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View Full Version : if my website is very close to another name do i have to worry about being sued?



dobber
02-03-2010, 07:14 AM
for example: website A is called fatcow.com, website B is called fat-cow.com

website A was around before website B, is there any way website B could be sued or anything?

thanks!

oracleguy
02-03-2010, 08:05 AM
If the name of website A is registered trademark, it is possible. Or if they think you registered it in bad faith. e.g. To get people that mistyped the url

drhowarddrfine
02-03-2010, 03:41 PM
Chances are you will not get sued but will receive a warning letter first.

masterofollies
02-03-2010, 06:46 PM
No it's not illegal unless you are copying their website or calling yourself Fatcow and also giving web hosting.

Apostropartheid
02-03-2010, 07:45 PM
If you're in the same sector (like both site A and B are both auction sites) and/or operate in the same country/area, I'd be wary. Talk to a lawyer.

webuilder
02-23-2010, 09:20 AM
I guess it depends on who the other website is. For example, you can never get a domain that would contain ebay in it. Now matter how long or obscure it may look like for example "dasdaebaysdasd.com", ebay will still come after you.

Amy Cameron
BuildMySiteforFree.com

Philip M
02-23-2010, 09:44 AM
If you're in the same sector (like both site A and B are both auction sites) and/or operate in the same country/area, I'd be wary. Talk to a lawyer.

Yes, good advice. Bear in mind that you probably cannot afford the costs involved in litigation to test in court whether or not fat-cow.com was too close to fatcow.com. If I owned fatcow.com I would probably drive you off just by sending you a lawyer's threatening letter. If you did not withdraw then I would start legal proceedings, at which point you would fold.

So in short you are taking a big risk. If I could demonstatre financial loss then you would have to pay possibly significant damages.

As the man says, you would never be able to register myebay.com or micro-soft.com.

MattF
02-23-2010, 09:55 PM
As the man says, you would never be able to register myebay.com or micro-soft.com.

Why not? If the intention was to deceive people in some way or form by the similarity, then there would most likely be a case for the legal courts. However, until the day any company owns the rights to the English language, there's not a damned thing they can do about a similar name unless there is some obvious non-innocent reason involved in the choice of that name. Will we all start legal proceedings against people who have the same firstname or lastname, just incase they may ever decide to impersonate us?

There's not a single, morally ethic legal system on earth, (which does probably rule out pretty much all of them), who could punish the innocent use of a similar name in good conscience.

Fumigator
02-23-2010, 10:35 PM
There is plenty of precedent to the contrary, Mattf. "Googlegear.com" was forced to change their domain name, even though they sold computer parts. (They are now zipzoomfly.com)

I found this interesting site that is dedicated to the topic:

http://cybersquatting.com/

jfreak53
02-23-2010, 11:00 PM
There is plenty of precedent to the contrary, Mattf. "Googlegear.com" was forced to change their domain name, even though they sold computer parts. (They are now zipzoomfly.com)

I found this interesting site that is dedicated to the topic:

http://cybersquatting.com/

Great info page, thanks for the share :thumbsup:

MattF
02-23-2010, 11:42 PM
There is plenty of precedent to the contrary, Mattf. "Googlegear.com" was forced to change their domain name, even though they sold computer parts. (They are now zipzoomfly.com)

So it's down to good old backhanders, as per usual. At least the judicial system is consistent. Bent as a nine bob note, granted, but consistently so.




I found this interesting site that is dedicated to the topic:

http://cybersquatting.com/

Cheers. I'll have a read of that.

Fumigator
02-23-2010, 11:56 PM
I tend to look at it from the other point of view. Let's say I've spent the last 10 years building up my website selling, whatever, let's say shoes, using a domain name aholeshoes.com. It's finally profitable and I'm getting some real buzz going. If I then found out someone had registered awholeshoes.com, which was redirecting people to zappos.com, I'd want that domain destroyed asap! It would clearly be using my brand name to funnel business to a competitor.

MattF
02-24-2010, 12:08 AM
I tend to look at it from the other point of view. Let's say I've spent the last 10 years building up my website selling, whatever, let's say shoes, using a domain name aholeshoes.com. It's finally profitable and I'm getting some real buzz going. If I then found out someone had registered awholeshoes.com, which was redirecting people to zappos.com, I'd want that domain destroyed asap! It would clearly be using my brand name to funnel business to a competitor.

That would be an entirely different scenario though. That's what I alluded to above. If the intent is to deceive, then all well and good. There is an obvious reason for stamping down on those types of registration. Same as with the squatters who take up free domains in the hope that they can make a whacking profit from them. All of those types do want screwing and screwing hard.

However, if someone starts up their own site, with no intent of, (or any obvious form of), deceptive reason for choosing that name, then they have as much right, (in my opinion), to whatever name they choose as they please.

scripts99
02-26-2010, 02:01 PM
before anyproblem u will get email. u have to responding that email...

Fumigator
02-26-2010, 07:22 PM
That would be an entirely different scenario though. That's what I alluded to above. If the intent is to deceive, then all well and good. There is an obvious reason for stamping down on those types of registration. Same as with the squatters who take up free domains in the hope that they can make a whacking profit from them. All of those types do want screwing and screwing hard.

However, if someone starts up their own site, with no intent of, (or any obvious form of), deceptive reason for choosing that name, then they have as much right, (in my opinion), to whatever name they choose as they please.

Well it sounds like we absolutely agree then!

And fortunately it looks like, based on the lawsuits listed on that cybersquatting website linked previously, the panel that fields these grievances, takes this kind of stuff into consideration.

For example: An interior decorator registered californiacountry.com because he's use this term to describe his style. The California Farm Bureau publishes a newsletter called "California Country" and sued to take the domain from the decorator. The panel determined the decorator could keep the domain because he's not using the name to compete with or subvert the newsletter-- he has a legitimate right to the term.

http://cybersquatting.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=66&cntnt01returnid=87

mlseim
02-26-2010, 07:28 PM
This is an old story (2004), but you get the idea ...
http://msgboard.snopes.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=103;t=000544;p=0

Even if yours "sounds the same", not a good idea.

Apostropartheid
02-26-2010, 11:13 PM
That would be an entirely different scenario though. That's what I alluded to above. If the intent is to deceive, then all well and good. There is an obvious reason for stamping down on those types of registration. Same as with the squatters who take up free domains in the hope that they can make a whacking profit from them. All of those types do want screwing and screwing hard.

However, if someone starts up their own site, with no intent of, (or any obvious form of), deceptive reason for choosing that name, then they have as much right, (in my opinion), to whatever name they choose as they please.

Usually, if the two companies are competing, then it's a matter of when the brand was established.

MattF
02-27-2010, 06:42 AM
And fortunately it looks like, based on the lawsuits listed on that cybersquatting website linked previously, the panel that fields these grievances, takes this kind of stuff into consideration.

For example: An interior decorator registered californiacountry.com because he's use this term to describe his style. The California Farm Bureau publishes a newsletter called "California Country" and sued to take the domain from the decorator. The panel determined the decorator could keep the domain because he's not using the name to compete with or subvert the newsletter-- he has a legitimate right to the term.

It's good to see that there is still some common sense and suchlike in the decisions.



Usually, if the two companies are competing, then it's a matter of when the brand was established.

That's getting back to the debatable intent point. Two companies, similar names, could be coincidence, but usually that might suggest one trying to piggyback off the others reputation. I suppose that would boil down to the specific circumstances.

arindra
02-27-2010, 08:11 AM
No, I don't think so. But the nest time you create a website make sure not to let any fissures for this type of confusion.

Jmart285
03-06-2010, 12:37 PM
ya i've heard its not a good idea. make sure the first domain isnt trademarked as others have said

happeemom
03-22-2010, 08:52 PM
If the name itself is trademarked, and they find out you are even close to the name.... A different spelling of the name does not apply to this.... but in your case, same spelling but with hyphen, they can come to you for royalties. Same scenario for a restaurant name in I think New York.

Someone long ago named their business "bob something" and established the name well. Then comes along "Bob something, plus" and then "bob something, plus, plus"
Because the name "bob something" was already established, and all companies offered the same category "Restaurants", Bob something was able to either close down or accept royalties for the name of the others because it included his name in the title.
Now, if you named it "bob auto something", totally different scenario, no liability.

oracleguy
03-24-2010, 05:31 PM
This discussion has ran its course and is now attracting spam so I am going to close it.



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