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  1. #1
    Newbie Dasha's Avatar
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    Question Unethical or ..... ?
    Suppose there is an already well-established and known merchant website using a non-trivial word combination in their domain. As an example letís suppose the combination is EnglishHeritage.com. I am thinking of entering the market with the purpose of selling similar products and want to grab a very similar domain name (substituting just the first of the two words in their domain; for the sake of the example, letís say itíll be BritishHeritage.com)Ö How unethical is it (if any)? Are there any legal issues (connected with copyright law) that I might bump into? I would very much appreciate your thoughts on thisÖ

    Thank you.

    Dasha

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Make sure the domain name doesn't "mirror", spoof, directly compete or degrade the other if it's a registered copywrited name. Some merchants, many anal companies and certainly famous folks take offense easily.

    Now if your domain add some value to the trademark holder's product or image then your usually home free. Case in point. Microsoft ( ie. anal company) actually purchased the company using the domain Lookout.com which made e-mail spam filtering apps for Outlook and Outlook Express.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    If they have a trademark, your name is confusingly similar, and your site is in the same industry, you might have a problem. Check with an intellectual property attorney. Even if the attorney things you have a good chance of winning the court cases, you might want to consider the costs of fighting the battles.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    If they are using generic words like english and heritage you shouldn't have much of a problem.

  5. #5
    Plazan Merchant Neil's Avatar
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    i know as a merchant,
    we have had to warn off a few people, trying to jump on our brand name.
    and not so far away from here.
    you have to be carefull who you might upset.
    if they come after you,,, it could be costly.
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  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane
    If they are using generic words like english and heritage you shouldn't have much of a problem.
    That's just not true. If they are confusingly similar, you could still face (and likely lose) a lawsuit. For instance, if I started an affiliate message board called "The Best Web", Haiko would probably sue me. Similarly, I would be risking a lawsuit if I started a restaurant called "World Hollywood", an electronics store called "Circuit Town", or a household store called "Bedding 'n Things".
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  7. #7
    biz36
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    Also don't forget a large company has a lot more money to fight a court battle against you. Even if you have done nothing wrong a costly battle can easily put you under.

  8. #8
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Exclamation
    Quote Originally Posted by Dasha
    Suppose there is an already well-established and known merchant website using a non-trivial word combination in their domain. As an example letís suppose the combination is EnglishHeritage.com. I am thinking of entering the market with the purpose of selling similar products and want to grab a very similar domain name (substituting just the first of the two words in their domain; for the sake of the example, letís say itíll be BritishHeritage.com)Ö How unethical is it (if any)? Are there any legal issues (connected with copyright law) that I might bump into? I would very much appreciate your thoughts on thisÖ
    Miss, if it's what I'm thinking it is, I wouldn't mess with it.

    Best of luck!
    Evgenii (Geno)

  9. #9
    Plazan Merchant Neil's Avatar
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    welcome back comrade
    when did they invite you in from the cold
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  10. #10
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Two days ago, Neil-comrade. We're starting a private merchant forum here beginning of next month...

  11. #11
    Plazan Merchant Neil's Avatar
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    its nice to see you back..
    I had not been here very long before
    they sent you to the salt mines.

    glad that the exile has been reversed.

    I think I was almost going to join you on one or two
    occasions.
    and how Gordon was not put against the wall and shot is a
    miracle

    welcome back
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  12. #12
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Dasha,

    You may want to check to see if they actually have a registered trademark on the name. In the US, try the United States Patent and Trademark Office website. Also, a trademark in the US doesn't always equate to a trademark internationally. NOLO has a bunch of information and books on this stuff. Well worth a visit...

    Geno, why do all the links on your site lead to the catalog page?
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  13. #13
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil
    welcome back
    Thanks, Neil! Stay cool and don't mess with the rules or... .., you know what I mean...

    Geno

  14. #14
    they are right, make sure you have a unique domain.

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