Home Forums Starting your journey Legalities in owning another brands domain name.

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #991537
    Anon
    Member
    • Total posts: 96

    So a few months ago I was able to very cheaply acquire the .com.au through netfleet of a major International brand which is valued in it’s $100’s of millions. I’m pretty gobsmacked I got it for literally $20 and was not expecting to be the highest bidder. If you don’t know how netfleet works, basically when a domain name expires it goes up for a 24 hour auction. Through search, it does not look like the domain name was owned by anyone associated with the company either and was just a dormant domain. The domain name is trademarked in every regard.

    What I am eventually expecting is to receive some notice from the company asking for the domain. If I receive a threatening letter I will just give it to them. But my question is whether there would be grounds for them to sue for any type of damages? I’m not going to use the domain in any defamatory way.
    I won’t mention the domain on here but may in private depending on your feedback, but as an example it would be as if facebook.com was the company and I owned facebook.com.au.

    The domain gets about 100 hits per day by people typing the domain into their browser. What I was thinking of is doing just doing a redirect to my page. So for example if it was facebook.com.au it would go to my facebook business page. Do you see this as a very bad idea and would this give them any grounds to sue for damages, or do you think they may close down our business page if they found out? Alternately I would just redirect to eg facebook.com but then there is no benefit to me.

    Would be great to get some opinions. Obviously seeing an I/P lawyer is best but no harm in asking online to other business professionals.

    #1181958
    Patrick_S
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4
    Anon, post: 212341 wrote:
    So a few months ago I was able to very cheaply acquire the .com.au through netfleet of a major International brand which is valued in it’s $100’s of millions. I’m pretty gobsmacked I got it for literally $20 and was not expecting to be the highest bidder. If you don’t know how netfleet works, basically when a domain name expires it goes up for a 24 hour auction. Through search, it does not look like the domain name was owned by anyone associated with the company either and was just a dormant domain. The domain name is trademarked in every regard.

    What I am eventually expecting is to receive some notice from the company asking for the domain. If I receive a threatening letter I will just give it to them. But my question is whether there would be grounds for them to sue for any type of damages? I’m not going to use the domain in any defamatory way.
    I won’t mention the domain on here but may in private depending on your feedback, but as an example it would be as if facebook.com was the company and I owned facebook.com.au.

    The domain gets about 100 hits per day by people typing the domain into their browser. What I was thinking of is doing just doing a redirect to my page. So for example if it was facebook.com.au it would go to my facebook business page. Do you see this as a very bad idea and would this give them any grounds to sue for damages, or do you think they may close down our business page if they found out? Alternately I would just redirect to eg facebook.com but then there is no benefit to me.

    Would be great to get some opinions. Obviously seeing an I/P lawyer is best but no harm in asking online to other business professionals.

    according to : http://www.auda.org.au/policies/2012-04/

    For .com.au you don’t own it, you only pay a license fee to use it.

    In addition;

    you need to have business relationship to that name. (e.g. Company name or business name), as required when you apply a new .com.au

    #1181959
    Anon
    Member
    • Total posts: 96
    Patrick_S, post: 212347 wrote:
    according to : http://www.auda.org.au/policies/2012-04/

    For .com.au you don’t own it, you only pay a license fee to use it.

    In addition;

    you need to have business relationship to that name. (e.g. Company name or business name), as required when you apply a new .com.au

    I know this already.The reality is though the majority of domain names are not registered by people that have a direct correlation with the name. Auda will hardly ever take notice. But this isn’t what the thread is about.

    #1181960
    Netorigin-Shaun
    Member
    • Total posts: 1

    They could try obtaining the domain by launching a domain dispute since they have the name trademarked. I’d recommend to take a look at this auDA policy (http://www.auda.org.au/policies/2010-05/).

    Shaun

    #1181961
    Anon
    Member
    • Total posts: 96
    Netorigin-Shaun, post: 212358 wrote:
    They could try obtaining the domain by launching a domain dispute since they have the name trademarked. I’d recommend to take a look at this auDA policy (http://www.auda.org.au/policies/2010-05/).

    Shaun

    Is anyone reading what I wrote? I already said they are entitled to the domain name and if they want it I would give it to them.

    #1181962
    Jason Ramage
    Participant
    • Total posts: 3,162
    Anon, post: 212360 wrote:
    Is anyone reading what I wrote? I already said they are entitled to the domain name and if they want it I would give it to them.

    Hi Anon

    I think they are reading your post although are advocating you should probably note that the domain is easily forfeited based on your explanation through submittal of request with AuDa etc.. Although it is not exactly what you are asking, the other replies are just pointing out the ‘obvious’ in this situation.

    Although i think you will unlikely get free legal advice saying you could be sued, it is a fair assumption that using someone’s both legal and trademarked domain name (or name at all) is something to tread extremely lightly around. If you want a concrete reply about your own legal standing should you pursue the usage of this trademarked name etc i personally would be suggesting you speak to your own legal team to get true and paid advice that may provide you a more accurate depiction of your query. It will also allow you to go back to your advisor, should something occur, and have them protect you as per their original advice.

    Furthermore, and i know its not related to your query directly, i am curious if being deceitful in the redirect of a famous trademarked name to your own website with only 100 hits per day would do your own name and service (whatever it is as we are unaware) any justices or injustices?

    Sounds like you may need to bounce this off of someone close to you to get a confidant in some way so you can go back and forth to thrash out the idea and/or situation.

    Cheers
    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: hello@lucasarthur.net.au   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1181963
    JacquiPryor
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,344

    Hi there,

    A little while ago I wrote this article for Flying Solo that might assist with your queries. It was specifically written about using ‘well known’ brands in your domain name.

    In short – yes, the ‘brand owner’ may have grounds to take action against you. This could be for trademark infringement (depending on ‘how’ you are using the domain, if at all), but could also be that they feel you are attempting to ‘pass off’ your goods/services (or business) as being somehow affiliated with the brand owner when you’re not or that they feel you are misleading consumers into believing there’s an affiliation with the brand owner when there’s not.

    It’s hard to give general information in these situations as it can be a case by case situation. However, I hope the above and linked article are useful.

    #1181964
    ThexArm
    Member
    • Total posts: 253

    Like many replies above, I think if the company that owns that brands comes to know about you being taken advantage of their brand to generate benefits (not sure if you are but you are redirecting to your website) to yourself then they may take legal action to get partly or fully benefit from you.

    I don’t know the law around this but it seems logical.

    #1181965
    Snakeman
    Participant
    • Total posts: 329

    Yes, cyber squatting as it is called is a common problem and worth dealing with a bit further here.
    We have well established brand names and recognition (e.g. reptile party, snakeman), and in our space less scrupulous people regularly register domains, social media accounts and the like using our registered trademarks and then backlinking to their own infringing properties for SEO (to outrank us in search).
    As a result of a series of “hits” at end 2008 (which ultimately led to legal action by us and the closure of over 800 illegal youtube sites), we’ve become more proactive and are well aware of the protections in law trademark owners have.
    To the OP, if you have registered a $20 domain name with some one else’s trademark, I’d be either letting it lapse, or hand it over to them ASAP.
    Your loss then is capped at just $20. Do anything else and the sky is the limit as to your own damages bill that you may end up paying …. plus the trademark owner’s legal bills that you will be made to pay.
    We here have in the recent past taken control of infringing registered domains and countless social media accounts registered using our trademarks and then deliberately pointing to infringing sites.
    This includes properties on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube and other well-known sites, most of whom have well-established anti-trademark infringing protocols.
    Those others here with trademarks (words kinds, not logos, which are by comparison often worthless), should as a matter of urgency attempt to register (if they can) relevant social media addresses that fit their marks (e.g. https://instagram.com/snakeman matching the snakeman trademarks) to ensure that no one else takes them and uses them instead.
    Also if you have a word trademark being squatted and used by an infringer on social media, if you lodge a formal request to the social media site (not the squatter as they will invariably tell you to take a hike), they will usually close the account.
    All the best.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.