How to buy domain without violating trademark?

ulterios

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Buying a domain name with a Trademark name in it can be a risky thing to do. It all depends on what you are planning to do with the domain with a trademark name in it. When a business or person gets a Trademark, the TM is for certain fields/niches/items/etc. and not an all application TM.

As an example, Apple is a Trademark name but it's for fields that they have products in so you can own a domain that has the word "Apple" in it, as long as you are not using the domain to build a website that is in the same field as Apple Inc. products/services/etc. If you register AppleFavorites.com/net/whatever and it's about favorite recipes that include using the food "Apple's" then you will be fine.

Other things to consider are if you are registering the domain in what is called "Bad Faith" meaning that you are registering it with the intention of making money because of the TM name in it. You also can not (legally) have a domain parked and earn revenue from ads servced that are related to the TM holders field as that is seen as profiting from the TM holders name. It happens all the time and it's just a matter of if you get caught or not.

As far as checking for a Trademark, there are several sites that can be used to lookup a TM. I listed one below but there are many. Just do a Google (or your preferred SE) search for the term "trademark lookup" and you'll see several choices.


[URLnofo]http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=searchss&state=4803:64gyo5.1.1[/URLnofo]

Hope this helps! :)
 
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hynds

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hynds
Thanks for this help, I'm also facing with this problem and now this will help me alot :)
 
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ulterios

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ulterios
You are most welcome, I am glad I could help.

In the case of domain names and Trademarks you always want to be careful so that you won't get the domain taken from you by the Trademark holder (called a UDRP) or slapped with a legal action of some type thatwill cost you money.
 

UVM

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I have dealt with this in the past.

.com domains are under United States law meaning that if someone has a trademark in the US they can technically have an issue with your domain name IF you use it for the sale product. However if you have a different countries TLD (domain) like for example .ca for Canada and they dont have a trademark there, you are OKAY because .ca is under Canadian law.

Its a matter of the justification of their trademark and the domain name.
 

Developer

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Just because someone holds a trademark, that does not require them to purchase all related domain names, especially with all the gTLDs available today... Can you imagine having "McDonalds.xxx" (woud probably give a whole new meaning to "special sauce", wouldnt it, LOL).

Anyway...

Secondly, it is not the registrars responsibility to babysit every buyers purchasing decisions. There are millions of TMs out there and more popping up every day. Besides, that would just give registrars a reason to UP their prices, LOL...
 

ulterios

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I believe they'll cost money, but how?
It can cost you money in many ways. Legal fees, the cost of the domain, financial damages that the TM holder claims and many other ways. These things aren't always going to happen and most people get away with it. However it's the Trademark holders obligation to go after the offenders to show that they are trying to actively protect their TM. Most TM holders though make little effort to defend their TM, it's usually the bigger companies that do this. They can't catch them all though and most people get away with it.

The thing is, what if you register a Trademarked name in your domain violate a Trademark holders legal rights and you profit from the field their TM is in, grow a big website with high rankings THEN they come after you and sue for the money you made by using their TM illegally and you lose a domain that was making good money? I personally don't want to risk it because with my luck I would get rich off of the Trademarked name THEN get slapped with legal action and lose everything. That's just the kind of luck I have sometimes so for me it's not worth the risk.

Is it a crime to register a domain name?
No it's not a crime so-to-speak in the traditional meaning like robbing a bank or something.

If they are holding trademarks, why don't they bulk register all their domains?
Well many Trademark holders do register as many of them as they can but some don't. Many don't do anything about it until they find someone using one in a way the violates their Trademark rights.

Any why not registrars won't tell us anything about?
Some registrars will and won't even let you register a domain with certain Trademark names in the domain. Others will cancel out your Trademark violating domain after you purchase it.

The main thing is it would basically be impossible for a registrar to know of every single Trademark in the world and prevent people from registering them. Many don't care because of many reason, including the facts that it is the Trademark holder obligation to protect their Trademark and not the registrar's obligation. They aren't supposed to willingly let this happen but again, it would be too hard to prevent it in all cases. Plus they make money of the domain you registered and any other things that you bought for the domain, like an SSL for example.

The registrars aren't the ones that could potentially wind up in court for this but the person or company who registered the domain.

Bottom line is that most people will get away with it, at least for a while.

You as a person just have to ask yourself if it's worth the risk or not.

The other thing to think about as to why many people get away with it is that if the Trademark holder doesn't have the finances to just take the domain then they many times won't bother, especially if the Trademark violation isn't really costing them anything. To file a UDRP (Trademark holder get's the domain taken from them and awarded to the TM holder through ICANN procedures) though can get expensive. A UDRP can cost $1500 or more, plus any legal fees they might decide to use like a lawyer's fees.

To me, it's just not worth the risk with too many other domain names out there that will work just as good.
 
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samimnoorzaitgc

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samimnoorzaitgc
Thanks dear, I was looking for answers to these questions all the time since you came up with an extraordinary post.
 
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ulterios

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ulterios
You are very welcome. :thumb:

I've been a domain investor (domainer) since last century and have either dealt with or come across just about everything that has to do with domains, so most anything domain related has crossed my path at some point. Trademarks are something that I have researched extensively many times for many reasons, so I know more than the average person on this topic and I am always willing to help others so that they won't wind up with an expensive headache later on.
 
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