Intellectual Property Forum The Intellectual Property Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

We are looking for moderators.  Message the admin if interested.

Author Topic: Website Domain Name Usage  (Read 971 times)

vickiboise

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Website Domain Name Usage
« on: 08-01-17 at 04:56 pm »

Hello!  I have a two part question.

1)  What is the liability on my part?  I have a company that does bookkeeping.  We specifically offer bookkeeping to people who use a certain software, let's say Snigglesnap Software for the Construction industry (not anything like Quickbooks, Xero, etc).  And we advertise on our website that we do bookkeeping for clients who use this software.  I have no association with Snigglesnap besides being familiar with their software.  Is it lawful for me to obtain and advertise my service on a domain such as snigglesnapbookkeeping dot com?  Or can Snigglesnap possibly not like and bring suit against me for this?

2)  Is there a type of insurance I can buy to protect myself against such a liability?

Your help is greatly appreciated!!  Vicki
Logged

MYK

  • Lead Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4061
    • View Profile
Re: Website Domain Name Usage
« Reply #1 on: 08-01-17 at 05:48 pm »

Nominative use of trademarks is usually fine. You should try to find the company's trademark usage guidelines to see what they ask their users to do when mentioning them;  at least for the major tech companies, they usually put these on their websites, but you might have to contact their marketing department to ask.

As far as registering a domain name using their trademark as a part of it, that's frowned upon and they can file a UDRP to have the domain name transferred to them if they want to.  Not all companies care about it, but if they do, you would most likely lose given the facts as you've described them.
Logged
"The life of a patent solicitor has always been a hard one."  Judge Giles Rich, Application of Ruschig, 379 F.2d 990.

Disclaimer: not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer.  Therefore, this does not constitute legal advice.

MYK

  • Lead Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4061
    • View Profile
Re: Website Domain Name Usage
« Reply #2 on: 08-01-17 at 05:55 pm »

Oh, on this:
2)  Is there a type of insurance I can buy to protect myself against such a liability?
Yes, the insurance is called "don't do that".  Don't use their trademark in your domain name, don't name your business after their product, don't try to free-ride on their marketing.  Calling yourself "Vickie's Bookkeeping, specializing in using QuickBooks for the construction industry" is usually fine.  Calling yourself "Vickie's QuickBooks Construction Bookkeeping" is likely to get you sued.

Check with them to make sure that they aren't going to go after you for mentioning that your services are based around bookkeeping using their product;  it would be surprising if they were the sort of company that sues their customers, but some companies are into ruining their own business, so you never know.

As far as actual insurance policies, I'm not aware of any insurance company that would insure against something that is so blatantly likely to cause a lawsuit, but there are plenty of general business policies out there, and an insurance agent may be able to tell you if they have something that would cover lawsuit risks.
Logged
"The life of a patent solicitor has always been a hard one."  Judge Giles Rich, Application of Ruschig, 379 F.2d 990.

Disclaimer: not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer.  Therefore, this does not constitute legal advice.

vickiboise

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Website Domain Name Usage
« Reply #3 on: 08-09-17 at 05:41 pm »

Thank you so much, MYK!  Makes perfect sense and is a great help. My intention is to only mention Snigglesnap's software on my website as "We are experts in bookkeeping using Snigglesnap software".

Also, after reading your reply, I will be sticking with my primary website, and I will not be seeking additional websites, such as Snigglesnapbookkeeping.com.

And I will certainly be checking with the company to ensure that I understand their trademark rules and restrictions.

Again... your help is greatly appreciated!  Vicki
Logged

Robert K S

  • Lead Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1753
    • View Profile
Re: Website Domain Name Usage
« Reply #4 on: 08-11-17 at 10:32 am »

"We are experts in bookkeeping using Snigglesnap software".

If you are a CPA you may want to look into the ethics rules governing you ("Code of Professional Conduct" or whatever it might be called in your jurisdiction) and associated opinions/guidance (if any) to ensure that it is okay for you to call yourself an "expert".  I know that in some jurisdictions it is not permitted for lawyers to refer to themselves as "experts".  One state issued an opinion prohibiting lawyers from appearing on a program called "Ask the Expert".  It may be fine for CPAs, but whenever I see the word "expert" associated with lawyers it raises red flags, so it is possible that the same may be true with other licensed professionals.
Logged
This post is made in the context of professional discussion of general patent law issues and nothing contained herein may be construed as legal advice.

vickiboise

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Website Domain Name Usage
« Reply #5 on: 08-15-17 at 01:20 pm »

Thank you so much, Robert, for replying to this thread.  I will definitely be reviewing where I have mentioned "experts" and looking into the ramifications of doing so.  As a side, I am not a CPA.  Also, we are offering bookkeeping services only for a specific industry, and we specialize in doing this bookkeeping for clients who use a standard software for this industry (ex: Snigglesnap) to store their receipts, bills, etc.
Logged
 



Footer

www.intelproplaw.com

Terms of Use
Feel free to contact us:
Sorry, spam is killing us.

iKnight Technologies Inc.

www.intelproplaw.com

Page created in 0.101 seconds with 21 queries.