. And it is ****NOT**** a copyright infringment, unless you actually copied stuff, and are a DEAD DUCK! It is a TRADEMARK infringment. HECK, I have had a LOT of friends that happened to be sign language interpreters. Don't ask me why. SOME DID have friends or family that were deaf.

        Odds are a dating site that sues someone hearing impaired will have it documented online for life. I would think most women would find that worse than kicking a dog so it wouldn't help a dating site at all and would be self inflicted damage.
        Yeah right, so you are SPECIAL and should be IMMUNE! They should go bankrupt, etc... and possibly put HUNDREDS of women out of work. HECK, the owner may be a woman. And do ALL that because you are DEAF!?!?!?

        So i am looking at fighting for a domain that at least is starting to put gas in my car and standing up for myself. Even if i loose they will only damage themselves as it will be documented for all time online.
        KEEP TALKING, it will STRENGTHEN their resolve!

        Going to see what they define as amicable agreement and at least allow them the opportunity to be reasonable.
        GEE, YOU don't seem very reasonable.

        The domain name comes from a conversation many years ago in high school (way before 2000) when some friends and i were discussing settling down with one lady while casually dating two girls.. it was to the point of making a choice.

        The one that was chosen to pursue a serious relationship with was know as "the smart date" since the buzz phrase among us was "be smart about it".
        WOW, I can PROVE I had a site named a certain way in the 80s! A US representatives office can back me up! When he was a councilman, he had a meeting that discussed my site in part. In fact, I had the ONLY working suggestion there!!! I TOYED with putting it up on the internet, but every variant of that name was taken! So I get ALL those domain names?
        WOW!

        And HEY, I think the woman that got me involved was a deaf interpreter!

        Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    They waited 4 years because they didn't know you were around until now. If they've had the name since 2000 they are not the ones in the wrong protecting it -- you are in the wrong for taking it.

    Gary - you are right that common words can't be trademarked, but the way they are used is also a factor. SmartDate is a viable trademark as far as I can tell. Consider "Manpower". Common enough right? Tradmarked and has money backing it. There are more considerations to trademark than just the name. But here we have not only the same company name chosen (with the exception of the article "the"), it is exactly the same field of business and customers and viewers will be extremely easily confused about which entity is which -- and that will carry as much weight as the words used. This one is so close on all counts that no matter how innocent the rip off was - it's very likely to come across as an intentional infringement if it's allowed to go to suit.

    I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV, but I think you need to either ditch out and do some fast apologizing for infringing on someone else's territory or grab a lawyer real fast.
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    Sal
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Originally Posted by BP72 View Post

    I have a site thesmartdate.com that is not a dating service but provides tips, suggestions and dating advice to help people date smarter. Hence the name "The Smart Date".
    thesmartdate.com 3/15/2006

    Unfortunately another site smartdate.com is attempting to steal my site, traffic and work by seizing my domain name.
    10/31/2000

    You FLUNKED the very first test! SO, even if they DIDN'T register the trademark, they have a case. and YOU stole THEIR traffic, and site NAME.



    What can i do about this and what are the proper steps to stop them from stealing my domain?
    They are NOT stealing your domain now! In a sense, YOU stole THEIRS!!!!! They claim to have a trademark. If they do, they are REQUIRED BY LAW to pursue things in this manner. If they don't, they could LOSE the trademark!

    Or is this legal theft and anyone with the term "smart date" in their domain, dating service or not subject to legal theft?


    Thank you in advance for any help or guidance anyone can provide.
    Your domain technically is EXACTLY the same! Articles generally DON'T COUNT as to meaning except that "a/an" implies there are many such domain names, and "the" implies there is one, or this is THE first, which we all know is NOT true!

    As for what you can do? FIRST check to see if there IS such an attorney, etc... I believe there is a law against such impersonations. If there is, tread carefully, as they may have a lot invested already. You can try to point out differences and try to defeat this on the basis that you are not taking away business. It is really a LOUSY argument, since you are both going after the SAME market! You can TRY though. But ICANN basically says you have lost the case if they have a previous trademark, and maybe even if they had NO trademark.

    As for doing this 4 years after the fact? WHAT! Are they supposed to check THOUSANDS of permutations every minute of the day or something? That is not only impractical, but against EVERY TOS I know of! GRANTED they could try actually going to the sites, but that means testing maybe 2 sites a minute. I believe the trademark rules statute of limitations STARTS upon discovery!

    BTW IANAL

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author waterotter
    Where are you located BP72. I know sign language - but that doesn't help if you live in the states.
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    • Profile picture of the author BP72
      Huntsville Alabama.. Not completely deaf but enough as to where i have to have someone in court that knows sign and or nod my head yes after each statement that i understand what has been spoken.
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      • Profile picture of the author KimW
        Originally Posted by BP72 View Post

        Huntsville Alabama.. Not completely deaf but enough as to where i have to have someone in court that knows sign and or nod my head yes after each statement that i understand what has been spoken.
        I used to do tech support for the disabilty agency here in Virginia.
        The state has resources that might help you. I would think Alabama would have similar resources to Virginias. Can;t hurt to contact them and see.
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        • Profile picture of the author seasoned
          Originally Posted by KimW View Post

          I used to do tech support for the disabilty agency here in Virginia.
          The state has resources that might help you. I would think Alabama would have similar resources to Virginias. Can;t hurt to contact them and see.
          Yeah, I alluded to this. I DON'T think you can get a free lawyer because it isn't a criminal case, but I think the federal government mandates the availability of interpreters under, in part, the "Americans with Disabilities Act"(ADA).
          12103 says:

          The term "auxiliary aids and services" includes

          (A) qualified interpreters or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments;
          SO, although it doesn't appear to say the court shall do this, it lists that MANY shall, and that the courts have the jurisdiction to prosecute! So I guess that implies the courts must.
          And that is a FEDERAL law!

          BTW BP72, Outside of something VERY unique or substantial, copyrights will do NOTHING. You can't copyright "the smart date". And ICANN really doesn't care about, or check, copyrights. The idea is to trademark it.

          Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author BP72
    threats, threats, threats and threats when i am trying to be accommodating.
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  • Profile picture of the author BP72
    It is all about doing the right thing... just offered up i have another very similar domain.

    I would rather go through it all now than waste any time building another site up.

    So i might lose 2 domains but now looking at it from their point of view that i was unable to see until the feedback here. Acknowledgement of that point of view and sincere apology explaining my point of view and my goal at the time when buying the domain... well.. .. they are really being cool about everything.

    Kay King and Seasoned.... thank you..
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    • Profile picture of the author garyv
      Originally Posted by BP72 View Post

      It is all about doing the right thing... just offered up i have another very similar domain.

      I would rather go through it all now than waste any time building another site up.

      So i might lose 2 domains but now looking at it from their point of view that i was unable to see until the feedback here. Acknowledgement of that point of view and sincere apology explaining my point of view and my goal at the time when buying the domain... well.. .. they are really being cool about everything.

      Kay King and Seasoned.... thank you..
      Very good. In a majority of cases, it's a waste of time and money to try and fight it anyway. Businesses often times resemble a hand of poker. And as a good poker player you have to know when to fold or walk away from a bad hand. Many people fail and then give up because they don't recognize the proper time to fold a bad hand. Bravo to you for recognizing the proper time.
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      • Profile picture of the author BP72
        Originally Posted by garyv View Post

        Very good. In a majority of cases, it's a waste of time and money to try and fight it anyway. Businesses often times resemble a hand of poker. And as a good poker player you have to know when to fold or walk away from a bad hand. Many people fail and then give up because they don't recognize the proper time to fold a bad hand. Bravo to you for recognizing the proper time.
        I would of been much more accommodating without all the threats. I even am giving the twitter account to the domain.

        I have been doing web dev and design since 1995 and have had to inform people that they were infringing on a client's copyright or trademark. I haven't had to use a lawyer but once. I just handle things different. I send a email with a attachment letter with the company's letterhead documenting the specifics of the trademark or copyright and provide whatever links i can in the email so they can look it up themselves and see it is not social engineering to get a domain and then everything takes care of itself.

        I have even a few times provided links to their replacement domains to help them build their site traffic and ranking back up.

        Life is too short to be all fired up and nothing good ever comes from it. I am thankful i posted here and had people post a rational point of view i was unable to see due to being so fired up.

        Threats before coffee just dont work out so good.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
    I did a quick check on the Wayback Machine. The domain has been around since 1998, but there are no entries after 2007. The last entry:

    MARKEM Corporation

    Shows the domain was selling some sort of "date" code software? On the site it says:

    MARKEM Corporation provides stand alone digital coding systems to completely networked solutions, backed by over 90 years of knowledge and experience.



    According to the trademark search, the registered the trademark back in 2001, but under the following:

    Goods and Services IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: electronic over printers for printing batch codes, best before end dates, bar codes and/or variable information directly onto packaging materials, labels and products. FIRST USE: 19921000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19930800

    Owner (REGISTRANT) Markem Corporation CORPORATION NEW HAMPSHIRE 150 Congress Street Keene NEW HAMPSHIRE 03431



    According to Whois, the domain has been registered to the same company since October 2000 - the company is in France:

    registrant-firstname: Smartdate
    registrant-lastname: Administrator
    registrant-organization: Smartdate SA
    registrant-street1: 14 rue Vivienne
    registrant-pcode: 75002
    registrant-city: Paris
    registrant-ccode: FR
    registrant-phone: +33.1772712884
    registrant-email:



    I am no expert, but from what I see is the domain has either been off line between Jan. 2007 and now (no other entries in Wayback since Jan 07) or they have excluded themselves from Wayback somehow...

    Or, they decided just recently to open this "dating" website.

    I am not a lawyer, but I would take this info to yours. Even though they have a TM, it seems it's listed for something MUCH different than they (or you) do now.

    Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author CrhisD
      Originally Posted by MikeAmbrosio View Post

      I did a quick check on the Wayback Machine. The domain has been around since 1998, but there are no entries after 2007. The last entry:

      MARKEM Corporation

      Shows the domain was selling some sort of "date" code software? On the site it says:

      MARKEM Corporation provides stand alone digital coding systems to completely networked solutions, backed by over 90 years of knowledge and experience.



      According to the trademark search, the registered the trademark back in 2001, but under the following:

      Goods and Services IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: electronic over printers for printing batch codes, best before end dates, bar codes and/or variable information directly onto packaging materials, labels and products. FIRST USE: 19921000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19930800

      Owner (REGISTRANT) Markem Corporation CORPORATION NEW HAMPSHIRE 150 Congress Street Keene NEW HAMPSHIRE 03431



      According to Whois, the domain has been registered to the same company since October 2000 - the company is in France:

      registrant-firstname: Smartdate
      registrant-lastname: Administrator
      registrant-organization: Smartdate SA
      registrant-street1: 14 rue Vivienne
      registrant-pcode: 75002
      registrant-city: Paris
      registrant-ccode: FR
      registrant-phone: +33.1772712884
      registrant-email:



      I am no expert, but from what I see is the domain has either been off line between Jan. 2007 and now (no other entries in Wayback since Jan 07) or they have excluded themselves from Wayback somehow...

      Or, they decided just recently to open this "dating" website.

      I am not a lawyer, but I would take this info to yours. Even though they have a TM, it seems it's listed for something MUCH different than they (or you) do now.

      Mike
      Yes that was the other one, I ignored it because it had nothing to do with websites. I can't imagine that people would give up so easily. I would have asked (politely) for some proof.
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
        Originally Posted by CrhisD View Post

        Yes that was the other one, I ignored it because it had nothing to do with websites. I can't imagine that people would give up so easily. I would have asked (politely) for some proof.

        Yeah, I saw that other one too. It's under a different company, but either way, they filed in March of 2010... their website is not smartdate.com:

        VisionSync inc

        I don't think they are the ones who sent the letter to the OP though...

        Like you said...get some proof, talk to lawyers, etc.
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        • Profile picture of the author BP72
          Live and learn.... The domains are transfered..

          I was thinking $30 a hour for interpreter + lawyer... now i know i could of had that all for free. Apparently the state has buildings of lawyers that love to help and advise with stuff like this. They even had no problem with requesting a male with a deep voice to talk to as i hear deep tones fine. Females with high pitched voices, kids, birds, crickets.... not so much.

          When i did get a lawyer the transfer had already started.

          Nothing i can do about it now... but at least i have found this place has a wealth of information beyond affiliate marketing.

          Maybe this thread will help someone else one day.

          Not liking this doing it all on my own stuff but i am learning a great deal. Just sucks to learn the hard way.
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          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            For the domain - the name smartdate is a registered live trademark - that's enough right there to be cautious. it doesn't matter if there is live website or not. The trademark protects the name - not a url. The company (including the trademark protection) could have been sold for all we know.

            I'm sure there are some who feel fighting every challenge has some benefit - but in this case I can't imagine what that benefit would be.

            What happens is armchair lawyers (and I do that myself, too) look up what we think is "evidence" or "arguments to use" - and the term is still a registered trademark and can be protected by the owner of the trademark.

            There may be circumstances and exceptions and all kinds of "stuff" - but first you need to have the time and money to urvive a court battle over it...and potentially money to pay if you don't win. Not many people doing "IM" have those resources to risk.

            kay
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            Just wait a second – so what you're telling me is that my chance of surviving all this is directly linked to the common sense of others? You’re kidding, right?
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            • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
              Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

              For the domain - the name smartdate is a registered live trademark - that's enough right there to be cautious. it doesn't matter if there is live website or not. The trademark protects the name - not a url. The company (including the trademark protection) could have been sold for all we know.

              I'm sure there are some who feel fighting every challenge has some benefit - but in this case I can't imagine what that benefit would be.

              What happens is armchair lawyers (and I do that myself, too) look up what we think is "evidence" or "arguments to use" - and the term is still a registered trademark and can be protected by the owner of the trademark.

              There may be circumstances and exceptions and all kinds of "stuff" - but first you need to have the time and money to urvive a court battle over it...and potentially money to pay if you don't win. Not many people doing "IM" have those resources to risk.

              kay

              Yup. Lawyer is the best recourse

              When I saw WHAT they had a TM for, it made me think that if they filed for TM under certain "categories" then POSSIBLY because the site now does something completely different it could be relevant. After all, if the category of what your TM is filed under doesn't matter, why have a category to begin with?

              Enough to make my head explode. Which is why if I was in this situation I would have asked a lawyer.
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          • Profile picture of the author garyv
            Originally Posted by BP72 View Post

            i hear deep tones fine. Females with high pitched voices, kids, birds, crickets.... not so much.
            I think you just described every male on the planet .

            By the way, my wife is an ASL interpreter for our local HighSchool. And my Grandmother was deaf, but I never became good enough at sign-language to interpret. I can communicate, but don't feel comfortable enough to interpret for someone.
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            • Profile picture of the author BP72
              Originally Posted by garyv View Post

              I think you just described every male on the planet .

              By the way, my wife is an ASL interpreter for our local HighSchool. And my Grandmother was deaf, but I never became good enough at sign-language to interpret. I can communicate, but don't feel comfortable enough to interpret for someone.
              Have always caught static about it from girls i date as i really cant hear them.

              It is never helpful and always a hassle on the phone. I am thankful i can hear what i can at least. It is annoying to get the whole "you ant from round here are ya" from people as i have been told i have a strange accent.

              I can communicate sign or voice either way is fine just hearing the other person can be trying at times.

              Always thankful for the small problems i have as i know they can be far worse and quite often are worse for most people.
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  • Profile picture of the author stevestan
    that totally sucks major monkey nuts. good luck to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author BP72
    Kay - and consistently... very good point.
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  • Profile picture of the author BP72
    MikeAmbrosio - thanks.. lets just say my new mission in life is to learn and understand all this copyright and trademark stuff asap. :O)

    Everywhere i have worked i have always had someone or a department of legal people that took care of contracts and any liability assessment before anything reached me. I just did the work. I bought these domains to learn and tried to pick the domains from keyword trend searches in what remains consistent in traffic.

    With what i have learned so far it seems that i still have 1 if not 2 domains that were a very bad idea to buy. Not real sure what to do with them at this point.

    I wanted to learn.. i am learning.. and it sucks sometimes but there is no book, blueprint or how to guide that will cover everything i want to do. Much less how to do all the ideas i have.

    I just have to get out there, do it, get knocked down a few times, get up and go at it again.

    I do greatly appreciate the insightful people that have responded to this thread and have a little hope my "learning" will be less painful if i post my questions on this forum. At the least... i will learn.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    BP72,

    People that lack some fidelity in their hearing, while they are learning to talk and learning words, often don't speak in quite the same way as the average hearing person. It CAN be considered an ACCENT. And MANY people will then know that, at least at some point in your life prior to the age of say 5, you had profound hearing difficulties. It is THAT distinct.

    Don't be annoyed. Be HAPPY that you at least got to THAT point. SOME people practically THINK they can talk, and they make noise and move their lips, but it is simply annoying to hearing people, and not understandable.

    If you can hear a normal male register, and speak understandably, you are FAR better off than MOST deaf people. Some people pay a LOT of money for cochlear implants and hope to one day be maybe where you are. And the deaf community may look at THEM as turncoats, because they are trying to get out of the deaf community. 8-(

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author BP72
    Seasoned, you have explained my world quite well and it sounds you have experience as you are the second person in my life to express some key points that most completely overlook. First loss of hearing for me was at 4 years old... 106 fever. When you start off with less the natural decline seems to roll a little bit faster down that hill.

    It is VERY annoying as most communication takes place over the phone and the simplest things can be quite unnecessary difficult and insulting. Use a TTY service and i am looked down upon as i can talk. Not wearing my hearing aids it looks like i am in denial. Wearing my hearing aids people talk to me in slow motion as if it helps. If i recommend a speech pathologist or speaking exercises for them to speak clearer then i am a jackass. For some reason i should be thankful for being treated as if i should wear a crash helmet if unsupervised.

    I cant count the times i have been tested over and over by the same people as, "there is no way i can talk as well as i do and have the hearing loss i have", blatantly accusing me of fraud as if they are some sort of authority on my life since they are a class from graduating college and work the volume control on a oversized meat cooler. The fact there are a little over 30 years of the same exact hearing test done with the same results in both ears with the same consistent decline in one ear means nothing.

    Voc rehab and disabled services were completely useless at best as a kid. Not being able to hear 80% of my teachers all i did was get in trouble as i was not eligible for tutors, notes or aid because i talked too well. Although i had documented years of speech classes to communicate in English a foreign language was required to graduate and sign language at the time was not close to to being considered a language.

    To this day any disabled services are pretty much useless as i seek no money, no free education, no free ride but rather someone i can have help me with student loan representatives that keep liquidating my checking account and just communicating with them. Voc Rehab no joke basically said i make $1,000 too much... have a nice day. The numerous documented blatant failures disabled services has demonstrated in just the past 5 years is enough to make someone think that the system truly does actively encourage people to only do enough to get by.

    I graduated college with no help from any disabled service despite consistent requests and never asked for a dime. I jumped through he flaming hoops and did the hearing tests over and over just as i have always done and finally came to accept that ambition is the problem. If i gave up i could ride it out for the rest of my days. If i keep pushing and learning they will do nothing. I think i might of met one lady finally that might help but i am not going to get my hopes up.

    The real kicker are deaf people. I know quite a few wonderful deaf people... in Orlando. In the town i live... in 5 years.. i have only met 1 deaf person. The kicker comes in with my sign name.. a cupped B behind the ear. Hearing people say, "Wow that is so cool. The first letter of your name like that by your ear.. They must know you are hard of hearing.".. I dont have the heart to bust their bubble and explain the slap in the face my sign name is as the only thing my sign name signifies is i still try to live in the hearing world. A turncoat would be a upgrade.

    Annoyed??? Yes, daily as much of a understatement as that is. Thankful for the small problems i have as i know they could be worse. Daily contemplate the scales and balance of life and if my problems were one way or another tilted slightly. Would I have a foot firmly in one world or the other? Or is the tip of a toe touching each world about as good as it gets?

    Better off than most? The grass will always be greener and the view might seem to be better often anyplace than were we are in life. Far too often the view and weather are the primary concern, more important than anything else in the world, quite simply should be... are you truly alone in that place or not? Even in the worst of storms you can dance in the rain and have the time of your life with someone. If you dance in the rain alone the only thing to follow will be a public intox ticket. :O)

    .
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