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Trademark vs. Domain Question?

Labeled as discuss in Legal Discussion started by ThatNameGuy, Jul 19, 2019.

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  1. ThatNameGuy

    ThatNameGuy Restricted Gold Account

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    I'm looking to start a new business/sport involving golf. While golf by itself is considered a sport, so are names like miniature golf, disc golf, pitch and putt, putt-putt etc. The name I've come up with is pretty simple; 9Time,
    and wouldn't you know the name 9Time.com was already taken which I sort of expected, and so was 9Time.org

    Now here's my question, since the first two choices for domain names were taken I first decided to check and see if there was a website associated with either name, and there doesn't appear to be. Then I check with USPTO, and it doesn't appear there is a current TM or SM for 9Time registered either. So my question is, would it be smart to at least TM the name so that when approved you could trade as 9Time®? The whole process costs a couple hundred dollars and takes 9-12 months assuming it's approved. I have picked up a 9Time domain with another extension that cost me just 1.99 for the first year so at least I can have a website and email by that name. Any thoughts or questions? Thanks

     
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  2. Visioner Studio

    Visioner Studio Established Member

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    To be able to use the registered trademark symbol (®) alongside the name "9Time", having the name "9Time" registered and validated by a patent and trademark office is prerequisite. So yes, you have to register the name.

    On the contrary, the use of the trademark symbol (™) does not have the aforementioned restriction because this symbol is usually used for unregistered trademarks.

    Hope that helps,
    Ian
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  3. NameDeck

    NameDeck Design. Develop. Deploy. VIP

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    If nobody is using the name, just launch your business and you'll established TM rights as soon as you start trading under that name.

    Registering it might be wise but that depends on how serious you are about the name, need to scare off competition etc. It's a bit of a simplified explanation as a lot of factors come into play but you get the point.

    Keep in mind this will not help you in any way if you would ever want to obtain the .com. I don't know what TLD you registered but you should ask yourself whether it's wise to launch a business without owning the .com.
     
  4. ThatNameGuy

    ThatNameGuy Restricted Gold Account

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    Thanks Ian....it certainly does help. Since posting this, I've actually applied for a registered Trademark/Servicemark/Wordmark for "9Time", thus putting the world on notice that I'm claiming 9Time™ for a particular use. Until such time I'm granted permission or approved by the USPTO to use it like this; 9Time®, I'll proudly display it like this; 9Time

    On another note I've asked the question if a business name owning a registered trademark for the name is worth more than a domain by by the same name? Obviously a .com match like 9Time.com is worth more than 9Time.golf or 9Time.fun, but owning these domains with these extensions is proof that I intend to use the name in commerce. Is that right?

    Thanks again Ian...Cheers(y)
     
  5. ThatNameGuy

    ThatNameGuy Restricted Gold Account

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    All very good points NameDeck....while I was disappointed the .com was not available, i thought it more important to own the registered trademark than the domain. I'm serious enough about the name that I just applied for the federal mark, and assuming I get it will be worth a lot more in my opinion than the .com.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. NameDeck

    NameDeck Design. Develop. Deploy. VIP

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    True. It depends on what you're trying to accomplish though.

    I assume we're talking about web presence. What happens if the .com owner decides to launch a crypto currency called 9time? It would kill your search engine results for the term.

    Owning the .com is not always about TM protection but can also be used to make sure no other big company will use the exact match in a different trade category.

    Edit: small disclaimer, I know next to nothing about golf so can only speak from general experience. I played once or twice on a client's invitation but that's basically as far as my experience goes :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  7. NameDeck

    NameDeck Design. Develop. Deploy. VIP

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    Just owning them is not enough as far as I know. You gotta be actively using them in trade.
     
  8. Visioner Studio

    Visioner Studio Established Member

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    You're welcome. As explained by NameDeck, owning the domain names alone might not express your purpose. I would suggest using the name "9Time" actively in trade so that the general public know the name is a trademark.

    ~Ian
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  9. Visioner Studio

    Visioner Studio Established Member

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    Not sure if I'm missing something. But I've seen some SEO articles explaining that a website's rank on search engines is determined by its content, and they didn't say TLD is a factor.

    ~Ian
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  10. ThatNameGuy

    ThatNameGuy Restricted Gold Account

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    NameDeck....golf the sport has been on the decline for the last 10 years. The four main reasons for the decline are; 1. Overbuilt courses and facilities 2. Economic downturn starting in 2006/7/8 making golf simply unaffordable 3. It's not conducive to young families and their lifestyles 4.18 holes of golf takes too long to play, and takes up most of a day. And I'll add one more thing, it's become way too difficult for the average person.

    9Timeis an alternative idea that I picked up from the USGA's Play9 initiative. Unfortunately I can't share my business model while it's still being fleshed out. However, it has the potential to draw tens of thousands if not millions of new players to a new format. I can tell you that Meetup plays a roll along with Wounded Warriors and Veterans.

    I own some other domains like Heavenly9.com and Sunset9.com that with the right exposure via the internet can draw thousands of members to the sport.

    Thanks for commenting(y)
     
  11. NameDeck

    NameDeck Design. Develop. Deploy. VIP

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    That's spot on. Content is king regarding SEO. Thing is, crypto would yield far more results if there was a brand using the exact match thus pushing down your website on the search results.

    So for the keywords '9time golf' you would be alright but when searching for '9time' you'd probably end up with crypto results as that's a more frequently searched niche.
     
  12. ThatNameGuy

    ThatNameGuy Restricted Gold Account

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    Not sure it makes a difference, but i own 9TimeGolf.com and 9Time.Golf that could easily be redirected to 9Time™
     
  13. Visioner Studio

    Visioner Studio Established Member

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    That makes sense. Thanks for explaining.
     
  14. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    Owning a domain name has NOTHING to do with trademark rights.

    Using a mark while RUNNING a commercial business OPERATING in trade (meaning actual transactions are being done, and not just ideas and concepts being developed) automatically establishes most if not all rights that you would get if you registered your mark.

    The only real advantages you get by registering a mark is that you get limited protections starting from when you registered even if you haven't started running the business yet (but only for a couple years max). The other advantage is that it's easier for you to prove your ownership of the trademark if it's registered. But for the most part, registering a trademark gives you no extra benefits from a non-registered trademark.


    Registering a trademark in no way gives you rights to an existing domain name. If anything, publicly registering the trademark could be a signal to the domain owner to increase the price of the domain.

    9Time.com = Not horrible "brand" for a Golf concept, but not a great domain name because of NineTime.com alternate spelling. (But depending on the type of business, you don't necessarily even need a great domain name)
    9time.golf = worthless domain
    9time.fun = less than worthless domain

    While the last 2 are garbage "domains", it doesn't stop a successful business from using them .. but they will be throwing marketing money away if they are public facing and relying on an online presence to grow.

    9TimeGolf.com would be infinitely better than either two .. but still far from good or ideal because of the NineTimeGolf.com potential spelling.


    It all depends what you want to do with the domain. If it's just a simple info site for potential investors, then it really doesn't matter much because they will simply click the link if interested by whatever you tell them first (in that case 9time.golf wouldn't be the end of the world, but to be clear, nor would NewGolfConcept.com). But the domain is very important if you're relying on the internet for marketing.

    That being said .. if the primary source of growth was less internet focused, then the importance of the quality of the domain drops as well.


    That is completely 100% wrong. Simply owning a domain establishes absolutely nothing when it comes to trademark rights. Making money in a business operating on the domain would. Just as making money in a business not operating on the domain also would.


    All that said .. golf is a dying sport for the reasons mentioned above. There are dozens if not hundreds of potential alternate sports being developed to bring fresh revenue to existing courses (soccer golf, frisbee golf). I actually saw one on TV a couple years ago where the hole was timed so the players were running after their balls. I can't remember the details too much, but it was more interesting to watch than regular golf (to me at least .. as a non golfer), but I never saw it since, so I'm guessing it didn't work out.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  15. ThatNameGuy

    ThatNameGuy Restricted Gold Account

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    You're right...I'm having some business cards made using the name "9Time", and I'll be using it as a "trading as" name recorded at my local court. I'm not sure if you know what Meetup is, but me and my partner have considerable experience with the Meetup platform, and we'll be using it in conjunction with Meetup's everywhere. Again, thanks for your help.
     
  16. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    (@Support Team .. please do NOT delete his post above directed at me as I would like for it to stand as a testament to his integrity and character .. or lack thereof .. as I'll let other members judge for themselves)

    I was actually trying to be informative and helpful in my reply ... only to get belittled and ridiculed by you once again!

    Yet another instance where:
    1- You say something incorrect .. really not the end of the world, but when shown to be wrong ..
    2- You try to pretend like you were saying something else ... and not only that .. but ..
    3- You also try to make it look like I was the ridiculous one ... and even better ..
    4- All while claiming you didn't even read my post (that YOU actually QUOTE in it's entirety .. lol).

    How that can be considered professional in any way is beyond me ???


    By the very words of your own posts, you have show to that your logic and arguments in your post above have zero integrity:

    Then after I post and show how that isn't correct you post this:
    If it was so obvious in the first place then why did state the opposite .. and then actually ask:
    You might want to look up the definition of "DUH"!

    Seriously, it's not the end of the world to admit you were wrong .. or you can even choose to say nothing. But you need to stop twisting things around to misrepresent what others say .. it's wrong .. and if you continue to do so, I will come back at you with data, math, logic and facts to challenge your misrepresentations of myself and/or other members each and every time.

    As for the trademark issues .. I'm not even sure why you reacted the childish way you did? Seriously .. most domainers don't get the facts of trademarks right (even I will never claim to know anything close to everything there is to know on the subject). It's not the end of the world if you don't know everything .. and no reason to lash out to belittle someone a little more informed on the subject than you are.

    In the end we are all here to learn from each other. None of us are prefect, and as long as discussions and debates remain constructive, factual and logical, then we can all learn from each other! You really need to stop taking things so personally and lash out at others when people simply prove you to be wrong. PARTICULARLY when they take the time to give detailed logical reasonings and facts.
     
  17. ThatNameGuy

    ThatNameGuy Restricted Gold Account

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    You are way too funny:ROFL: I still refer to the the first sentence of your rant where you said, "Owning a domain name has NOTHING to do with trademark rights" To which my response was DUH!!! Why so? You capitalized "NOTHING" as if I didn't already know that:xf.wink: You needn't patronize me Ategy. I've personally filed for and received three registered® trademarks for business's that I've started. How many have you registered? Geesh, I was't born yesterday:xf.rolleyes:
     
  18. NameDeck

    NameDeck Design. Develop. Deploy. VIP

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    @ThatNameGuy , @Ategy.com is actually trying to be helpful. No need for personal attacks just because you can't get past your personal differences.

    I don't know him but judging by his usual thoroughly though out posts he definitely knows a thing or two regarding this subject.

    He gives you good advice, maybe some of it was already known by you, nevertheless very relevant to your initial question/post.

    If you don't want people to comment on your choice of domains, this is not the forum for you. There are plenty of business forums that will discuss TMs, marketing, etc at length with people who probably will agree with you that 9time.golf is a stellar domain.

    We get you've been a business guy for decades, that doesn't give you more authority on this subject. There are plenty of big time CEOs who know nothing about brands, TMs, marketing or domains.

    I'd advise you to just read his posts, take a day to let in sink in, then reply. You'll notice his comments make actual sense.

    Remember the peace, love and happiness era? Keep that picture in mind on your next reply ;)
     
  19. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent Gold Account VIP

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    A few thoughts... Thanks for sharing some thoughts on a project you are beginning @ThatNameGuy

    As said having the domain does not give you TM rights, which only come from active use. I think thus summary from @Ategy.com is right on.
    Re golf itself, I am not sure that the many articles on the death of golf have not overstated the case. Yes, true fewer courses open today than 10 years ago in USA (not sure stats in rest of world). But even in Canada alone there are just under 6 million active golfers who play at total of bout 60 million rounds of golf a year (see e.g.). By comparison the number of registered hockey players in Canada has been pretty stable (declining slightly from a peak a few years ago) of about 650,000. Yes some unregistered play pickup hockey but most estimates place the number playing hockey in Canada about 1/4 those who play golf.

    For reasons mentioned, including cost and time commitment and the pull along effect of the Tiger Woods era that helped propel golf to new interest heights, golf has some challenges. Still it is a huge business. I think definitely room for growth in ways that make if faster and cheaper and more family oriented, which I suspect the new business model has to do with at least partly.

    While I totally respect this as your opinion @Ategy.com, I think that it may be argued at least.
    It is natural for us as domain investors to equate aftermarket sales to value of domain, but really when we say a domain is worthless, or less, it saying more. It was not hard to find a number of golf facilities using both .golf and .fun TLDs. So when real world operations use them, we should be careful of critical language in a public forum. Will most use .com or .org or their country code? Absolutely. Will all? no.

    The very best of luck with 9time @ThatNameGuy - it does seem to me that mixed number-letter domains are picking up in interest of late. I am hoping to dig out numbers to see if my hunch is supported by statistics.

    This is superb advice from @NameDeck that we should all keep in mind every day! Thank you for the reminder to us all.

    Bob

    PS To those who say what does Bob really know about golf, I would like to share with you two pieces of personal trivia. I once played as a teen 83 holes of golf in one day, starting shortly after dawn and playing until dusk. That was not that unusual for me in my golf crazed teen years where I could cheaply play as much as I wanted for one low yearly fee on a national park course. Alas, I play almost no golf now. I have designed and personally built a 14 hole golf course (really true! but you would probably not recognize it as a golf course, and alas I no longer own it).
     
  20. ThatNameGuy

    ThatNameGuy Restricted Gold Account

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    Re golf itself, I am not sure that the many articles on the death of golf have not overstated the case. Yes, true fewer courses open today than 10 years ago in USA (not sure stats in rest of world). But even in Canada alone there are just under 6 million active golfers who play at total of bout 60 million rounds of golf a year. By comparison the number of registered hockey players in Canada has been declining slightly from a peak a few years ago) of about 650,000. Yes some unregistered play pickup hockey but most estimates place the number playing hockey in Canada about 1/4 those who play golf.

    For reasons mentioned, including cost and time commitment and the pull along effect of the Tiger Woods era that helped propel golf to new interest heights, golf has some challenges. Still it is a huge business. I think definitely room for growth in ways that make if faster and cheaper and more family oriented, which I suspect the new business model has to do with at least partly.

    It is natural for us as domain investors to equate aftermarket sales to value of domain, but really when we say a domain is worthless, or less, it saying more. It was not hard to find a number of golf facilities using both .golf and .fun TLDs. So when real world operations use them, we should be careful of critical language in a public forum. Will most use .com or .org or their country code? Absolutely. Will all? no.

    The very best of luck with 9time - it does seem to me that mixed number-letter domains are picking up in interest of late. I am hoping to dig out numbers to see if my hunch is supported by statistics.

    This is superb advice from namedeck that we should all keep in mind every day! Thank you for the reminder to us all.

    Bob

    PS To those who say what does Bob really know about golf, I would like to share with you two pieces of personal trivia. I once played as a teen 83 holes of golf in one day, starting shortly after dawn and playing until dusk. That was not that unusual for me in my golf crazed teen years where I could cheaply play as much as I wanted for one low yearly fee on a national park course. Alas, I play almost no golf now. I have designed and personally built a 14 hole golf course (really true! but you would probably not recognize it as a golf course, and alas I no longer own it).[/QUOTE]
    Thanks for commenting Bob, you said; "I think definitely room for growth in ways that make if faster and cheaper and more family oriented, which I suspect the new business model has to do with at least partly." Bob, great observations, and it pretty much has everything to do with it. btw, 9Time.ca is available, and i intend to buy it, as are names like; 9Time.uk and 9Time.au where a lot of golf is played.

    With regards to the number/letter combination, it's a real big deal to me because it's the #9 that a lot of my business model references; 9 holes of golf, $9 to walk 9 (i also own the domain 9Dollar9ine.com), $9 to rent clubs, and because it's a new game, just 9 clubs allowed instead of the traditional 14 clubs allowed by the official rules.

    Bob in reference to you playing 83 holes of golf in a single day(y), the most I ever played in a day was 45 holes, however, a friend of mine wrote: "King of Clubs - The Great Golf Marathon of 1938" by Jim Ducibella, and I think you would really enjoy it.

    Also, the first step of my TM application came via email electronically to sign today. I need to pay an additional $250, and I intend to complete it next week.

    Finally, i'm forming an advisory board for 9Time, and i'll email you details in the next few days. btw, i really suck at golf, but I believe I have a little better track record when it comes to start-ups and names. Thanks again for commenting.
     

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