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Thread: Domains and Business Entity Names

  1. #1

    Default Domains and Business Entity Names

    I have a few domains that I'm planning to use, but for now I just renew them and park them at GoDaddy.

    I received a request to purchase a particular domain after being informed by the letter author that she and
    her best friend are starting a business using the name in my domain, and since it appears to them that I'm
    not using it, they would appreciate it if I would sell it to them for $20. I've had it since 2006 and am not
    interested in selling it. In fact, I've had another domain trademarked while we were in the process of
    negotiating a buy...I didn't realize he was biding time while he was trademarking the phrase Build Your Own Burger
    so my buildyourownburger.com, .net, .biz, .info were worthless. Then, I found out by another letter that my
    coffee company domain was in use. So, this time since I am in the process of having a logo designed and now
    know I need to trademark the name, should the domain and the name of the company both be trademarked?

    Since the letter is pretty straightforward, I thought there might be an attorney behind this...contact the domain
    owner first and then move forward...I was right...must be her dad or brother and mother both business attorneys
    in San Diego. I don't want to lose the name...if I start the trademark process on Monday, will that prevent them
    from going ahead and using the same name even though I refuse to sell them the domain with the same name in it?

    Thanks...

  2. #2
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    Default

    First - you cant trademark a domain name.

    Second - If you are, or have legitimate plans to use the domain name, and are just not squatting on it...then you can have their trademark rejected if it infringes on your rights do to you being the first to use/register the name.

    Note: I am not an attorney, so if this becomes a legal issue then you should consult an attorney.

  3. #3

    Default

    First - you CAN trademark a domain name, if your domain name functions as a mark. TMEP There is no black-and-white rule that enables you determine when a domain name can be trademarked, and it is not easy to pull off. Most domain names can't be trademarked, but that doesn't mean that you can't trademark a domain name.

    Second - "plans to use the domain name" mean NOTHING other than you can start the registration process based on an intent to use the mark in commerce. No registration will issue until you have proved actual use. Only then can your registration support a claim of infringement. Plans to use a mark can never be enough to support a claim of infringement.

    I do agree that if tweemz wants to trademark a domain name, he should consult an attorney.

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