Brand Name Domain Names - BEWARE!! - My Story!

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Hey Warriors...

Now many of us all have the question with brand name domain names and if we should use them for our websites. Many feel that it's ok but many know that you can get a "Cease and Desist" order from a company.

I wanted to share a blog post as I JUST RECEIVED a letter from a company yesterday and I share my experiences in my blog post.

Here is it.

Cease and Desist - Choosing Brand Name Domain Names :OmarAndWill.com

I hope it helps clear up a few questions when it comes to Brand name domain names and if you should buy them.

Hopefully my story can help out some of you fellow warriors!

-Omar
#adsense #beware #brand #cease and desist notice #domain #domain names #names #story
  • Profile picture of the author rjd1265
    I got one of those once. I told the lawyer to kiss my ass...if his client wanted it so bad he should of bought it. I later received $2,000 via paypal for the domain...far cry from getting sued.

    That letter is a scare tatic that almost always works for us small timers.

    Little did he know my sister is top 1% lawyer in WI.

    But thanks for sharing....This is becoming more serious of an issue and people need to know that can happen.
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    • Profile picture of the author OmarNegron
      Originally Posted by rjd1265 View Post

      I got one of those once. I told the lawyer to kiss my ass...if his client wanted it so bad he should of bought it. I later received $2,000 via paypal for the domain...far cry from getting sued.

      That letter is a scare tatic that almost always works for us small timers.

      Little did he know my sister is top 1% lawyer in WI.

      But thanks for sharing....This is becoming more serious of an issue and people need to know that can happen.
      No problem. Yeap, this is exactly why I wanted to share it!

      That's awesome you decided to battle it, and I am glad you wound up winning and getting 2k for that domain!

      Good stuff.

      I just didn't want to have to deal with the legal aspect personally.

      -Omar
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    • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
      Originally Posted by rjd1265 View Post

      I got one of those once. I told the lawyer to kiss my ass...if his client wanted it so bad he should of bought it. I later received $2,000 via paypal for the domain...far cry from getting sued.

      That letter is a scare tatic that almost always works for us small timers.

      Little did he know my sister is top 1% lawyer in WI.

      But thanks for sharing....This is becoming more serious of an issue and people need to know that can happen.
      I mostly agree with this. Not in every case, but for the most part it is true.
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  • Profile picture of the author FrankRumbauskas
    It depends on whether the brand name is a registered trademark. I've had an easy time shutting down people using my registered trademark in domain names. But if it's not registered then you're probably in the clear.
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    • Profile picture of the author OmarNegron
      Originally Posted by FrankRumbauskas View Post

      It depends on whether the brand name is a registered trademark. I've had an easy time shutting down people using my registered trademark in domain names. But if it's not registered then you're probably in the clear.
      Yep.

      Unfortunately it is a registered trademark...which is why I won't put up a battle. Just keep on flowing with other sites.

      -Omar
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    • Profile picture of the author Green Moon
      Originally Posted by FrankRumbauskas View Post

      It depends on whether the brand name is a registered trademark. I've had an easy time shutting down people using my registered trademark in domain names. But if it's not registered then you're probably in the clear.
      The fact that a trademark is not registered does not mean you are in the clear.

      It is easier to prove trademark infringement if the mark is registered, and there are other benefits to registering a mark (relating to procedural issues, damages and legal fees), but the underlying rights are the same regardless whether the rights are obtained through registration or through use.

      You probably should worry more when you hear from the owner of a registered mark. Not only is the proof of the trademark easier, but the fact that the owner has registered the mark certainly indicates that he has been willing to take some steps to protect his mark. On the other hand, just because there is no registration does not mean you should feel safe.
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  • Profile picture of the author ldiaz117
    Yea I would not be scared off by that. Play hard ball and see if you can get paid!
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  • Profile picture of the author aeomedia
    thanks for sharing...

    i agree with FrankRumbauskas, if our domain not containt trademark. Its no problem. keep develop and get revenue...
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    • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
      Banned
      This domain name was supposedly "Copyright Infringement" and the Brand Protection sector of this company sent us a pretty specific mail to let us know the issue.
      I wouldn't be too concerned about getting a letter from someone who says my domain name violates their copyright, lol. This wouldn't be a copyright issue, it would be a trademark issue.

      I got one of those once. I told the lawyer to kiss my ass...if his client wanted it so bad he should of bought it. I later received $2,000 via paypal for the domain...far cry from getting sued.

      That letter is a scare tatic that almost always works for us small timers.

      Little did he know my sister is top 1% lawyer in WI.
      Does she ride a unicorn to work? If you get the chance, maybe you should ask her(or the unicorn) about something called cyber squatting.
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      • Profile picture of the author simplybeastz
        I agree, most of the time they just send the D&D letter to try and scare you out of the domain. My advice, would be contact a lawyer if the domain is valuable if not, I would just send it IF they have a valid right to it. Either way, I would probably sell it for quite a lot of $$$$$
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        • Profile picture of the author OmarNegron
          Originally Posted by simplybeastz View Post

          I agree, most of the time they just send the D&D letter to try and scare you out of the domain. My advice, would be contact a lawyer if the domain is valuable if not, I would just send it IF they have a valid right to it. Either way, I would probably sell it for quite a lot of $$$$$
          Yeah I could have tried this...but honestly I didn't want to go through the hassle of it all.

          I've heard of the risk associated with registering these types of domain names and now believe it isn't worth it.

          I rather stick to a non brand name, general domain. And build around that!

          -Omar
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  • Profile picture of the author Sclark
    Hey FrankRumbauskas,
    Isn't it an issue only when both businesses are in the same niche?
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  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    Only idiots register domains that are registered trademarks that they aren't registered for

    Why not make it easy for the legalbots?

    Maybe whoever is advocating this practice should check out the news about 'Homeland Security' and 'ICE' concerning trademark infringement.

    The only one who makes money when you register a trademark domain is the domain registrar. BTW, NameCheap and GoDaddy both have expensive 'hidden fees' that are charged when they have to 'clean up' such a domain.
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    • Profile picture of the author OmarNegron
      Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

      Only idiots register domains that are registered trademarks that they aren't registered for

      Why not make it easy for the legalbots?

      Maybe whoever is advocating this practice should check out the news about 'Homeland Security' and 'ICE' concerning trademark infringement.

      The only one who makes money when you register a trademark domain is the domain registrar. BTW, NameCheap and GoDaddy both have expensive 'hidden fees' that are charged when they have to 'clean up' such a domain.
      LOL.

      I wouldn't call myself an idiot...but was just curious to see what would happen. So YES, the stories are true if the company is willing to take action.

      So just stick to non brand name domains and keep on going!

      -Omar
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  • Profile picture of the author Domainate
    Originally Posted by rjd1265 View Post

    I got one of those once. I told the lawyer to kiss my ass...if his client wanted it so bad he should of bought it. I later received $2,000 via paypal for the domain...far cry from getting sued.

    That letter is a scare tatic that almost always works for us small timers.

    Little did he know my sister is top 1% lawyer in WI.

    But thanks for sharing....This is becoming more serious of an issue and people need to know that can happen.
    Note that your case MAY have been one where they had no absolute rights to the name, in which case you could certainly tell them to pound sand. In a case where they DO have rights to the name and you've registered it in bad faith and have no legitimate rights to it, they can take it from you via UDRP and sue you for up to $100,000 per infringing domain. In cases like those, telling them to pound sand won't make them go away, and telling them to you can sell it for the low price of $2,000 would in fact be used against you as an indication of bad faith registration of the domain.

    That said, if you get a notice and are unsure of whether you have a losing case, speak with an IP attorney specializing in domains. Or if you really don't care that much about the domain and only spent reg fees on it, you can just give it up and forego the hassle (though at least check and make sure they have the trademark they claim they do).
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    • Profile picture of the author OmarNegron
      Originally Posted by Domainate View Post

      Note that your case MAY have been one where they had no absolute rights to the name, in which case you could certainly tell them to pound sand. In a case where they DO have rights to the name and you've registered it in bad faith and have no legitimate rights to it, they can take it from you via UDRP and sue you for up to $100,000 per infringing domain. In cases like those, telling them to pound sand won't make them go away, and telling them to you can sell it for the low price of $2,000 would in fact be used against you as an indication of bad faith registration of the domain.

      That said, if you get a notice and are unsure of whether you have a losing case, speak with an IP attorney specializing in domains. Or if you really don't care that much about the domain and only spent reg fees on it, you can just give it up and forego the hassle (though at least check and make sure they have the trademark they claim they do).
      Hey Steve.

      Yeap I agree with what you said near the end. I would instead just give up the domain and not worry about it to much. I'm not interested in getting into any type of legal battle.

      Thanks for your great insight!

      -Omar
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  • Profile picture of the author thesnakeman
    A domain only becomes a trademark infringement if and when it is used for the same kind of business.
    In line with Frank above, we have had no trouble shutting down registered domains using our registered trademarks.
    Fortunately for us, the said domains can only logically be used for our kind of business (and are otherwise worthless).
    We had a case recently where a bootlegger created over 800 websites with backlinks to usurp our snake man domain in SEO results and then we successfully actioned the sites and had them removed.
    The infringer wasn't happy as there'd been over 700 hours spent creating the backlinks.
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    • Profile picture of the author OmarNegron
      Originally Posted by thesnakeman View Post

      A domain only becomes a trademark infringement if and when it is used for the same kind of business.
      In line with Frank above, we have had no trouble shutting down registered domains using our registered trademarks.
      Fortunately for us, the said domains can only logically be used for our kind of business (and are otherwise worthless).
      We had a case recently where a bootlegger created over 800 websites with backlinks to usurp our snake man domain in SEO results and then we successfully actioned the sites and had them removed.
      The infringer wasn't happy as there'd been over 700 hours spent creating the backlinks.
      Thanks for sharing your story.

      Wow created 800 websites?! That's insane!

      -Omar
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    • Profile picture of the author 4morereferrals
      Originally Posted by thesnakeman View Post

      A domain only becomes a trademark infringement if and when it is used for the same kind of business.
      In line with Frank above, we have had no trouble shutting down registered domains using our registered trademarks.
      Fortunately for us, the said domains can only logically be used for our kind of business (and are otherwise worthless).
      We had a case recently where a bootlegger created over 800 websites with backlinks to usurp our snake man domain in SEO results and then we successfully actioned the sites and had them removed.
      The infringer wasn't happy as there'd been over 700 hours spent creating the backlinks.

      Dats why seo's with a synapse no longer directly backlink in big numbers and hours to the domain[s] they desire to rank

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  • Profile picture of the author newseller
    Banned
    This sounds like a scam-just like the guy that emails people telling them he has damaging video or emails from their computer. He then wants X amount of money so he won't post them.

    Ignore.
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    • Profile picture of the author OmarNegron
      Originally Posted by newseller View Post

      This sounds like a scam-just like the guy that emails people telling them he has damaging video or emails from their computer. He then wants X amount of money so he won't post them.

      Ignore.
      Hey..not to sure what you mean by scam?

      If your referring to the cease and desist letter, then I can assure you that they are very real. I didn't get an email, I actually got a typed up letter to my doorstep.

      You can see the picture here at my blog post.

      Cease and Desist – Choosing Brand Name Domain Names :OmarAndWill.com

      -Omar
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  • Profile picture of the author J0hnnycl1ckz
    After all the horror stories about trademarked domain names I've decided to just always steer clear of them altogether. I find available domains with trademark phrases in them all the time but I always figured why even bother if it is remotely possible your going to get shut down? You have to figure a certain percentage will land you the dreadful cease and desist letters so it's like your doing work for nothing some of the time.
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    • Profile picture of the author OmarNegron
      Originally Posted by J0hnnycl1ckz View Post

      After all the horror stories about trademarked domain names I've decided to just always steer clear of them altogether. I find available domains with trademark phrases in them all the time but I always figured why even bother if it is remotely possible your going to get shut down? You have to figure a certain percentage will land you the dreadful cease and desist letters so it's like your doing work for nothing some of the time.
      Yep....I agree.

      Usually you will not run into a problem until you start ranking high for the keyword you are going for. Once you have nice ranking and traffic comes into your site, is usually when we ran into the issue.

      -Omar
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Originally Posted by OmarNegron View Post

    Hey Warriors...

    Now many of us all have the question with brand name domain names and if we should use them for our websites. Many feel that it's ok but many know that you can get a "Cease and Desist" order from a company.

    I wanted to share a blog post as I JUST RECEIVED a letter from a company yesterday and I share my experiences in my blog post.

    Here is it.

    Cease and Desist – Choosing Brand Name Domain Names :OmarAndWill.com

    I hope it helps clear up a few questions when it comes to Brand name domain names and if you should buy them.

    Hopefully my story can help out some of you fellow warriors!

    -Omar



    Email optin form link bait... :rolleyes:
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    • Profile picture of the author OmarNegron
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      Email optin form link bait... :rolleyes:
      lol...

      Well our blog does have an opt in box pop up, but if you don't want to opt in just click X and read the post. No harm no foul.

      =-)

      -Omar
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  • Profile picture of the author thesnakeman
    Omar, it was actually over 1000 sites with backlinks, but we ended killing about 900 of them, including over 800 on youtube alone.
    That was just one infringer!
    His sites still come up "2" in most searches under ours and at this stage we just wear it and are planning to sue him for these and other infringements.
    On the same subject (trademark bootleggers), we've closed down domains (using our trademarks in the name for our business type) and countless other webpages of other infringers, usually associated with the same small group of new entrants in our industry who seem unable to operate ethically.
    Then there's the google ads we've killed as well - this is when people take out google ads for our kind of business for our trademarks.
    Thus instead of our site coming up tops on the organic results, competitors land above us with their paid for google adverts which are placed to divert our customers.
    We were like most business people unaware of these capers, but once we became aware of clients getting ripped off, we wised up to it.
    Believe me, more and more businesses are getting internet wise and for the people trying to rip off trademark owners, it is getting harder to get away with it all the time!
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    • Profile picture of the author OmarNegron
      Originally Posted by thesnakeman View Post

      Omar, it was actually over 1000 sites with backlinks, but we ended killing about 900 of them, including over 800 on youtube alone.
      That was just one infringer!
      His sites still come up "2" in most searches under ours and at this stage we just wear it and are planning to sue him for these and other infringements.
      On the same subject (trademark bootleggers), we've closed down domains (using our trademarks in the name for our business type) and countless other webpages of other infringers, usually associated with the same small group of new entrants in our industry who seem unable to operate ethically.
      Then there's the google ads we've killed as well - this is when people take out google ads for our kind of business for our trademarks.
      Thus instead of our site coming up tops on the organic results, competitors land above us with their paid for google adverts which are placed to divert our customers.
      We were like most business people unaware of these capers, but once we became aware of clients getting ripped off, we wised up to it.
      Believe me, more and more businesses are getting internet wise and for the people trying to rip off trademark owners, it is getting harder to get away with it all the time!
      That sure sounds like a hassle you had to get around but I'm glad you were about to get down the bottom of it.

      I agree as well, companies are getting smarter with the web which is why I would be staying away from brand names from here on out.

      -Omar
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    OP,

    This is getting quite usual lately, newbies trying to use trademarks to profit... unfortunately most of you don't use common sense (not saying it's your case) and end up losing time and money.

    With millions of NEW (never done before) searches in Google EVERY single day, why risk the use of a trademark to profit online?

    Why???
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    • Profile picture of the author OmarNegron
      Originally Posted by Fernando Veloso View Post

      OP,

      This is getting quite usual lately, newbies trying to use trademarks to profit... unfortunately most of you don't use common sense (not saying it's your case) and end up losing time and money.

      With millions of NEW (never done before) searches in Google EVERY single day, why risk the use of a trademark to profit online?

      Why???
      Hey Fernando.

      I think the reason it is appealing to most is because for the most part having an exact match domain (especially a brand name domain) can help you rank much better with the right SEO work done to it.

      Also a lot of book and guides tell you that this is ok, at least that was the case for me. It is pretty much an area where you need to test the waters until you are notified that you did something wrong.

      A lot of my mentors had this happen to them and feel that it IS NOT worth the hassle.

      I agree with them.

      -Omar
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      • Profile picture of the author komrad2
        I actually work at an IP firm that's also specialized in domain names and do IM in my spare time so I experience both sides of the story.

        First of all, it really depends on the company and their legal department whether a trademark domain name can cause you trouble. There are companies hunting down every domain name squatter with cease and desist letters, but there are also companies that let such things slip as long as the website isn't hurting the trademark owner.

        It's also because it's hard to tell whether it's worth it putting so much time and effort in taking every domain down, you can't instantly see how much of a loss of your revenue these cases are accountable for.

        Secondly, the companies that do enforce on these trademark domains are getting better and better at it. They are making use of advanced crawlers to detect squatted trademark domains and also have brand logo recognition and can detect the use of their logo's on websites/blogs/social media etc..

        I second the advice of using your common sense with these domains. First, perform a search in how the company or product trademark is currently used. See if you can find high-ranking unofficial domains with the trademark in it that have been around for a while. That's generally a sign that the trademark owner either doesn't mind the use of their trademark in a domain name or that they aren't going after these domain owners. If you see no trademarked domains in that category, it is perhaps wise to look for an alternative.

        Bear in mind that a UDRP procedure for a generic domain easily runs into several thousands initially, so in most cases you're perfectly fine in selling the domain name back to the trademark owner for 'registration and administration costs you've made'. I've seen this been done for up to $2000/3000 without hesitation (depends on the company of course).
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  • Profile picture of the author thesnakeman
    KOMRAD2, wise words indeed.
    You wrote
    "They ... also have brand logo recognition and can detect the use of their logo's on websites/blogs/social media etc.."
    was an interesting comment.
    I haven't seen this one!
    The Australian trademarks office certainly aren't able to recognise conflicting images in terms of new applications with existing trademarks and even now (2012) it is relatively common for trademark owners themselves to have to oppose similar image trademarks pending for registration on the very same IP database!
    All the best
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    • Profile picture of the author OmarNegron
      Originally Posted by thesnakeman View Post

      KOMRAD2, wise words indeed.
      You wrote
      "They ... also have brand logo recognition and can detect the use of their logo's on websites/blogs/social media etc.."
      was an interesting comment.
      I haven't seen this one!
      The Australian trademarks office certainly aren't able to recognise conflicting images in terms of new applications with existing trademarks and even now (2012) it is relatively common for trademark owners themselves to have to oppose similar image trademarks pending for registration on the very same IP database!
      All the best
      "brand logo recognition"....

      Sounds pretty high tech!
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  • Profile picture of the author uoftenwinny
    It's a good way to get a good domain name and it's easy to remember. I think it should be something related to products of your site and it's better.
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  • Profile picture of the author jt47000
    What about common mispellings? Like would Intel come after me for Intelk.com? Can they?
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    • Profile picture of the author OmarNegron
      Originally Posted by jt47000 View Post

      What about common mispellings? Like would Intel come after me for Intelk.com? Can they?
      Hey jt47000...

      It really depends on the company, but I still THINK they may be able too because some people put a random letter after their domain names to try to get that "exact match" to help there rankings.

      For example if you get a domain name called " WalmartX.com" more than likely if you begin to rank high they will ask you to take it down.

      It all depends on the company.

      -Omar
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  • Profile picture of the author looking4adsense
    Do not register trade marked name in domain name, the trade mark owner can and will take your domain if it goes to arbitration. Unless your website is about something completely different, like nissan.com.
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  • Profile picture of the author 4morereferrals
    So my dear trademark infringing friends ... hows about this action?

    omarandwill.c0m-comedy-blog.inf0/

    omarandwill.c0m-4.me/
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    • Profile picture of the author OmarNegron
      Originally Posted by 4morereferrals View Post

      So my dear trademark infringing friends ... hows about this action?

      omarandwill.c0m-comedy-blog.inf0/

      omarandwill.c0m-4.me/
      LOL...not to sure what to say to that...
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