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  1. #1
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    I've had a complaint from a website called ScottishSearch.com that because I have the keywords Scottish Search on my main ScotFind.com page, I'm infringing their trademarks...

    1. Does this sound likely...

    2. Where can I find a list of registered trademarks, worlwide? UK only?

  2. #2
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    Go here and see if you can find it http://webdb4.patent.gov.uk/tm/text/

    I did a search for Scottish Search and it returned 0 hits.

    The trademark on their website is "ScottishSearch.com" NOT "Scottish Search" - which IMHO is quite generic. Here a .com registered as a trademark isn't necessarily the same as having a TM on the words that come before it. For example, "Pets.com" was a registered trademark, but quite obviously "Pets" could not have been.

    [ 05-13-2002: Message edited by: eaglefire ]

  3. #3
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    Geesh, this crap w/the TM stuff is getting out of hand.

    Now, I support everyone's right to protect a valid TM when it is truely being infringed upon, but this one is up there with the whole "freebies" thing.

    :rolleyes:

  4. #4
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    WSE,

    International TMs are governed by WIPO see ... http://ipdl.wipo.int/ (search the Madrid and Hague).

    Scottish Search is no way TMable but because of the specific "Common Law" of the UK you might have a hint of a thorn, but I doubt it.

    Haiko

  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    With the demise today of RealNames.com this will become less of a issue.

  6. #6
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    @ Eaglefire

    Yep, I don't see it either, I looked through them all with Scottish in them, no ScottishSearch.com either...

    I meen jeez, when I get word tracker I'll change it for another keyword that people are searching for anyway, but I don't want to change it at the moment in case they think I've done it because they asked... it does come up in google anyway, wereas their site doesn't, haw haw... I wonder if they sent ScotStuff the same email, they're one below me with same keyword in title.

    I've asked them to send me a copy of their trademark info anyway, I reckon I've got a legal right to see that before doing anything anyway...

    See below, they reckon "Scottish Search" is a trademark...

    --------------

    Copyright © 2000-2001 Liberty Internet Group. All rights reserved. EST. JULY 28th 2000
    Scottish Search and ScottishSearch.com are trademarks of Liberty Internet Group
    and copyright Liberty Internet Group 2000-2002 All Rights reserved
    Unauthorised use of our trademarks and copyright may result in legal action
    ScottishSearch.com, Studio 323, 355 Byres Road, Glasgow G12 8QZ

    --------------

    @ MsMarySunshine

    I quite agree, can you take someone to court for this type of false accusation, I've recorded all emails.

    @ Haiko

    Thanks for that info pal... I've asked them to send me evidence of the trademark... I expect you'd get some sort of certificate?

    -----------

    Hey, after searching those trademark sites, I do see a lot of things "Scottish" that are trademarked... but nothing with "Scottish Search"...

    Do you think they tradmark people appreciate websites that state something is a trademark when it's not, I could contact the trademark people to tell them about it for a laugh ?

    [ 05-13-2002: Message edited by: WebSearchEngines.net ]

  7. #7
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    I mean, it's just cheek right, they're being cheeky?

    ---------------

    We have had a several puzzled visitors to one of our web-sites
    who had found your own site scotfind.com when searching for
    ours (ScottishSearch.com), due to the fact that your title uses
    our copyright `Scottish Search`. While this may bring extra visitors
    to your site, it is undesirable for our brand to be diluted in this
    way.

    We would request that you change this to something other than our
    copyright in good faith.

    If we can be of any help in your ventures please don`t hesitate to
    contact us.


    Corporate Affairs.
    Liberty Internet Group http://www.libertyweb.co.uk

    --
    - Liberty Internet Group -
    -----------------------
    WWW: http://www.libertyweb.co.uk
    Tel: 07941 590 680
    Address: Studio 323
    Byres Road
    Glasgow
    G12 8QZ

  8. #8
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    If they could do that then I am going to complain to anyone that uses "home loan" in their title.

    Dont worry about this trademark, seems this site is so slow that they have nothing better to do than to complain about what others are doing rather than tending to their business

  9. #9
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    I tend to agree. I don't think they are Internationally registered. I may not have been using it right but I couldn't find it in the Hague database either.

    Ask them for their registration number and exactly WHERE are they registered.

    Even so, I don't think that their argument about using the term "Scottish Search" in your meta tags is going to hold up.

    Out of curiosity - when did your site "go live" and how long have you been using "Scottish Search" in your meta tags?

    [ 05-13-2002: Message edited by: eaglefire ]

  10. #10
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    LOL - ask them if they are going after the University of Dundee !

    This comes up #2 under "Scottish Search" on Google
    http://somis2.ais.dundee.ac.uk/scotland/www-gtw

    This is in their META Keywords :

    "Scottish Search Maestro"


    In fact, no wonder they are picking on you. Your site comes up #3 on Google, and I don't see "scottishsearch.com" anywhere in the first 60 results!

    [ 05-13-2002: Message edited by: eaglefire ]

  11. #11
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    (you can tell I'm on another tare... stupid stuff like this p!$$e$ me off!)


    This under "Scottish Search" with the quotes around it -

    #3 Google -
    http://www.scotstuff.co.uk/cgi-bin/d...rms=&Page=News

    Title of page reads
    "The Scottish Search Engine"

    Under the same search term -

    #5 http://www.search4real.co.uk/

    Title

    "Scottish Search Engines"

    http://www.lindsayfleming.com/links_...rchengines.htm

    on the page text heading -

    Links - Scottish Search and Directories.

    So this is a natural language, common usage phrase. LOL!

    BTW - nowhere did I see them on Google - then again I didn't go digging thru all 1300 results for the term "Scottish Search" to find scottishsearch.com

    [ 05-13-2002: Message edited by: eaglefire ]

  12. #12
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    OK - one more because I can't resist - and I will shut up:

    #7 on Google for "Scottish Search" with the quotes:
    http://www.mrc-scotland.org.uk/

    Title tags :
    "Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland-Coordinating Scottish Search and Rescue

    [ 05-13-2002: Message edited by: eaglefire ]

  13. #13
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I don't see "scottishsearch.com" anywhere in the first 60 results!
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>According to marketleap.com they are not even listed [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    If it comes to the worst, just add the word 'engine'
    They did't say they have a trademark on 'Scottish Search Engine' or 'ScottishSearchEngine.com'

    Pst, it's available if you're quick.

  14. #14
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    That's another thing - according to the reg dates on the domain registrations - Scotfind.com was registered 5 months BEFORE ScottishSearch.com - so if you've been using "Scottish Search" in your META tags since before May 20, 2000 then you have been using it longer than they have ... I don't know much about British Common Law but I would think that gives you more rights to the term than they have.

    [ 05-13-2002: Message edited by: eaglefire ]

  15. #15
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    WSE,

    I've been catching up on UK (C) law since it appears that this their only "feasible" claim and it appears to be almost identical to US law.

    See: http://www.intellectual-property.gov.../more_faqs.htm

    and
    http://www.loc.gov/copyright/circs/circ1.html


    He does and has ("wayback" on alexa) had a (C) in his raw html, however ... he makes no expressed claim of his keywords or description being copywritten and with terms so generic as scottish and search and in addition to all the homework that eaglefire has done <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon14.gif>, it appears he is just pestering you.

    Haiko

  16. #16
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    Well... I just put it on a little while ago, it was Scottish Search Engine for a long time... either way seems to works tho, actually come up better in Google for Scottish Search Engine than Scottish Search, weird [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    I reckon, this chap has written to everyone coming up on the search results for Scottish Search to chance it... and hope they'll believe him, so he can get listed easier, what a tw*t [Edit].

    I was hoping to get listed for "Scottish" you see as that is a great keyword, failed and tagged on the "Search" bit... I didn't go to his site and get influenced by his text even.

    Hey, thanks for all the input, and legal stuff pals.. I'm thinking of emailing the Trademark people at that .gov.uk site and seeing if they mind someone claimimng a trademark that doesn't exist... he might get sent down for it, haw haw [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    I've asked him to send me the proof anyway, I'll let you know if I really should be worried or not when he get's back to me... or if he suddenly goes very quiet about it [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    What a lug [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    [ 05-13-2002: Message edited by: Haiko ]

  17. #17
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    WSE,

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I'm thinking of emailing the Trademark people at that .gov.uk site and seeing if they mind someone claimimng a trademark that doesn't exist... he might get sent down for it, haw haw <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    A Common Law TM (US or UK) can kick any registered TM anyday if the date of first use in commerce was prior to yours, leave it alone just my <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon26.gif>

    Haiko

  18. #18
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Well... I just put it on a little while ago, it was Scottish Search Engine for a long time... either way seems to works tho, actually come up better in Google for Scottish Search Engine than Scottish Search,<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It doesn't seem to make much difference either way in Google ... and since this guy is nowhere on the Google radar you could probably change it to "Scottish Search Engine", then have "Scottish" and "Search" next to each other [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] without any consequences. That is, unless you hate giving in to the guy. The point is, the term "scottish search" appears to be in common use, so even if he's used it first, I think it's doubtful that he can TM it.

    [ 05-13-2002: Message edited by: eaglefire ]

  19. #19
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    Okay Haiko, I didn't realise there was un-registerd trademarks... out of all this, I at least got him to change the notice on his web site, it now says "unregistered" trademark rather than Trademark, I took Trademark to mean a registered Trademark... but I know the difference now, thanks for putting me straight Haiko.

    The guy is still talking crap though... I did email the trademark people about it and they reckon he's got nothing on me anyway...

    ----------------

    What the heck, I'll just change it to Scottish Search Engine... not because he's telling me to, I realised that if I still come up under Scottish Search that would be even funnier. "Scottish Search Engine" is 100% descriptive in my book, no way it could be used against me eh?

    ------------

    Here's his new copyright notice for a laugh...

    ------------

    Copyright © 2000-2001 Paul J. Bruce t/a Liberty Internet Group. All rights reserved.
    Scottish Search and ScottishSearch.com are unregistered trademarks of Paul J. Bruce t/a Liberty Internet Group
    Unauthorised use of our trademarks and copyright may result in legal action
    ScottishSearch.com, Studio 323, 355 Byres Road, Glasgow, G12 8QZ - Est 28th July 2000

  20. #20
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    Hmm
    I wonder what would constitute unauthorised use of an unregistered trademark. :eek:

  21. #21
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    That's a lot of "un's" guffy [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    I just changed it to Scottish Search Engine, we'll see in a month or so what happens.

    No one is searching for Scottish Search Engine unfortuantley, I really must get that wordtracker thing... I did the trial and it seems good.

    The chap wasn't particularly bad about it, I'm just the type of person that likes to decide what to do myself... so when I get this email saying do this do that, I take it wrong... we'll see how he takes it when I still come up for Scottish Search [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  22. #22
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    Heh heh... after changing my title I'm now first in Google... dunno how that happened, still shows my old title but jumped to the top... and he's still knowhere for Scottish Search [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    Actually it's coming out of the google directory I notice, wasn't doing that before... does anyone else have that happen to them, I'm not complaining [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  23. #23
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    As someone who deals with this alot, i can say much of the "advice" above is off the mark. It's what we "feel" should be right, but in court it is not.

    Now, to the letter you posted. I've received dozens of such letters and I've got to tell you, that's the nicest "cease and desist" letter I've ever seen. They are some very nice people there. I wouldn't ignore them or be flippant in any way. You might be able to work this out. They seem "reasonable."

    There are a couple of issues.... one is "prior use" and the other is the "trademarkability" of their name. The general rule is the first use, "wins" however both could have the right to use a similiar mark if both were independant of each other and went public about the same time. As for their trademark of "scottish search," in the US that would not be a trademarkable term. It's too generic and just descriptive. However, I don't have the expertise of UK law, so you'll need to research that.

    to summarize: you should converse with the people politely. point out that you might have had a prior use of the term and it might be you who should be asking them to change. you need to contact a lawyer or paralegal very familiar with the trademark laws of your country. you are very right to ask them for proof of their trademark claim and unless UK TM law is VERY different from US TM law, there is no way they can have a enforceable trademark on the phrase "scottish search" any more than I could have one on "ball peen hammer."

    good luck!

  24. #24
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    In interests of web harmony I made the changes, but I still come up in search results, better than before... haw haw. I've learned a bit [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

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