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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I have an interesting situation and would appreciate everyones thoughts on how I should proceed. I recently optained a great domain name that I had on backorder at GoDaddy. I'm not going to give the name here, but let's say it would be comparable in type to something like paintingsales.com. Fairly generic, no trademark infringement that I can see.

    The previous company had this site up as an on-line store since April of 2000 from what I can see at the Wayback Machine.

    Well, the company that had it called me today wanting to know how they can get it back? They said "Network Solutions screwed us on it." (whatever that means) I have big plans for it as an affiliate site, but wonder if they have any legal rights to it. If I decide to keep it (know I could sell it back to them) am I taking a risk of legal action?

    What do you all think?
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  2. #2
    Full Member SpikeDo's Avatar
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    The first question is whether or not the company has any entitlement to the domain name. Obviously, they let the domain name expire, which is good for you. The longer it was left expired, the better. You should also check to see if the keyword combination ahs any trademark associated with it. You can begin your search at uspto.gov. The second question is whether or not you really want the domain. Depending on the size of the company that previously owned the domain, you could make out like a bandit by reselling it back to them. While you decide, I would park it at Sedo or DomainHop to see how much traffic the domain is getting. Thta info might help your decision and/or negotiations. I ain't no lawyer so nothing above should be contrued as legal advice. Best of luck.

    Spike
    [SIZE=2]
    [B][URL=http://www.readydomains.com][color=blue]ReadyDomains.com[/color][/URL] - Premium domain names for sale. Your new domain is ready!
    [/B][/SIZE]

  3. #3
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Not sure what to tell you just hope they don't get ICANN involved. Then it can get costly even if they rule in your favor.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager AmandaM's Avatar
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    Legally speaking, this is what bitlaw.com has to say:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> This policy has now been replaced with a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy created by ICANN and used by all accredited registrars. Under this new policy, a trademark owner can initiate a relatively inexpensive administrative procedure to challenge the existing domain name. In order to prevail, the trademark owner must show:


    that the trademark owner owns a trademark (either registered or unregistered) that is the same or confusingly similar to the registered second level domain name;
    that the party that registered the domain name has no legitimate right or interest in the domain name; and
    that the domain name was registered and used in bad faith.
    If the trademark owner successfully proves all three points in the administrative proceeding, then the domain name can either be cancelled or transferred to the prevailing trademark owner. If the trademark owner fails to prove one of these points, the administrative panel will not cancel nor transfer the domain name.

    Among the ways that a domain name owner can prove a legitimate right or interest in a domain name is by showing:


    use or preparations to use the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services prior to any notice of the dispute;
    that the domain name owner has been commonly known by the second level domain name; or
    that the domain name owner is making legitimate noncommercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent of (i) commercial gain, (ii) misleadingly diverting consumers, or (iii) tarnishing the trademark at issue. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    So I don't think you would have a problem, unless it is actually a trademark.
    [size=2]Amanda Moralis
    The Eastwood Company
    [email="affiliates@eastwood.com"]affiliates AT eastwood.com[/email]
    [url="http://www.eastwood.com/jump.jsp?itemID=34&itemType=CONTENT"]Sign-up Link[/url]
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  5. #5
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    You can easily prove trademark even if you don't have one. If you have a DBA thats the same as the domain name or recieved mailings with the domain name in the address field that can be cosidered a trademark.

    Like my brother in law told me. I don't need the TM next to my business name if I have a DBA.

  6. #6
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    I'd at least put up a shell of a site that looks like I mean business, before entertaining an offer.

  7. #7
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    I agree with Herb - get something up on the site to show that you mean business and you're not a cybersquatter.

    Their site will have been down for at least a month when the domain expired, so it should hardly be a suprise to them.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    FYI - the domain names expired a month ago and they waited until today to reach me.

    Thanks all for the comments here. I really appreciate them.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
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  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    It wasn't TorrentReactor-net was it?

    Just joking...

    Fred

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    The saga continues...

    I got this today from the previous owner of the domain I bought. Does this guy have a leg to stand on?

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I have not heard from you on my web site [xxxxxxx]sales.com. I have contacted the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning losing my Web Site. They said to try and work something out between us. If we cannot come to an agreement I am to get back with them. Please let me know your thoughts on this. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Any suggestions?

    I have on two occasions told him to make an offer and I would consider any serious offers. I have not received a single offer yet. I would be willing to sell it, but it is so good I do have to consider the loss of sales over several years that this site would surely generate.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
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  11. #11
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    Man 7 - what a pain in the hooey.

    If you have the person's snail mail addy - send an offical looking letter stating when they let the domain go and when you bought it. Say there was plenty of time for them to recover the name if they had so chosen. (I would include the time frames that a domain goes through for it to be expired and how notices are sent out to the owners before hand, grace periods before it is released, etc)

    Say you bought the name fair and square. Let them know that if they are interested in having the domain name back, you might be willing to part with it for a fair price, etc...

    Then send the letter along where they have to sign to get it - that way you have proof.

    Also, if you have a lawyer friend, it wouldn't hurt to ask them to send it on their letter head.

    That is what I would do - of course I am not a lawyer...

    Good Luck and let us know what happens!!
    Ebudae


  12. #12
    I like traffic lights
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    >I have contacted the Securities and Exchange Commission

    He is clearly a tosser and is trying to scare you. He doesn't have a legh to stand on.

    It's like someone failing to make the payments on a car, having it repossessed and then going to the new owner of the can and whining.

    Use the domain, ignore his emails. He has to decide what the domain is really worth to him, monetary wise and then he'll come crawling back with an offer.

    SEC? Pah! What a twit.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    Overall, I think Drewbert is right. They are clutching at straws.

    In your pitch to them (to purchase the domain), tell them that you have put a lot of work/money into a design, and that you deserve to be compensated. Even if you have not published it, let them know you have lots of time invested (looks like you do anyway). Just because there may not be a completed design at the end of the domain now, doesn't mean you haven't spent time working and designing a site to go there.

    Fred

  14. #14
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    the SEC has no authority over domain names. but if you get something from ICANN, read it carefully; you'll have to respond with something.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Great advice everyone. Thanks.

    BTW, I've had the domain site up and running for a couple of weeks.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
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  16. #16
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Absolutely.. I don't even *live* in the US and can tell that the SEC thing is pure BS. ICANN yeah, maybe even the FTC or USPTO but he may as well just have said the CIA or NORAD for all the sense he's making.

    (Warning: acronym overload!)
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  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador JJJay's Avatar
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    Check your PM

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    For yet another "me too," The Securiti*s and Exch*nge Commision has no jurisdiction over domain names or domain ownership disputes.

    Fred

  19. #19
    Internet Cowboy
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    If he contacted the SEC, he might as well contact the YMCA too, they both have the same level of authority over domains.

    I say keep it and let them buy it back, especially if they are a bog company.

    It is refreshing to see big companies that screw the little guy every chance they get finally take a screwing.


  20. #20
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Tell them that you have contacted the IRS and are awaiting their response and that you will abide by their decision.

    It may not make sense but it will probably make their hearts beat a little faster and screw with their heads a bit.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  21. #21
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