Hi, can anyone recommend or point me in the direction of where I can get some legal advice related to internet matters? I’ve received a C&D from a US company about a website I own that uses their name in the domain. They’ve basically just told me to stop doing what I am doing and they want the domain name. Wondering if I should seek legal advice but depending on the price of that legal advice it may just be better to let them have their way. I’m not selling drugs, pirated stuff or anything like that for those who probably want to know what is going on I just really have no idea where I stand legally, if at all.
Trademark holders should be aware that possessing a trademark for a given term does not automatically mean that you have a legitimate legal claim to a domain name. Possession of a valid trademark is only one of three requirements that you need to meet to win ownership of a domain name via ICANN’s Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), the policy governing ownership disputes for the generic TLDs (.com, .net, .org, .biz, and .info) or the U.S. Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (15 U.S.C. sec. 1125).
ICANN (Internet Corporation Assigning Names and Numbers) Dispute Resolution Policy: icann.org/en/udrp/udrp-policy-24oct99.htm
Thanks Charlie. I am a little more concerned about their ability to take legal action (since they are in the US and I am in Taiwan) if I refuse to give up the domain. I have no problem stopping what I am doing but giving up my domain name seemed a little rough handed. The C&D basically gave me 5 days to stop doing what I am doing, hand over the domain and write a letter saying I won’t ever do it again or help anyone to do it. Even if it is within my rights to keep my domain name, it doesn’t mean I could pay any heavy legal fees if they did decide to come after me. That is what I am more concerned about. Looks like I’ll just roll over and do what they want.
Can you provide more specific details?
Or … perhaps you can email me if you have privacy concerns… ?? !! @k$%#*!p)&^ !!
If you’re using it in good faith for legitimate purposes and didn’t register it with the intent of misleading or confusing users or extorting the rightful owner of the name, and didn’t offer to sell it to them for an exorbitant sum, then you should feel perfectly confident in telling them to go fuck themselves. To take it away from you, regardless of whether they have the same or similar business name or trademark, they will need to prove each of the following:
(i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
Of course there are further intricacies and various cases that guide how the administrative judges might rule on the matter, but those are the basics above. You’ll be pleased to know, too, that these disputes are resolved exclusively in quick, cheap and easy administrative manner and not through expensive lawsuits. Still, you probably should hire a lawyer familiar with such matters.
Incidentally, I’m a lawyer familiar with such matters.
The dispute will/would be resolved pursuant to ICANN’s Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).
[quote=“Hartzell”]Can you provide more specific details?
Or … perhaps you can email me if you have privacy concerns… ?? !! @k$%#*!p)&^ !![/quote]
Thanks, I have sent an email with more info.
“stop what you are doing” ? Does your site contain anything libelous? That would go beyond ICANN’s remit and they could sue.
If you go around crapping on big companies they are likely to bite back.
Yes, you are right. Which is why I decided to give into their demands and hand over the domain. I still don’t know where I stand legally but it isn’t worth the stress.
[quote=“Big Fluffy Matthew”]“stop what you are doing” ? Does your site contain anything libelous? That would go beyond ICANN’s remit and they could sue.
If you go around crapping on big companies they are likely to bite back.[/quote]
Stop what you are doing if you’re trying to mislead or confuse consumers into thinking your company has something to do with theirs, or registered the name in order to extort money from them.
But if you’re acting in good faith and not trying to screw with them (honestly) and there’s no evidence to the contrary, then don’t cave in just because they’re a giant.
I’m a lawyer. Drop me a line if you think maybe you’re not intentionally fucking with them and I’ll give you my opinion. I’ve read lots of administrative opinions from domain name disputes and will be happy to give you my opinion on the merits of your case.
Where is the domain registered? If it is registered in taiwan (.com.tw), the dispute will be resolved according to the Taiwan Network Information Center Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.
I don’t fuck with people etc and my site doesn’t trick or fool people into something else. I have sent you a PM, thanks for the offer. That should shed some light on my case. The domain is a .com. Thanks for all the replies.
You should in no way ‘give in to their demands’.
If the company in question considers you holding the domain name a problem, then they should happily buy it from you at a fair price, rather than go through a protracted, expensive, legal battle.