Domain Name Blunder

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Domain Name Blunder

Postby jeremy_young » 27-Jul-2010 @ 5:44 pm

Hi Antone,

First off I would like to point out that I have asked this Q on another forum, but would love to get your feedback on the this issue, hope you don't mind.

I was hoping you could shed some light on the purchase of a domain name that I have made.

I went ahead and purchased what I thought was a pretty good domain with a plural, I did all of the due diligence of history checks and so on, but it has come to my attention that there is a site without the plural, making the domain almost exact, except for the trailing letter. "s"

What would you do if you found your self in this situation?

I have already spent about a month on the site and really don't like the prospect of starting again.

I also noticed that they have a "TM" associated with their logo.

All advice and feedback is much appreciated.

Thanks, look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.
jeremy_young
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 7-Jun-2010 @ 1:13 am

Re: Domain Name Blunder

Postby AntoneRoundy » 28-Jul-2010 @ 11:10 am

Standard disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer and my opinions may be completely misguided.

First, if you're going to go ahead and use the domain name, be prepared to switch the domain name if necessary. Have some ideas for other domains you could use in mind. Perhaps even register one and set it up to redirect to the current domain for the time being. Be aware of what it would take to change the domain name -- where have you linked to it from, where have you referred to it by name, what images does it appear in, etc.

Second, their logo being trademarked MAY only protect the logo, not the name. Particularly if the logo is distinctive in appearance, as long as you don't duplicate or approximate its appearance, you MAY be okay. I guess its a question of whether they've trademarked the name or the logo. If the logo has "TM" on it, I believe that means they're basically signaling their intent to use that as a trademark, but haven't actually registered it (otherwise they'd be using the R in a circle symbol, which indicates a registered trademark). A trademark doesn't have to be registered to be protected, it's just easier to defend if it is.

Third, trademarks have to be actively defended. So if they don't ever try to keep people from using their trademark, they lose the protection.

Fourth, it partly depends on how unique their domain name is -- if it's fairly generic, you MAY be okay.

Fifth, try Googling "trademark plural" and see what you come up with (I'm sure there are thousands of pages of completely unqualified opinion on the subject!)

Finally, once again, I may have no idea whatsoever what I'm talking about.
AntoneRoundy
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34
Joined: 5-Mar-2010 @ 8:14 pm

Re: Domain Name Blunder

Postby jeremy_young » 28-Jul-2010 @ 3:08 pm

Thanks Antone,
Appreciate your feedback,
After doing a search for "trademark plural" I have to admit I didn't really find too much apart from some info on logos and such, so a little non-thewiser.
The domain in q uses a very generic term including the two words, "band amp" and as far as I can tell their is no real brand with that name.
I guess I could always send them an email and ask what they think about me having a similar domain name and see if I get a letter from their lawyer in my inbox.
jeremy_young
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 7-Jun-2010 @ 1:13 am

Re: Domain Name Blunder

Postby AntoneRoundy » 28-Jul-2010 @ 3:21 pm

In my unqualified opinion, you shouldn't have any trouble at all. I don't know how they could possibly claim ownership of such a term. Their own name (particularly they way they combine into one word and do the capitalization) yes, but those two words together, particularly with the one made plural, no.

I don't see any potential for confusion over whether your site is related to theirs. And it's not as if they're unique in juxtaposing the words "band" and "amp" -- amps are pretty core to the concept of bands.

If it were me, I'd just run with it and ignore them.
AntoneRoundy
Site Admin
 
Posts: 34
Joined: 5-Mar-2010 @ 8:14 pm

Re: Domain Name Blunder

Postby jeremy_young » 28-Jul-2010 @ 4:22 pm

Thanks for that feedback,
the thought of starting over on this site makes me feel a little despondent.
jeremy_young
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 7-Jun-2010 @ 1:13 am


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