Similar domain question

Hey everyone… I’m going to be starting a big new project over the coming
months and have a question about domain name disputes. Let’s say there was
an existing site that was somewhat popular (although I had never heard of it
until yesterday) with a domain name very similar to yours… could they
possibly have a case for trademark infringement under any reasonable
circumstances?

For example, let’s say their domain was stuff.com and mine was stuffo.com
and I was going to offer a different, yet somewhat similar service.

Keep in mind this is not a K-Mart, McDonalds, Fortune 500-type company, but
they are fairly established on the web. I’m assuming this wouldn’t be a
problem given that there are sites with .co.uk extensions that are also very
popular .com domains.

  • Jay

Re: Similar domain question

Depends on if their domain is a registered trademark, for example you take
pepsi.com, and you open a beverage company called pepsio.com. Big time
trademark infringement liability.

I think the real issue is content, if you have similar content and use a
portion of their domain name in yours then you definately could be subject
to cease and dissist.

JD

legal advice given inthis message is subject to review by a fully qualified
attorney.

“Jay Tierney” <jay@jaytierney.com> wrote in message
news:d0lfeq$6t9$1@server1.darklock.com
> Hey everyone… I’m going to be starting a big new project over the coming
> months and have a question about domain name disputes. Let’s say there
> was an existing site that was somewhat popular (although I had never heard
> of it until yesterday) with a domain name very similar to yours… could
> they possibly have a case for trademark infringement under any reasonable
> circumstances?
>
> For example, let’s say their domain was stuff.com and mine was stuffo.com
> and I was going to offer a different, yet somewhat similar service.
>
> Keep in mind this is not a K-Mart, McDonalds, Fortune 500-type company,
> but they are fairly established on the web. I’m assuming this wouldn’t be
> a problem given that there are sites with .co.uk extensions that are also
> very popular .com domains.
>
> - Jay
>
>

Re: Similar domain question

Jay Tierney wrote:
> Hey everyone… I’m going to be starting a big new project over the coming
> months and have a question about domain name disputes. Let’s say there was
> an existing site that was somewhat popular (although I had never heard of it
> until yesterday) with a domain name very similar to yours… could they
> possibly have a case for trademark infringement under any reasonable
> circumstances?

Several separate issues here:

  1. Domain name trademark disputes under the Uniform Dispute Resolution
    Process (UDRP) are a very different thing than trademark law in general.
    On the one hand, it’s easier for the trademark holder to take a domain
    away this way than in court, it does require establishing that the owner
    of the offending domain registered it in bad faith, which isn’t the case
    here. The UDRP is part of your registration agreement for most generic
    TLD’s. Either party can circumvent the UDRP by taking the issue to court.
  2. How long have they been using this name and how long have you been
    using yours?
  3. Even if they have no case, nothing prevents anyone from suing you. I
    could sue you because I don’t like the colour of your shirt. I couldn’t
    win in court, but you might be better off just giving me the $10 I’m
    asking for than by wasting time and money fighting it.

Re: Similar domain question

Yeah, I think I’ll be fine… it’s really not that close to the point of
confusion (I’ve seen so many good sites out there with similar names and
they seem to get along just fine).

Sincerely,

Jay Tierney
Web Developer
http://www.805m.com

“Winston” <dl@winston.org> wrote in message
news:d12m09$ujr$1@server1.darklock.com
> Jay Tierney wrote:
>> Hey everyone… I’m going to be starting a big new project over the
>> coming months and have a question about domain name disputes. Let’s say
>> there was an existing site that was somewhat popular (although I had
>> never heard of it until yesterday) with a domain name very similar to
>> yours… could they possibly have a case for trademark infringement under
>> any reasonable circumstances?
>
> Several separate issues here:
> 1) Domain name trademark disputes under the Uniform Dispute Resolution
> Process (UDRP) are a very different thing than trademark law in general.
> On the one hand, it’s easier for the trademark holder to take a domain
> away this way than in court, it does require establishing that the owner
> of the offending domain registered it in bad faith, which isn’t the case
> here. The UDRP is part of your registration agreement for most generic
> TLD’s. Either party can circumvent the UDRP by taking the issue to court.
> 2) How long have they been using this name and how long have you been
> using yours?
> 3) Even if they have no case, nothing prevents anyone from suing you. I
> could sue you because I don’t like the colour of your shirt. I couldn’t
> win in court, but you might be better off just giving me the $10 I’m
> asking for than by wasting time and money fighting it.