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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Question TradeMarks In Domain Names...
    I just wanted to get some opinions on buying a
    domain with a registered trademark name in it...

    I am looking at domains to buy and I ran across one that has a trademark in it...
    I looked around and there are a lot of other domains with this particular trademark in it... At the very least I would say 100 or more.. They all look like they are doing fine selling the trademarked goods under those domains... One domain has been registered for almost three years and is still going strong...

    The domain I am looking at is a pretty "darn" good one for this niche...

    Just wondering what some of you veterans would do...??

    Should I buy the domain and set up shop....
    or leave it alone..?

  2. #2
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    Thread last month about the same thing:

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...highlight=site

  3. #3
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    I'd be brave and ask the owners of the TM. Maybe the others already have.

  4. #4
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    As long as you don't try to MAKE sure site look like the TRADEMARKS site or try to make people think you are a site owned by the TRADEMARK owner you should be ok.

    I own Microsofthound.com just bought it and Microsoft knows about it and really doesn't seem to care much.

  5. #5
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Story of Mike Rowe
    A 17-year-old Canadian high school student is facing calls from the US computer giant Microsoft to change the name of a website, mikerowesoft.com, he built to showcase his programming skills.

    It says that Mike Rowe's website has infringed its copyright and is demanding he hand it over to them.
    The entire article is interesting & worth a read.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/internatio...127295,00.html
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    HardwareGeek - "I own Microsofthound.com just bought it and Microsoft knows about it and really doesn't seem to care much."

    Have you contacted them? How do you know for sure they don't care?
    (nice site by the way)

    How do you know for sure...?
    AND
    What if..
    You start making tons of sales...
    You start getting really good PageRank and traffic with it...
    THEN they contacted you and asked you to shut down...??

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

    Has anyone ever been contacted by a trademark owner and asked to shut your domain name down...??

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

    What about Trademarked Names In The Title, Meta, Head Tags, On a site?
    Is that generally allowed or not...?

  7. #7
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AddHandler
    What about Trademarked Names In The Title, Meta, Head Tags, On a site?
    Is that generally allowed or not...?
    The safe thing to do is to avoid trademarked tradenames in the Title & Meta.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
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    "The safe thing to do is to avoid trademarked tradenames in the Title & Meta."

    Most of the time you're fine with that. Usually product pages have TMs like that.

    "Has anyone ever been contacted by a trademark owner and asked to shut your domain name down...??"

    Yes it's in the first link I posted.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Rhia7 - "The safe thing to do is to avoid trademarked tradenames in the Title & Meta."

    There are millions of pages with Trademarks in the Title Meta and head tags...

    How can you sell a product by a well known manufactur without using the TradeMarked Name in the most important areas of the page..??

    What if the product itself contains the Trademarked name..?

    If I were to avoid using the trademark name in the Title meta and head tags... and then try to compete with the millions of SERP's that DO have the trademark in those area's. I might as well not even try to sell the products..

    I don't care about being "safe" I just want to know what people think in general about these issues..

    It seems to be the "norm" that trademarked names are allowed in Title, Meta, and Head... Unless someone here has experienced otherwise..?

    -----
    It looks like I just answered my own question:
    "Is that generally allowed or not...?" seeing as there are millions of pages with a trademark in the TITLE / HEAD / META Tags...

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
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    Personally I wouldn't use a domain with a TM for the simple fact the TM owners can come after you if they so choose. Maybe you win and get to keep the domain but end up paying lots for a lawyer. Maybe you lose and have to give it up. Why risk the time put into a site with that risk? Just choose another domain (without the TM in it) and use the TM in the Title and meta tags. Like I said in the thread I linked too, I lost a domain because of it when I first started. So you know the possible risks, it's up to you if you want to take them.

  11. #11
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AddHandler
    I just wanted to get some opinions on buying a
    domain with a registered trademark name in it...
    Should I buy the domain and set up shop....
    or leave it alone..?

    If it's a brand name like Chiquita (bananas) it's OK to sell in the supermarket/mall, but any major TM attorney will tell you not to register it because the mighty sword if ICANN and typo squatting will getcha. Until then, I'd be remiss in my obligation to advise you not to register it until the TM lawyers wake up for that brand.

    That said, please realize that any unauthorized use of a TM is considered dilution of the brand ---- kinda like xerox is a syn for copy ... xerox is one of the weakest TMs out there ... because it's been used (diluted) as a common term and doesn't act as the source identifier.

    Quote Originally Posted by AddHandler
    Has anyone ever been contacted by a trademark owner and asked to shut your domain name down...??
    Yes, Phillip Morris (1999) ... had to prove my "good will" so my "but" didn't bleed.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  12. #12
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Historical Trademarks INTA Represented at Dilution Hearing
    It's not how you feel ...

    http://72.14.207.104/custom?q=cache:...&cd=4&ie=UTF-8

    Depending on individual points of view, a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, filed on February 1, 2002, may or may
    not prove conclusively that trademarks and metatags can be sexy.

    Earlier, Playboy Enterprises, Inc. (PEI) brought a lawsuit against
    Terri Welles, who was Playboy magazines 1981 Playmate of the Year. Ms.
    Welles established a subscription sex site (terriwelles.com) in 1997
    and used the term Playmate of the Year in both the text and the
    meta tags of the website. PEI claimed Ms. Welles was guilty of
    trademark infringement, dilution, false designation of origin and unfair competition.
    You can mention trademarked tradenames in the body, but leave out the trademarked tradenames in the title & meta.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador
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    Rhia, as already mentioned most product pages have TMs all over the place in the metas, title tag etc.

    You just listed one of the exceptions. Most affiliates pages have TMs everywhere and it's just fine.

  14. #14
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    when i last checked back in 2001 there were over 10,000 domain names with the word - pokemon - in the domain name that did not belong to nintendo

    I can't imagine how many there are now

    every once in a while they go after one when things are slow at the office

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Talking
    I think certain kinds of sites can include trademarks in their domain names (like paypalsucks,bestbuysucks) under some kind of fair use clause.

    These sites arent trying to sell product though.

  16. #16
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    If you can easily move to another domain AND you aren't trying to brand your site AND you're not relying on type-in traffic AND you aren't relying on bookmarks AND the trademarked name in your domain won't keep you out of affiliate programs you want to promote on the site AND you think the worst they'll do is just take the domain away from you, you might be okay. Just move to a different domain when/if they come after you. But that's a lot of ANDs.

    I wouldn't do it.
    Michael Coley
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     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

  17. #17
    Just 'N' Affiliate Naffiliate's Avatar
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    Cyber squatting is dirty pool, no mater which side of it you are on. It's just bad business.

    Don't be stupid, just because you think you are going to be 1 step up on other affilaites.. you're not.. it just gives more fuel to the fire of bad affiliates..

    Like anything else.. one bad affilaite does 10x the damage than 1 good one.. you don't hear about the good ones.. only the bad...

    FYI-- you need to also check (actually read for a change) the fine print in the affiliate agreements.. most say you can't use any trademarked terms..
    Getting There Is Half The Fun! Staying There Is Half The Battle!

  18. #18
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Addhandler is actually talking about a situation with our top Brand. We came up with a procedure to move to a new domain in compliance with Google.

    Purchase a domain that does not contain the Brand name or any subset of that.
    Set-up 301 permanent redirects to the new domain. Here are some articles on that:
    On the new home page don't change anything right away. Do put a comment about the site changing domains.
    Once the new site has been crawled by Google, start changing the content and images to comply with the Brand's non use of trade names.

    Brands are impatient. It takes upwards of 90 days to get a domains indexing converted. We got about 30 days.

    Haiko, your comment about Xerox is a perfect example of why a Brand fears their trademark being over used. Our concerns are that they will mandate that we NOT allow affiliates to advertise their brand, that's a loss for all parties.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Chuck - "Our concerns are that they will mandate that we NOT allow affiliates to advertise their brand, that's a loss for all parties. "

    SO is this a trend of some sort...??
    Will there come a day when ALL TOP SELLING name brands do not allow merchants to advertise for them through the affiliate channel...??

    "Remove our links from your datafeed or we will not allow you to sell our merchandise any longer.."

    Will there come a day when all the datafeeds contain is the newest Brands that haven't got their trademarked Brand Names "branded" yet..

    What is everyones opinion on Brand Name Corporations not considering Affiliates as a GOOD channel to market their products through... Why would Brand Names care if we sell and speak highly of their products..?? Other than they do not have 100% control over how their brand names are used....

    And what about Merchants being allowed to have brand names in their domains while affiliates cannot..?

    Just asking some questions here.. don't thrash me.. LOL

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador
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    "And what about Merchants being allowed to have brand names in their domains while affiliates cannot..?"

    Not sure what your're asking. Are you asking why Sony's site sonystyle.com is allowed to have sony in their domain name but not affiliates? Or are you talking about merchant.com/brand-name.html?

  21. #21
    Affiliate Miester my2cents's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haiko de Poel, Jr.
    If it's a brand name like Chiquita (bananas) it's OK to sell in the supermarket/mall, but any major TM attorney will tell you not to register it because the mighty sword if ICANN and typo squatting will getcha. Until then, I'd be remiss in my obligation to advise you not to register it until the TM lawyers wake up for that brand.

    That said, please realize that any unauthorized use of a TM is considered dilution of the brand ---- kinda like xerox is a syn for copy ... xerox is one of the weakest TMs out there ... because it's been used (diluted) as a common term and doesn't act as the source identifier.



    Yes, Phillip Morris (1999) ... had to prove my "good will" so my "but" didn't bleed.
    I say ditto to what Haiko's comments...

    I had a couple of domains that the TM owner didnt much care about till it came time for them to sell there company... then "all of a sudden" ther lawyers got busy....

    the short version... after much expense I lost the domains...

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

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    TrustNo1 - I am talking about brandname-merchantname.com

  23. #23
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    covering their a**es
    From my experience as an AM, I dealt with a few brands that wanted to be removed from Affiliate datafeeds because their brand was showing up on spammy, keyword-stuffed, worthless, banner sites. This is what triggered their alarm. This damages the efforts of Affiliates like AddHandler who do nothing but good for these brands.. networks opening the flood gates to any and all Affiliates that cause alarm with shady practices and thin sites should be partly to blame for the way the TM brands are reacting. They're just trying to protect what they've built... they dont see the good only the bad...

  24. #24
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    Stay Away From Domains with Trademarks
    Be careful with registering any domain with someone elses trademark in there. If you don't contact them first and get permission, they will eventually shut you down. They will probably shut you down just when you start seeing a return on all the work you've put into the site. It happened to me

    I thought I was being very careful and presenting the brand in the best possible light. hell, my goal was the same as the manufacturer, to sell their stuff. But they obviously don't see it that way for reasons mentioned by Haiko and Chuck.

  25. #25
    You are in, or you are out ... choose!
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    >Has anyone ever been contacted by a trademark owner and asked to shut your domain name down...??

    Yep! Did the right thing and closed the site down and then let the domain lapse as they didn't ask for it. When it lapsed a domain suqatter got it and put it into the Google Domainpark system where it has sat for a long time as they Trademark holders have not done anything about it. Grrrr!
    [url=http://www.dWoz.com/][b]dWoz[/b][/url] - serious webmaster tools & resources.

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