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binaryman
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Confused by trademark issue
« on: Oct 12th, 2006, 10:25am »
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Hello,
There is something I dont understand about TM's and I really wish to know.
I hope my question does'nt sound dumb and that someone can give me a clear answer on this. I want to register a domain name AUTOLAND which is still available under a particular extension. I wish to then park it to earn parking revenue of it and perhaps sell it if someone offers me a good price for it.But I donrt want trouble and if I might get trouble I wont register it..That's why I am posting this here. Now I notice that almost all the major extensions of this name are taken, some 22 domain extensions in all. I visited all of their websites and there are 3 AUTOLAND domains which show a TM or a R next to their name. These are 3 different companies but all are in the motortrade. Then there are 19 other domains with this name with no obvious TM or R next to their name. A few sites have "parking" content and 3 of those are for sale.
So here is what I dont understand. Why are all these different domainholders not sueing the beejeebies out of each other? Should there in fact not be one legal and authorised domainholder amongst all of them who has the nmost right on the name? What I mean is how can AUTOLAND have so many different owners and users? What is the use of having a trademark on AUTOLAND then if there are so many AUTOLAND domains and businesses out there all over the world? And where do I fit in should I register AUTOLAND? Can all of these guys sue me then? If so why dont they sue each other until there is only one left over who is allowed to use AUTOLAND.? Please help me understand this please. The way I see it then is that for every Trademarked name there can be only one owner/person who is allowed to use that name but I see it all the time that a trademarked name is used by plenty of companies and people in different countries and also in the same countries. AOTOLAND for instance is registered like I said by 22 different persons with 22 different domain extensions. Only one should be able to excist then legally is it not? Do you understand my confusion? Please help me understand.
Thank you and I look forward to the explanation.
Regards
Fred
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JSonnabend
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Re: Confused by trademark issue
« Reply #1 on: Oct 13th, 2006, 7:35am »
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A domain name by itself is not a trademark, although it may be used as a trademark in certain instances (think "Amazon.com").
 
There is nothing in the law that prohibits two entities, even in the same field, from using similar domains, nor is there anything in the law that would necessarily give one tm owner the ability to stop another from using the domain.  
 
For example, here in Brooklyn there's a car dealer called "Acme Motors".  It's a single location.  In Sheboygan, there's also an "Acme Motors", a single location and no relation to the first.  They both started around the same time and only began national advertising when they launched there respective websites, "AcmeMotors.com" and "AcmeMotors.net".  Who owns the right to the name "Acme Motors"?  Can either stop the other's domain name use?
 
- Jeff
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SonnabendLaw
Intellectual Property and Technology Law
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JSonnabend@SonnabendLaw.com
binaryman
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Re: Confused by trademark issue
« Reply #2 on: Oct 18th, 2006, 10:33am »
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Thnx JS Smiley
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