NameSilo

Lawsuit threatened, seeking advice

Labeled as question in Legal Discussion started by Titus Vorenus, Nov 7, 2018 at 12:42 AM.

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  1. Titus Vorenus

    Titus Vorenus New Member

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    I'm hoping for some feedback. I heard a newly forming large business was coming into my area. I bought the exact domain name of the business and put up an informational protest site. I have NEVER done ads or solicited for offers. I genuinely hate this business, but they are large and are threatening to sue me if I don't turn the domain over to them.

    From my research it seems that they don't have a case as I have never used the domain commercially, and I've never sold a domain before so I don't have a history of squatting. I believe if I fight it I'd win. I'm wondering if anyone here has had a similar experience and if they could share the process and cost.
     
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  2. gilescoley

    gilescoley Top Member PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Do they have trademark on the name you have registered?

    You have admitted you registered the name because you heard they were coming into your area, this is squatting and a blatant TM infringement.

    Just stay away from company names
     
  3. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Active Member VIP

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    Seriously? Are you really going to suggest that selling a domain is related to squatting?
     
  4. carob

    carob Active Member VIP

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    A non-commercial gripe site is a legitimate use of a trademarked term in a domain name, at least for .com.

    Just google WIPO gripe site. Many, many cases where the respondent wins.
     
  5. carob

    carob Active Member VIP

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    Just go look at the cases on WIPO - they are public. People often discuss those issues here, and companies often start by bluffing - just sending threatening demands to get you to panic and hand over a domain they have no right to.

    It costs a company about $1500 to start a WIPO case. Alternatively they could take action through a court but that would be slower and more expensive. You can defend a WIPO case yourself, not hard as the other party has to satisfy three standard conditions to win and those are listed in each case, those are always the same conditions and missing even one means they automatically lose. And the result is public.
     
  6. gilescoley

    gilescoley Top Member PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Yeah but registering it in the first place is not right, see what that does for the OP's reputation, not advisable to anyone in the industry, especially if you are new to the game.
     
  7. carob

    carob Active Member VIP

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    You are discussing this from the narrow point of view of people who buy domains to resell, what you call here "the industry". Yes most but not all users of Namepros are domain name resellers, but we do get others coming here for advice.

    But the OP bought the domain to air a grievance with a live site, an entirely legitimate use of the domain which may even boost their reputation, though if whois is private no one will know who owns the domain. There is nothing wrong with them registering the domain, given the intended and actual use of the domain.

    Domains were actually invented to take people to websites - domainers buying them and stockpiling them unused for resale is a secondary activity.
     
  8. gilescoley

    gilescoley Top Member PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    A protest/trashing site wont boost their reputation in any way, would love to know the domain and watch what happens to it :xf.wink:

    I'm pretty sceptical about threads like this, only judging from similar threads in the past and I'm not saying the OP is one of them, but we see a lot of people saying they registered a name for this exact reason or other "not for profit" reasons and it never gets developed and we often see a "for sale" sign on it soon afterwards.

    Lets agree to disagree on this one :xf.smile:
     
  9. carob

    carob Active Member VIP

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    It depends on the company and who sets up the protest site. Some are very popular. Some are set up by trade unions battling exploitation.
     
  10. gilescoley

    gilescoley Top Member PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    We'll have to agree to disagree on this 👍
     
  11. frank-germany

    frank-germany F1lter.com xpired domain search engine Gold Account VIP

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    there is no need to hand them the domain name


    everything depends on the exact legal right the other party has aquired
    and the name itself and the use of that name

    don't mention the domain name here
    you will lose otherwise

    let them sue you
    it will cost them

    then get a good domain name lawyer
    and pay for your hobby
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018 at 9:15 AM
  12. Titus Vorenus

    Titus Vorenus New Member

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    Thanks for all of the responses.

    Carob's assessment is correct. As a non-industry person it's not easy to find information, nor a good domain name attorney. Can you recommend some?

    @gilescoley assumption is completely incorrect. Due to legal dispute I'm not going into the details here, but I can assure you 100% I am not in your business, and if this business didn't have such a negative personal effect I wouldn't have gotten involved, I have other things to do.

    @frank-germany where can I find the names of good domain name lawyers in the USA? And can you walk me through the process and what it will cost me? This is all coming out of pocket and I don't expect to ever get reimbursed.
     
  13. Recons.Com

    Recons.Com Active Member VIP

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  14. frank-germany

    frank-germany F1lter.com xpired domain search engine Gold Account VIP

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    @frank-germany where can I find the names of good domain name lawyers in the USA? And can you walk me through the process and what it will cost me? This is all coming out of pocket and I don't expect to ever get reimbursed.[/QUOTE]


    sorry no I can't
     
  15. carob

    carob Active Member VIP

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    Good recommendation, and there are one or two other specialists in defending domain owners, can't recall names at the moment but probably someone else can.

    It is just possible that once they realise you have a right to do this they will give up. Their threats can be a bluff, or just ignorance - I have even read WIPO cases where the case was prepared by a professional lawyer and they got the basics wrong. Anyway if they went to WIPO there would be no cost to you, only they pay and even if they won they would only get the domain, not any damages or compensation. And even if they do get the domain, nothing stops you or anyone else registering another. Some big companies own thousands of domains just to stop gripers getting them.

    Good luck.
     
  16. frank-germany

    frank-germany F1lter.com xpired domain search engine Gold Account VIP

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    there are good and bad lawyers everywhere

    wait until you really need one
    I wouldn't move at all
     
  17. Kate

    Kate Domainosaurus Rex VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    It will cost the OP too, because he will need to mount a proper defense and retain qualified counsel. Just to level the playing field.

    A gripe site can qualify as legitimate use, yet anybody can sue anybody over anything. The company may not prevail in court, but in can still cause you trouble. You may win but you will lose money.
    Like they say, pick your battles wisely.

    Disclaimer: this is not qualified legal advice.
     
  18. frank-germany

    frank-germany F1lter.com xpired domain search engine Gold Account VIP

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    let me know how to avoid such a scenario
     
  19. carob

    carob Active Member VIP

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    Just to be clear about it, there are two different scenarios being talked about here, namely:


    WIPO arbitration, complainant pays, legal representation not required but could help. Losing means just losing the domain.

    Being sued in a court of law: requires legal representation, could be expensive.


    So yes it makes sense to get some professional advice to weigh up the risks and costs. You could just hand over the domain and carry on your criticism by other means if you felt that was the safest choice.
     
  20. gilescoley

    gilescoley Top Member PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    If be very careful who you listen to and what advice you take. Make sure you get a legal advice from someone who has experience in these kinds of cases.

    Good luck in whatever you decide. Feel free to keep us updated on any progress 😉
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018 at 10:41 PM
  21. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent VIP

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    This link may be helpful. Is the domain in question a .com and does it include the company name plus some name indicating that it is a protest site, or simply the company name?

    http://www.ivanhoffman.com/protest.html

    Even if the odds are that you would win (I am not saying that - no idea), it might still not be worth the headache and worry that a dispute would entail. Am I correct that you don't have a lot of money invested in the name, it is more the principle?

    Best wishes, however it turns out.

    Bob
     
  22. frank-germany

    frank-germany F1lter.com xpired domain search engine Gold Account VIP

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  23. BaileyUK

    BaileyUK Established Member

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    I admire your stance Titus, It reminds me of the early days of the internet. However, your position will attract the cynics.

    If I was you I would question your own reasons for the protest site (and use of the EXACT name), Have you worked for this particular company in the past ? Do you have element/s of knowledge that you are bringing to the local populations attention. Don't forget you will be expected to defend your position, It isn't just OK by some sense of protesting of Right.

    Most understandable/acceptable protest registrations tend to use a secondary word and NOT the company name alone (say for example the name of the town) - and the early acceptance was generally to those registering and using the .ORG. extension. I believe these values are still applicable
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018 at 12:31 AM
  24. dotbay

    dotbay BrandChimp.com VIP

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    Registered in bad faith. case lost.

    Delete that domain asap
     
  25. Corey

    Corey ZAZU.com.au Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    what does the letter say?

    Cheers
    Corey
     

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