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Competitor uses our company name in bad faith in his domain

Located in Legal Discussion, started by Andrei P., Oct 27, 2016

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  1. Andrei P.

    Andrei P. Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    We have a domain "company.com" Somebody created a website with domain name "companyreview.com" and places bad reviews about of our company, which are fakes. Now he blackmails $20.000 from us. We do lose sales.

    Is it possible to put down this site? Or take the domain under UDRP?
    "The domain name [was/were] registered and [is/are] being used in bad faith."
     
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  2. dordomai

    dordomai Top Contributor VIP

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    not legal advice but if he extorted you for 20k you might have a good chance with UDRP
     
  3. HKIBC

    HKIBC Account Closed (Disallowed)

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    Do you have this in writing ( email)?

    Yep. UDRP action is your best bet to interrupt this activity quickly. UDRP doesn't close other legal venues.
     
  4. Andrei P.

    Andrei P. Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Is officially registered world trademark required to take the domain under UDRP?

    Do we need a lawyer to correctly do everything? Or is it a quite simple procedure that can be done by company owner?
     
  5. deez007

    deez007 The More I Learn The Less I "Know" VIP

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    There is an alternative.....

    assuming his site is ranking for searches of you company name as well. Then you can:

    1.) Contact Google and provide them with all the details and request that the site gets de-index from their search results. (This is a Long and lengthy process and you are no guaranteed to ge them to agree) - I do however know of a friend who was able to get a site de-indexed after he proved that they pretty much copied his content, site layout and design, used a similar domain and branding with the objective to dupe potential visitors to think they are dealing with his company.

    2) This is a faster option BUT it's blackhat. - You could implement a negative SEO campaign on his site. This would include buying loads of poor quality adult and spam back links to his website. Ideally to every page of his his website that is indexed by the search engines.. within a few weeks (or sooner) watch his rankings tank and eventually he will likely be Google slapped & sandboxed (de-indexed from search results)
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
  6. carob

    carob Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    In the USA it does not have to be a formally registered trademark, other places it usually does - check for yoursellf.

    Costs $1500 to start and does not need a lawyer if you have time to read and understand the rules.

    Who owns the domain - is it clearly identifiable as the competitor?
     
  7. Andrei P.

    Andrei P. Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    No. The owner is privacy protected, they don't use our design. It's simply another website with bad reviews about us most of which are fakes. And they rank #3 after our website, and our facebook page.

    I can do black SEO but I don't think it exists and poor quality spam links may harm a website ranking
     
  8. deez007

    deez007 The More I Learn The Less I "Know" VIP

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    This is my point, if start doing negative SEO then first his rankings will drop and if you keep bombarding his site with [email protected] links it will get eventually get deindex and not show up on the search results at all. Then nobody is going to be able to read his fake reviews...
     
  9. Andrei P.

    Andrei P. Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Hm. At least I risk nothing. I can buy 200+ the lowest quality links for this site with the same keyword phraze. But I though all the time that Google cannot decrease website because of bad links. They can have 0 influence, but decreasing is not a good idea since this way any competitor may be deranked in theory.

    And the same time will try UDRP. Thanks!
     
  10. deez007

    deez007 The More I Learn The Less I "Know" VIP

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    Yes this is correct, you can essentially implement a negative SEO campaign on any competitor. Also, when I say bombarding the site with backlinks...I'm talking about in the 1000's and not just the homepage...as many of the indexed pages as possible.. 200 links wont cut it.

    Just google "negative SEO" you would likely find a few service providers as well
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
  11. DU

    DU Secret Santa VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    First:
    If you don't have a TM in the jurisdiction in which you operated then UDRP is most likely going to fail and will be a waste of time. It doesn't need to be a world wide TM.

    Secondly:
    UDRP is limited in scope. The scope of the damage done (i.e. defamation vs just normal run of the mill bad faith) are irrelevant. It's based purely on the UDRP criteria. If you don't have TM you will probably lose even if the other domain is clearly bad faith etc.

    Thirdly:
    UDRP is simple but in cases where it matters it is always better to have experienced counsel that can help navigate properly and completely.

    Start here and try to find an online reputation manager to help:
    https://support.google.com/legal/troubleshooter/1114905?hl=en#ts=1115655

     
  12. frank-germany

    frank-germany domainer since 2001 / musician VIP

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    Pay him the 20k

    Use paypal
    Choose
    Pay for goods

    Get his identity

    No legal advice
    I am no laywer
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
  13. carob

    carob Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Look at the site's hosting company ToS. The site may be violating them - if so you can complain. If it gets taken down it can move, but you can say the same about the domain - if they lose the domain they can start again on another.

    In some countries posting false reviews is a serious crime.

    Is it possible for the public to post reviews on the site or is it all just closed off?
     
  14. enlytend

    enlytend Top Contributor VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger ★★★★★★★★★★

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    What do your reviews on legit review sites look like? Sites like yelp carry so much authority - If you have a strong presence on sites like that it will push him down to "who cares" land. Do you have a testimonials page? Get that ranked for your business name + "reviews"

    Neg SEO, if it works, can come back to bite you. Like if the site owner sees what you're doing and turns it back on you. Then you have a bigger problem - want to spend every day updating your disavow file? And he can always put the site up on a new domain, redo his links and he's back.

    Try complaining to the host, and if he's costing you business it might be worth an initial consult with a lawyer to see if there are other options or if there's any way a UDRP would hold up. But ultimately your problem isn't the domain, your problem is that someone can outrank your own site and legitimate 3rd party review sites for that term.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
  15. carob

    carob Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I've read that reputation management agencies often advise the client to "crowd out" negative info by filling up the search results with their own bland stuff - youtube accounts, social media, references to them on other sites.

    I've seen some companies where you google for info and the first 10-15 results are all ones controlled or influenced by that company - you have to get well into page 2 or 3 of search results to find what real customers think.

    So this might be a longer-term project for you where prevention is better than cure.
     
  16. enlytend

    enlytend Top Contributor VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Yup. That's exactly what they do. Social media, business directory profiles, blog sites, site building platforms, ...
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
  17. mr-x

    mr-x Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    1) You need to contact a lawyer.

    2) Filing a UDRP removes privacy protection and will reveal domain owners id.
     
  18. bobbarato

    bobbarato Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    If you're willing to blackhat, then how about fighting fire with fire and doing a competitorreview.com?
    Just putting that out there - 2 wrongs don't make a right though.

    Looks like you're going for the URDP, the legit path. Best wishes for your success!
     

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