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  1. #1
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    Somebody use my site name as his/her ebook name
    I have owned an affiliate site www. xxxooo. com since 2004. Today, I found out that there is an ebook about affiliate business named xxx ooo(with space between two words) on gooole search. The site name is www. yyyyy .com/xxxooo with headline keyword "xxx ooo". Just like most ebooks, the page is poorly designed with lots of yellow and red highlights.

    My question is, do I own the tardemark again this activity? If not, what should I do to further protect my site?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Did you apply for and receive a trademark from the office of trademarks and copyrights in DC?
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  3. #3
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    No. I thought after I registered with that domain, I should own it.

  4. #4
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    It doesn't need to be an officially registered trademark to carry weight if criteria are met. A common-law trademark is valid by reason of usage. Info here:

    http://www.chillingeffects.org

    Is there any possibility of resulting confusion?

  5. #5
    Speechless OTProf's Avatar
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    How generic or specific is the name? i.e. makemoney[.]com vs. an ebook with Make Money in the title related to a site www.AffiliateBob[.]com/makemoney would probably be a hard sell vis-a-vis copyright.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by webworker
    It doesn't need to be an officially registered trademark to carry weight if criteria are met. A common-law trademark is valid by reason of usage. Info here:

    http://www.chillingeffects.org

    Is there any possibility of resulting confusion?
    Thanks for the info, Webworker. What do you mean by "resulting confusion"? Do you mean he/she don't know www.xxxooo.com is registered by others?

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    A trademark does not have to be registered to be enforce your rights to that trademark. Simply using the trademark in your course of business affords you many 'protect-able' rights.

    In the end though, unless these guys 'appear' similar to you, you really have no recourse for them simply using your name.

    Take a look at this Wikipedia article about Passing Off, a tortious claim of infringement of intellectual property rights. Again, this is only relevant if they could confuse someone into thinking that they are you.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by OTProf
    How generic or specific is the name? i.e. makemoney[.]com vs. an ebook with Make Money in the title related to a site www.AffiliateBob[.]com/makemoney would probably be a hard sell vis-a-vis copyright.
    How generic or specific is the name? It's hard to say...Sounds like it is too complicated to try to think through this.

    I probably shouldn't mind if his/her ebook is a good one(free advertisement for my site? ). But it could ruin my credit too if it is one of those ebook trash. By looking at the site, I'm not going to buy that ebook to figure it out, plus it is not cheap. Maybe I should ask for a free copy since I technicaly "own" his/her ebook?

  9. #9
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Whats the word?

    Is it a common word?

    Are they using i in the same tense as you?

  10. #10
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    It would have to be on the same topic, enough for people to confuse the two. Like if someone does a site on Mississippi Delta Blues - that does NOT cause confusion with Delta Faucets or Delta Airlines.

    If some uses the name "Amazing Bargains Online" for something related to shopping, yes that IS a problem.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by webworker
    If some uses the name "Amazing Bargains Online" for something related to shopping, yes that IS a problem.
    We are in the same topic related to online business. The two words are relatively common words, but it is unique as a combination.

    I'm getting a little worry about this knid of trademark issues. I don't know how you guys protect your domain names, but if domain register is not enough, does it mean we have to submit every single domains for trademark protection? It almost become impossible if you own thousands of domains.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atonca
    ..but if domain register is not enough, does it mean we have to submit every single domains for trademark protection?
    The filing fee is $325 for a registered trademark. Again, it usually is *unnecessary* and expensive.

    From the USPTO (at http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/tac...c/register.htm):

    Is registration of my mark required?
    - No. You can establish rights in a mark based on legitimate use of the mark.
    In the end, the whole idea behind trademark protections are, most specifically, to protect your profits.

    If you are not loosing any money from someone else's use of your mark(s), then it doesn't even matter. If you are loosing money, then you already have a claim through your use of the mark.

    Your use of the trademark in your course of business *already* affords you many protections.

    The key here is, are you loosing money?

  13. #13
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Wait a bleeding minute here ... there seams to be much confusion in this thread.

    A common law trademark can and usually does trump even federally applied for trademarks, under date of first use clauses, that is correct. Also correct is that you don't need to register a mark to gain rights in that mark. However a domain name with general terms can not be nor will ever be seen as a trademarkable source identifier under common nor federal law.
    Continued Success,

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  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atonca
    My question is, do I own the tardemark again this activity? If not, what should I do to further protect my site? Thanks.
    Just to clear up any possible confusion Atonca, my post was not intended to imply that you had to have an issued trademark from DC in order to protect your site. I was simply asking as a first step whether you had by chance applied for one. Wish I had been around after that, but just got back about an hour ago, and then noticed this thread.

    First usage indeed offers strong protections. I went through such a problem in the 90's. It turned out that because we had used the mark in commerce two years prior to the entity attempting to claim infringement that they were actually the infringing party; so it went no further. Good luck to you.

    Alan
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  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haiko de Poel, Jr.
    However a domain name with general terms can not be nor will ever be seen as a trademarkable source identifier under common nor federal law.
    Excellent point Haiko.

    Registering 'greenwidgets . com' and operating Green Widgets, Inc. are two different things. Obviously, the latter provides a valid claim to use.

  16. #16
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    As a pointer here, when I register a domain, I always email the attorney I use (not retain, use) as well as 5 or 6 close friends with a copy of the whois info, with the title of the email as Right of First Use for xxxxx.

    No gaurantees, but it helps.
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  17. #17
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    Lots of print books have exactly the same title. And you'd be shocked at how many are very similar to Da Vinci Code or some other popular title. They even have similar designs on the cover.

    I'm not sure if an ebook is any different or not.

  18. #18
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Noth,

    That only proves the day you first used a domain, nothing else! Whois serves that purpose itself.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  19. #19
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    You're right. I neglected to metion that I also include purpose of the site, etc. Again, it's by no means a legal procedure, but I'd prefer my attorney had that info the day of inception.
    Kevin Webster
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  20. #20
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    Thanks all for your inputs. I think I should not bother too much since there is no bad impact on my site so far. I'm fine with it.

    Although I wish the ebook won't sell too good or won't sell at all (based on the performance of 99% of my affiliated ebooks), so it will offline soon.

  21. #21
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Although I wish the ebook won't sell too good or won't sell at all (based on the performance of 99% of my affiliated ebooks), so it will offline soon.
    That's just bad thinking!

    Think positive, if that ebook becomes a best seller one day, and ends up in Oprah, you too may be invited to that event on the Oprah show, and even become rich and famous too.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sal
    That's just bad thinking!

    Think positive, if that ebook becomes a best seller one day, and ends up in Oprah, you too may be invited to that event on the Oprah show, and even become rich and famous too.

    I feel much much better now.

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sal
    That's just bad thinking! Think positive, if that ebook becomes a best seller one day, and ends up in Oprah, you too may be invited to that event on the Oprah show, and even become rich and famous too.
    Even better yet, you could then publish an eBook using the same title and reap the benefit of his/her infringement!!
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