Being pressured to surrender domain names

Discussion in 'Web Hosting and Domain Names' started by tekstrand, May 4, 2012.

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  1. tekstrand

    tekstrand New Member

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    2
    3 of the domains that I currently own contain a companies name, who is now pressuring me to surrender the domains to them or else they will take legal action.

    Is this something that they can claim ownership of? Can you hold a copyright on a domain name? I was always under the impression that the first one to own the domain is in control of it.

    Any advice is appreciated, or any help understanding the laws that govern this is appreciated as well.
     
  2. keens

    keens New Member

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    16
    Interesting. I would like to think that it depends on two things.
    1. what country are you in.
    - I believe there are different laws that governs these kinds of issues.
    2. what company name owns the domain name?
    - Uncertain, however, if the company is not well known, I guess it would've raised your chances of winning the case.

    If they do file a case on you. Try to sell the domain names at a lesser cost. For example, instead of them filing a case which will cost them $1 million dollars. Negotiate with them and sell the domains for $500,000. Just a thought.

    I don't think it's a good idea to give them the domain name for that reason. You bought it in the first place. So it's their fault if they didn't have those domains. However, they can always file a case on you. So think carefully.

    Don't take my word for it, but it's an idea I want to share with you so that you can think of more options.

    I hope I helped you in any way.
     
  3. tekstrand

    tekstrand New Member

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    2
    Your thoughts are pretty much my thoughts. I figured that I would offer the domains at a lower price, that way we both avoid legal action but they still get what they want. Thanks for the input!
     
  4. webbwbb

    webbwbb New Member

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  5. chrishirst

    chrishirst Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    2,638
    It is NOT copyright, it is trademark protection.

    Yes it is.

    If companies fail to protect their trademark once, they can actually lose the right to protect it in the future.

    Unless you can prove ownership of the name before the contesting company AND show prior use BEFORE the trademark was granted you will lose.
    Or of course if you have tens of thousands of pounds/dollars to spend fighting the case you will be forced to relinquish them.

    Also if you offer to sell them to the plaintiff it will be classed as "Cybersquatting" which is illegal in many countries, or a "bad faith registration" by ICANN and you will lose the names.
     
  6. HostColor

    HostColor New Member

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    18
    All depends on whether those companies have registered service marks or trademarks. If they do, they might be able to get the domain names. I'd suggest you to consult with the domain registrars and to ask them would you loose the domain names?
     
  7. ian

    ian Administrator Staff Member

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    2,153
    It all falls under trademark law, and without knowing all the details it is impossible to give a proper answer. Obviously you would not want to disclose all of the details in a forum.
    If you had just registered the domain and it was at registration cost, I would suggest just giving them the domain and just moving on.
    Important things to look at are when you registered your domain and when did they register their trademark?
    Does it contain generic words?
    What is the class and country in which their trademark is registered and what is your current use.
    What was your intention? Did you know or were you aware of this company at the time of registration?
    There are a large number of things to consider and it is a complicated field.
    This is the page where you can search registered trademarks, but it is not necessary for a trademark to be registered there, as people can also claim a common law trademark.
    http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4002:7esoob.1.1
     
  8. aitorserra

    aitorserra New Member

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    5
    It's a real request? I mean, I get a lot of emails like "China company want your domain, give it to me or you'll go to hell!!!!"

    That are just spam...
     
  9. b2netsolutions

    b2netsolutions New Member

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    20
    That's spam IMHO.
     

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