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Trademark infringement Trademark

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by eugv86, May 17, 2019.

  1. eugv86

    eugv86 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Got a email today from a company saying that I am infringing on their trademark by having registered a domain with their name in it... is there some validity in this? For example lets say my domain is bubbaninja.com and the company has trademarked "bubba".

    Their claim:
    "Your registration and use of the Infringing Domain Name is likely to deceive visitors into believing, falsely, that you or your website are affiliated or connected with bubba or have bubba’s endorsement or approval, when none of those things is true."

    hmmm well I dont make any money from the site its just a open source project. And I wouldn't want to spend money on fighting it.. I guess that answer's my question.



    They stated the below trademark numbers ..
    U.S. Registration Nos. 4,761,666, 4,774,375, 5,166,750, 5,290,074, 4,761,664, 4,859,177, and 4,761,667. Under section 33(a) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1115(a)

    I would like to know if Press Kits are a free use? For example using images from press kits on your own website.
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Their may be. Depending on how big "Bubba" is, you might want to consider using a different name for your web site. In other words...have you got the money to fight this in court if it comes to that?
     
    Michael Wechsler and justblue like this.
  3. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    If it's a "no sweat off my back" situation, then you're probably best just choosing another domain.
     
    justblue and eugv86 like this.
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Without knowing all of the relevant details, including why you registered a domain name with the complaining entity's name in it, it's impossible for us to assess the validity of that entity's claim. While your example is somewhat helpful, it doesn't really help assess the validity of the claim. By way of illustration, let's say your last name is "Ford" and you like to whittle, so you register www.fordwhittles.com. If Ford Motor Co. were to object, you'd probably be in the clear, but it could be costly to protect your rights.

    Ok, but none of that is a question. Ultimately, if you don't want to spend money or effort fighting, and if the name doesn't matter much, the path of least resistance would seem obvious.
     
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  5. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Did you receive an email from a company or from their attorney? Was there a registration listed in the letter, e.g. federal or state trademark? Cease and desist letters are sent often in the hope that the user will be scared enough into ceasing their activities and handing over property as if they are a guilty party. Without knowing more information it is impossible to say what is actually the case.
     
  6. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    That's a difficult question, especially since it is a mark which is also the name of a famous literary character. Given the money behind the mark, I'm not surprised to see letters sent to you. I can't tell you what you can or can't do since I (nor any of us) know enough about your use and what you're trying to accomplish. If it's financial services related you are more likely to expect a legal challenge. This isn't to say you will lose, we can't say, but be prepared if you push forward.

    It is not uncommon for well funded companies to send cease and desist (and forfeiture) letters very liberally. I had a personal situation many years ago where I registered a domain (concerning cars) which was descriptive and resembled someone else's business which I had never heard. I received letters from a global law firm demanding that I cease and hand over the domain. I replied and told them what I thought of their demands and "offer" - and I never heard from them again. But this is specifically my own situation.
     

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