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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    Inspired by the Google's PageRank, I registered the domain name "shoprank.com" in May 2003 with hopes to build an all-around shopping portal.

    Several months later, Bizrate.com (now also Shopzilla) started to call their search technology ShopRank and with trademark icon on the right upper corner of it. I searched the trademark office's website and could not find anything under this name.

    Now, I'm ready to publish a site with under Shoprank.com. What do you guys suggest I do?
    SomethingStore.com - Surprise and Delight!

  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    at some time you may be called on to prove that your use of the name came before their first use of same.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Miester my2cents's Avatar
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    I'd go for it... IN fact i would challenge Bizrate's right to use the name.

    I would write then a letter explaining that you feel you own the rights to the name because of the fact you have had this website in the planning stages for 2 years.

    YOu've got nothing to lose only to gain...

    think about it... I'd rather get into a dispute over a domain name before i actually make it public then after i spent money and time building it up...

    Joe
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    that's my2cents, 'cuz I'm a legend in my own mind....

  4. #4
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    Not a lawyer but you do have the domain, you registered it. If they wanted it, i would think they would have registered it. You were first.

  5. #5
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Sambay,

    The TM is only an "indication" of protection or rights. The (R) is the only depiction of full federal registration. Additionally, to obtain the (R) they need to prove (as Herb said) that they used the mark in interstate commerce before you to obtain the (R) - so you can preclude them from obtaining the (R) if your DOFU (date of first use) was before theirs (which looks like Nov 3, 2004 on a quick search) (BTW - that is definitely worth a check for the dom).

    However, and this is the **BIG** however ... your registering a domain does not constitute commercial use, nor does the fact that you may make money from the redirect there (commerce) because the mark (shoprank) does not serve as a source identifier (the basis of a TM) for the content there, so you may not be able to get the (R) if you tried because they can prove a DOFU in interstate commerce with the mark (or application).

    Bottom line, get their DOFU, identify yours and then read this and post with further Qs
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    Trademarks - used by their owners to identify goods, that is, physical commodities, which may be natural, manufactured, or produced, and which are sold or otherwise transported or distributed via interstate commerce.

    I haven't seen the shoprank logo but Bizrate has an SM mark after it, they have no product, it's just a service. Also you can't usually trademark generic words, like shop and rank. Making one word from the two may be a different story.

  7. #7
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>About BizRate.com
    Founded in 1996, BizRate.com is the largest, fastest and most accurate shopping search engine on the Web. With an index of over 30 million product offerings from more than 40,000 stores, BizRate.com uses ShopRank, a proprietary shopping search algorithm, to produce the industry’s most relevant search results by weighing price, popularity and availability of products, against the reputations of merchants that sell them. At the heart of ShopRank are BizRate.com’s signature merchant and product ratings, collected from more than one million online buyers each month, making them the most reliable ratings on the Web. Every week, the BizRate.com shopping search engine prepares millions of shoppers to make smarter, more confident purchases and sends them directly to the checkout page of thousands of online merchants. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    A SM or a Service Mark is a mark that identifies a service as opposed to a TM which identifies a brand.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone, and thank you Haiko.

    I guess I should contact them and resolve this. I don't even know if they want the domain. Google does not own pagerank.com and they're just with it. But, if somebody starts a search engine with the domain name pagerank.com, they may act different.

    I just don't want this to be a problem when I'm in the middle of things.

  9. #9
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    what ever you do, don't contact them in such a way that they could think you have bought the domain with intent to resell.

  10. #10
    I like traffic lights
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    I think you're crazy to even WANT to contact them.

    That's like walking into the middle of a field with a bull in it, and stripping down to your red g-string.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Drewbert:
    I think you're crazy to even WANT to contact them.

    That's like walking into the middle of a field with a bull in it, and stripping down to your red g-string. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think it's better than waiting for bull to find me.

    What do you suggest, though?
    SomethingStore.com - Surprise and Delight!

  12. #12
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    If you sent me a letter not from a lawyer, I am not sure I would have read the first paragraph before it was in the garbage.

    If you are serious about protecting what you have AND it is financially worth it, hire a lawyer (or swim to the bottom of the lake and get some other form of slime) and register the tm or sm. This is not a $500 process and then you need to determine IF they are infringing on the tm or sm and you need to sue them.

    If Bizrate is started to use that technology/mark already ... and you send them a letter ... you would have done better to through the 37 cents in a wishing well.

    Arthur

  13. #13
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    but, I believe you can have even a similar tm/sm if your business is not at all like theirs.

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