Archive for the ‘Domain Name Trademark Issues’ Category

What is a Trademark Domain Name?

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Today, we’re talking about the relationship of a trademark to a domain name. This is a very specialized area of Internet law, Internet attorneys such as the attorneys here at Traverse Legal. We specialize in trademark law. We specialize in domain name law. And those two things go together like bread and butter and here’s why. Under the United States code, there’s an Anti-Cybersquatting and Consumer Protection Act that is embedded within the Lanham Act which is basically an intellectual property statute which protects trademarks in the United States under U.S. law. And the Anti-Cybersquatting and Consumer Protection Act or ACPA gives special status to domain names as trademarks.

So, in the normal trademark world, attorneys who specialize in trademark issues tend to spend a lot of time fighting about whether or not a particular use of a word in a particular context is a trademark use. Or whether or not there’s infringement by some other use of the trademark. In the domain name space, Congress essentially said that we are going to give special treatment to a domain name as a trademark. We are going to treat the domain name as the sign above your door. So, in a brick and mortar world when you’re walking down the street and you go by Dunhams or M.C. Sports or Walmart, there’s the big sign. There’s no question that that store is, in fact, Walmart. What they did with domain names is they said they’re going to treat that domain name as a trademark, as a sign above the door.

 

Continue reading What is a Trademark Domain Name? »

Trademark Owner Gains Control of Trademark Domain Name from Cybersquatter under UDRP Aribtration

Friday, August 12th, 2011

As an Internet Law Attorney knows, domain name trademark issues often arise in situations where Internet users register a domain name which is trademark protected. Such an Internet user runs the risk of being prosecuted for cybersquatting under the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) or the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA).

Another instance of this often repeated scenario occurred in July to a cybersquatter who lost control of the trademark domain name, manofsteel.com, when a UDRP arbitration panel transferred the trademarked domain name to the parent company of DC Comics (the registered trademark owner of “MAN OF STEEL”), Warner Bros. Entertainment (owned by Time Warner). The cybersquatting culprit is listed on the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) decision as: raton, Coni c/o (‘in care of’) LBR Enterprises, a California based company (Respondent).

Superman Man of Steel, The Movie;

This UDRP administrative decision was rendered shockingly close to the start of filming for Superman: Man of Steel, the newest installment in the Superman series, for which filming was set to begin this August, just one month after DC Comics won the arbitration and gained control of manofsteel.com. Indeed, as of today www.manofsteel.com is not yet live – DC Comics and Time Warner will undoubtedly populate the domain name with content geared towards the upcoming Superman movie, set to be released in 2013.

The UDRP Panel’s decision; Continue reading Trademark Owner Gains Control of Trademark Domain Name from Cybersquatter under UDRP Aribtration »

Domain Name Trademark Attorney – Do you understand the impact trademarks have on domain names?

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

internetlawattorneyTraverse Legal’s attorneys specialize in domain name trademark law. We represent domain name owners and domain name buyers, helping them understand how trademark law can seriously impact their rights in a domain name.  Domain names worth tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars have been forcibly transferred under the UDRP from domain owners  without any compensation.

If you don’t protect your domain investment, you  could have your domain name taken forever.  Our domain name attorneys can help.

Domain Sellers – If you are selling a domain, there are a number of issues you need to be extremely careful about.

  • Avoid Being Sued for ‘Bad Faith’ Cybersquatting – If the buyer has trademark rights related to your domain, you offer to sell above cost may trigger liability up to $100,000 or result in a forced transfer of the domain to the trademark holder without compensation to you.
  • Register Your Domain as a Trademark – If you want to increase the value of your your domain name, you should consider  registering the domain as a trademark and offering it as part of your domain name sale.

Domain Buyers – Nowhere do the words “Buyers Beware” apply as much as in the domain market.  When you register or buy a domain, you certify that you are not infringing any third party trademark rights. The law requires you to ensure you do not infringe any trademark rights of others.

  • Trademark Availability / Clearance Report –  Before you spend substantial money on a domain, you should always do a trademark availability search.  Even seemingly generic or descriptive domains can be trademark protected.  You could purchase the domain and have it taken from you  without compensation if your use (including parking pages) conflicts with a prior trademark holder.
  • Domain Portfolio AnalysisEver wonder which domain you should park, whether to reach out to a third party to see if they are interested in buying your domain and/or which domains in your portfolio may have trademark issues?  We do comprehensive domain  portfolio analysis so that you don’t lose your high value domains to a forced transfer under the UDRP, or get sued for cybersquatting under the ACPA.

If you have a trademark or cybersquatting domain name issue,  Contact one of our domain name trademark attorneys today for a free evaluation or call us toll free at 866.936.7447 to discuss the importance of trademark registration and the value of a trademark cease and desist letter.