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Old 04-27-2005, 10:18 AM
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Uban Uban is offline
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Can I take any kind of legal action?

Hello all,

I have a site that is gaining some popularity with diet pills and I've discovered a lot of people registering variations of my domain name. The one that bugs me the most is wwwmydomainname.com. Yup, who ever did this wants to try and score traffic from people who forget to put the dot in www.mydomainname.com.

Is there anything I can do about this from a legal stand point?


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Old 04-27-2005, 10:57 AM
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imaginemn imaginemn is offline
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Do you have your domain name trademarked? How common is the name? If it's something like dietpills.com then it would be close to impossible to try to go after them. It's really difficult to give advice without having exact details on the domain name and/or company name.

For example: I own ImagineCreativeServices.com, my company name is Imagine Creative Services that had been trademarked through the US Trademark Office. If someone was to use ImagineCreativeServices.net I could legally go after them because they are using my trademark. Here is the messy part. Even though I trademarked ICS (for short) I could not go after anyone using CreativeServices.com because it is too generic of a term but I could go after someone using ImagineCreative.com because it's a little more specific but not a guarantee that I would win. I am actually in the process of possibly suing someone because they are using my legal "trademarked" name Imagine Creative Services. It's some guy out of Chicago.

I don't know if you remember about a year ago some kid named Mike Rowe (I think that's the spelling) registered the domain name MikeRoweSoft.com trying to capitalize on Microsoft.com. MS went after him and they ended up settling out of court. Even though it was VERY different it sounded exactly the same and that was enough for MS to go after them.

The bottom line (finally) is that without a registered trademark it will be difficult to go after someone especially if the domain name is something very generic. The reality is that you don't legally own the domain name your registrar does. You are just paying to use it. Don't pay the annual fee and see if you can keep it.

One possible option you have is to contact ICANN.org. They have developed a "Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy" for this type of scenario. Under this policy, a company that owns a domain name that's completely unrelated to its core business may have a hard time holding onto it. You could try to take over that domain name by investigating this dispute resolution policy. Of course, I would recommend you consult with an attorney who specialized in Internet law.



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