Domain Manage

A LARGE Shopping Centre is trying to retreve my domain... HELP!

Discussion in 'New Domainers' started by billcosbey, Jan 11, 2010.

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  1. billcosbey

    billcosbey New Member

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    I have purchased a .com domain of a large shopping centre, of which i was running a non-profit site displaying tweets contain the same name or phrase to do with the shopping centre.

    They first approached me to take down the site and hand over the domain name.

    As they said my branding was too similar and some may think that it is a site made by them. However i have shown this too a couple people and they seem to think it is not the case. Was a fun site to get people tweeting about the city.

    In reply i said i would take down the site while i investigate this situation, as it was not my intention to cause any harm to the brand.

    They then replied with thanks and then asking me to hand over the domain and my expenses will be returned upon showing a receipt / invoice of purchase.

    I then replied and said if i am in the wrong then we can work something out, but for now i will be holding onto the domain.

    They thanked me for the response and they would be grateful if i could revert with them in the next 7 days.

    HELP! What do i do?

    Do i hand over the domain? or Do i sell the domain? If so how do i find out how much a domain is worth?

    Anyone else been in a similar situation?
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. newguy United Kingdom

    newguy Well-Known Member

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    Is the domain name used a generic term of specific to their company? Perhaps it was a mistake to take down the page like that, because it implies that you think they might have a point.

    Perhaps if you can give us an idea of the domain (it doesn't have to be the actual domain, just an example using a similiar company), we can better form an opinion.
     
  4. billcosbey

    billcosbey New Member

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    For example:

    lookCircle.com 'circle being there brand name"

    and they own lookCircle.co.uk

    Does this help?
     
  5. newguy United Kingdom

    newguy Well-Known Member

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    Is the word something that is generic rather than specific? If it honestly is anything like the example given, then I don't think there's any reason why you should have to hand it over. For instance I think they'd be a difference between using the word 'tesco' and 'target'.

    If the site is actually aimed at displaying tweets that are specific to that shopping centre then perhaps that negates the previus poin, since the site is related to the shopping centre. Is it kind of a parody site? That might work in your favour.

    Since you're not actually making any money from the site, at least they can't claim that you owe them income that the site has brought in. I wonder what other s here think of this matter...
     
  6. billcosbey

    billcosbey New Member

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    Yes it is a generic word, which could be used for something very different.

    The only aim of the site was to display tweets containing that generic word and certain shop names and the city name.

    No money was being made from the site, no google ads or anything like that on the site either.

    How would being a parody site work in my favour?

    Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?
     
  7. accelerator United Kingdom

    accelerator Well-Known Member

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    Check if they have a trademark at:

    Intellectual Property Office - Welcome to the Intellectual Property Office

    if they have, that strengthens their case.

    If you aren't in it for the money, and you aren't making money out of it, you might as well hand it over?? As soon as you start trying to make money from it, they would have every right to pursue you, so it seems like a futile exercise to me, and I bet they have better lawyers than you do.

    This topic is frequently discussed on this forum. My advice to you would be to focus on your own ideas / sites / brands if you want to make money online.

    Hope that helps.

    Rgds
     
  8. billcosbey

    billcosbey New Member

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    thanks for the advice
     
  9. newguy United Kingdom

    newguy Well-Known Member

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  10. retired_member12

    retired_member12 Retired Member

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    Tread carefully billcosbey, the way you describe it, their approaches are by the book. I suspect they've got some expert advice.
     
  11. aZooZa

    aZooZa Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Personally, and from what I've read above, I wouldn't be too intimidated just yet. PM me the domain if you like and I'll give you my honest opinion.
     
  12. woopwoop United States

    woopwoop Well-Known Member

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    This is true, but also tread very carefully even if it isn't listed there.

    They will still have unregistered trademark protection on their name.
    I've done some work researching and filing trademarks and design patents.

    Also I've received legal notices regarding infringement and dropped a grand on that.

    My advice is, just move on. It's not worth it. And it's never gonna make you rich, but could make you poor!
     
  13. aZooZa

    aZooZa Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    They can start to make claim to a TM without even filing - that's the way it's done, but to make the claim legal, it has to be a filed mark. In other words, it's perfectly acceptable and even wise to place the 'tm' symbol over text you intend to file for, but that's meaningless until you actually file. Anyway, whatever you do, don't post the domain name here.
     
  14. jasman United Kingdom

    jasman Active Member

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    The trouble is it sounds like you've imlicitly made an associatation with the the locally understood usage of the word.

    Whereas 'Circle' may be generic, 'Circle' has a particular and well known usage within the city where it is located, and you're displaying content relating to that city. To then display more content related to generic 'Circles' looks like you're clasping at straws trying to find a reason to justify registering it.
     
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