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  1. #1
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    Trademark Question
    I'm into buying domain names with first and last names. The other day I saw one I liked was about to register when I did a Google search and it was this big company, they had the .com.

    I understand it would be an issue if you got the domain and got into the same business or if you parked it and had ads showing for similar products or even that company's ad. But what if you just made a page saying something like

    (Insert Name)
    This is a common last name, if interest in purchasing contact -

    No ads on the page whatsoever. Nothing to do with the com.
    Last edited by Trust; July 19th, 2010 at 01:38 PM.

  2. #2
    Newbie Attorney Jaffe's Avatar
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    I am going to begin my answer by quoting the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act

    Cyberpiracy prevention
    (1)
    (A) A person shall be liable in a civil action by the owner of a mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark under this section, if, without regard to the goods or services of the parties, that person—
    (i) has a bad faith intent to profit from that mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark under this section; and
    (ii) registers, traffics in, or uses a domain name that—
    (I) in the case of a mark that is distinctive at the time of registration of the domain name, is identical or confusingly similar to that mark;
    (II) in the case of a famous mark that is famous at the time of registration of the domain name, is identical or confusingly similar to or dilutive of that mark;

    I will further say that the courts have bent over backwards to punish the cybersquatter - often using bizarre legal reasoning.

    Your question does not say what the last name is. However, if the TM owner gets to your page and you try to sell him the domain, you will probably find yourself defending a cybersquatting action. Whether or not you are in the right you will still end up paying huge legal fees.

    Finally, the courts hate those kinds of "buy this page" parkings and often put the burden of proof on the poster to prove they are not a cybersuatter. This is a situation you want to avoid.
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  3. #3
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    Doesn't use come into play?

    As an example Bianchi - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bianchi_%28surname%29

    Last name but also if you go to that bianchi.com big cycling company.

    Now if you go to bianchi-intl.com, different company, holsters and duty gear.

    Another example is Perkins. Common last name.

    It's actually a Perkins® registered trademark for the restaurant - www.perkinsrestaurants.com

    But if you go to perkins.com Perkins engines

    Perkins.org - Perkins School For The Blind
    Last edited by Trust; July 19th, 2010 at 02:43 PM.

  4. #4
    Newbie Attorney Jaffe's Avatar
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    Use would come into play if you were using the site. Certainly apple.com could be used by either a computer company or a record company, both of whom have a TM for apple in different classes.

    But in this case you are not using the site, you are offering the site for sale. It is the posting "this site for sale" - with no property rights in the name itself that gives rise to the cause of action.
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  5. #5
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    Ok, thanks for your answers.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Attorney Jaffe View Post
    Use would come into play if you were using the site. Certainly apple.com could be used by either a computer company or a record company, both of whom have a TM for apple in different classes.

    But in this case you are not using the site, you are offering the site for sale. It is the posting "this site for sale" - with no property rights in the name itself that gives rise to the cause of action.
    I worked for a company who wanted a domain that was 3 letters and was a trademark of theirs. The owner of the domain had the same initials as my employer's trademark. Since he wasn't imitating my employer and had a working site there wasn't really anything we could do except offer to buy it.

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  7. #7
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    I figured I would keep the questions in this thread.

    Sometimes you have people mad at companies and it's WalmartSucks.com and sites like that. I've seen them so I assume they're good. Just wanted to make sure they are. Are there times where it isn't? If you had WalmartSucks.com and their was no monetization and if you put Target ads, it becomes a problem? Wasn't quite sure.

    Also what about people. Roger Goodell, the NFL commish really annoys me and I think he's destroying the NFL, slowly. Him wanting 18 game seasons, turning the league into 2 hand touch, wanting Superbowls in other countries, now I'm reading about European expansion etc. So can I have a FireGoodell type of site or something like that.

    Thanks.

  8. #8
    Newbie Attorney Jaffe's Avatar
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    The correct answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no.

    Your question is a complicated one and the answer depends on the individual facts of the situation.

    The issues invovle copyright "fair use" issues and depends on what a reasonable person would percieve about the ownership of the site.

    Courts have gone both ways on sites like walmart sucks.

    I would consult an attorney before creating these kinds of sites.
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