Is this a case of Trade mark in domain ?

5 replies
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Hello WF,

One of my client has a domain name including the word "Time" in it.
Now seemingly, Time.com has not registered a TM for the word 'Time'.
But, they could register it any time they wish ..
Because after being in Business with it for such a long time, obviously, they have higher priority on 'time' TM.

But may be not because there are so many News sites and companies with "Time" in their names like 'Newyorktimes', 'Londontimes' and so on. Almost all the news sites have "Time" in it..

So, what are the chances of Trade mark violation when starting a new site including "Time" in domain name and used for General news content ?

Thanks
#domain #mark #tm not registered #trade
  • Profile picture of the author UMS
    Disclaimer: I am not a legal expert.

    In general, you can't trademark generic terms such as "time" as it is in general use and not specific to any particular company (including Time magazine).
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    • Profile picture of the author warrior55
      Originally Posted by UMS View Post

      Disclaimer: I am not a legal expert.

      In general, you can't trademark generic terms such as "time" as it is in general use and not specific to any particular company (including Time magazine).
      Thanks, but 'Apple' was also a generic term. And now a major brand and TM.

      I guess one cannot register TM for generic term when the meaning of the TM word is same as the product. i,e if Apple was actually selling Apple fruits...

      But the major player Time in this case is not selling a "Time" related product but "News", so they could possibly get the TM. :confused:

      Also if the new site is actually related to "Time" niche, say importance of time etc, then it would be different from News and may be not clashing with Time magazine..?!

      But then what about already existing News companies that have "time" in their names and domains ?
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  • Profile picture of the author Hansons
    As the words, "time", "apple" these are dictionary words.. so the only that company can claim which is registered tm slowly for the word "time" or apple..

    You can still register the tm, Red Apple, or ABC times..

    This thing can't be applied for those which are not dictionary words like.. Google

    You can't use "Google" anywhere in your tm name...
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  • Profile picture of the author warrior55
    Thanks Hansons !
    Your point makes sense.

    In case of generic words as TM, the TMs can be used in new name combinations.
    But you cannot do this for non-generic TMs!
    Does anyone have points somewhat different than this..?

    It also helps to understand, that if one really wants to plan for a Solid TM or brand name, better
    to go for names that actually have no dictionary meaning.

    Example- Kodak, Sony, Xing, Google etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    IMO the intent of the use of the word would be a major factor. If you use the word apple in your domain & your site is all about iphones, your clearly treading on Apples turf.

    If you use the word apple in your domain & your site is all about farming, I don't think anyone at Apple would care.

    BTW, I'm not a lawyer but I did stay at a Holiday Inn once (once).
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