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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 4th February 2013, 01:48 AM
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If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

A Fortune 500 company has been shipping their product to Russia for years using the Russian version of their company name printed on the box - they clearly value that name although they are based in the USA.

If you search Yandex for the keyword, the first page is full of listings of a popular sports personality that has the same name. The company is listed on page 2.

There's also a Russian flooring manufacturer that uses the same name.

I own the IDN.com version of the name and it gets 12k exact match searches per month, but precious few type-ins.

From my perspective it's not a trademark issue. After all, most Yandex listings are for the sports figure. I'm sure a case could be made for the other side.

I don't have any desire to sell names, but i would like to lease a few.

Am thinking of redirecting to where the Russian version shows in browser window (in Opera anyways) and redirecting to the larger company and offering them a lease arrangement.

Am i asking for trouble? As an alternate i could simply and cheerfully offer to work with them in my core biz which is online advertising, and just let them use the name for free.

Please advise!
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Old 4th February 2013, 01:57 AM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldguy View Post
A Fortune 500 company has been shipping their product to Russia for years using the Russian version of their company name printed on the box - they clearly value that name although they are based in the USA.

If you search Yandex for the keyword, the first page is full of listings of a popular sports personality that has the same name. The company is listed on page 2.

There's also a Russian flooring manufacturer that uses the same name.

I own the IDN.com version of the name and it gets 12k exact match searches per month, but precious few type-ins.

From my perspective it's not a trademark issue. After all, most Yandex listings are for the sports figure. I'm sure a case could be made for the other side.

I don't have any desire to sell names, but i would like to lease a few.

Am thinking of redirecting to where the Russian version shows in browser window (in Opera anyways) and redirecting to the larger company and offering them a lease arrangement.

Am i asking for trouble? As an alternate i could simply and cheerfully offer to work with them in my core biz which is online advertising, and just let them use the name for free.

Please advise!
I love the "From my perspective, it's not a trademark issue" part for two reasons:

1) You've clearly explained it probably is a TM or least will be contested as one
2) Ignorance is no defence. "I don't regard this as a TM" doesn't get you very far in a UDRP hearing or court case.

Asking for trouble by offering to lease it them visibly online? lmao. I don't think you could ask for much more trouble. Maybe redirecting the traffic to a porn site would be a worse step but only marginally.
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Old 4th February 2013, 03:07 AM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

Hmm.

A couple of hints to begin with:

1) Legal advice on the internet is worth what you pay for it.

2) This sub-forum is readable by all visitors, and is indexed by Google, so it may not be the best place for discussions of legal issues.

Anyway, some generic advice about trademarks and generic words. This assumes that your domain name really is a generic word; if its most generic use is as a surname, then things are more complicated.

Anyway, as an example, suppose you own apple .com. If you create a website on this domain to buy and sell apples (the fruit), you are fine. If you create a website to buy and sell computers, or music, or televisions, or if your website happens to carry ads for such products, you will deservedly lose the domain in a UDRP proceeding. Likewise if you contact the company and offer them the "opportunity" to lease this domain.

As for surnames: if your hypothetical website happens to carry ads or products related to the famous athlete, you will also deservedly lose the domain in a UDRP proceeding.

So to answer your question, yes, you are asking for trouble, simply by owning this domain. Simple rule of thumb: if the only ads you could imagine placing on this domain are for the US Fortune 500 company, the Russian flooring company, or the Russian athlete, then you don't really want to own it.

Avtal
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Old 4th February 2013, 03:13 AM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

Excellent reply. I'll give it some thought and either offer to gift it to them or let it expire.
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Old 4th February 2013, 03:16 AM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

Is it generic
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Old 4th February 2013, 03:27 AM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

Quote:
Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
Is it generic
Is Apple generic?
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Old 4th February 2013, 04:10 AM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldguy View Post
Excellent reply. I'll give it some thought and either offer to gift it to them or let it expire.
You're welcome!

I forgot to mention, by the way, that you if are subject to US law, you might want to familiarize yourself with the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. If you use a domain in a way that infringes on a company's trademark, then that company can take you to Federal court under the act. Expect to pay some tens of thousands of dollars for a lawyer to defend you. And if you lose, you owe the company one hundred thousand dollars. Plus they get the domain, I suppose.

If the company has a decent lawyer, the lawyer will hire a paralegal to trawl through domain-related forums, to see whether the domain owner posted anything incriminating. Which you have.

Nervous yet? Unless you can figure out a non-infringing use for the domain, you might think about asking your registrar to delete it (faster than waiting for it to expire).

If it is generic, and you can figure out a non-infringing use, you are in better shape, but it would be a good idea to consult with a domain lawyer before sending any letters to any companies.

Avtal
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Old 4th February 2013, 05:55 AM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

Quote:
Originally Posted by domainguru View Post
Is Apple generic?
Exactly, it depends.

In April of 2002 i had a few .us names pre-ordered before they started selling and i wasn't aware of trademark issues and inadvertently ended up with one that was the counterpart to a well known mutual fund company.

They weren't too happy and finally convinced me to let them have it. Now days i know it's not worth the hassle to argue.

I do quite of bit of biz for a small operation and can cheerfully offer them the name as a gift and possibly even win some business from them (separate biz).

I can cull a name in 30 seconds if i want to get rid of it.

For info and entertainment I'll update the thread when they respond.

I wouldn't argue one of these cases, just because it aint worth it, but here's a good example and not the actual case.

Everyone knows golfer Tiger Woods
There a few companies that have Woods in their company name, most notable woods equipment .com and if i owned woods .com it would be a similar situation.

Same thing with Apple, lots of folks in this area have Apple for a last name. It probably goes to the trademark issue and if a company has a name trademarked (including the idn version) you would probably lose.

About 10 years ago there was a small auction site called eggbay .com that sold hatching eggs and poultry and ebay made them change names.

Heck, even if my last name were Apple and i had owned the name since day one, if i didn't have it trademarked, and Apple did, a court might rule against me. Probably hinges on the trademark. Lots of times it helps to talk a thing out. Helps make wise decisions and keeps me out of hot lava.

Benjamin Franklin said, if a man can't be counseled, he can't be helped.

It's all good
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Old 4th February 2013, 06:43 AM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

What you have to remember is that under trademark law, things are determined by two criteria.

1) How much money you have.
2) Whether you are American or not.

If you are Russian, you are entitled to jack shit, even in your own language and in an entirely different Alphabet.
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Old 4th February 2013, 01:09 PM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldguy View Post
Benjamin Franklin said, if a man can't be counseled, he can't be helped.
Nice Poor Richard quote.

Good luck!

Avtal
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Old 4th February 2013, 03:13 PM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

what if it were Nissan as in "Uzi Nissan" ie nissan.com
http://www.digest.com/Big_Story.php

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldguy View Post
Heck, even if my last name were Apple and i had owned the name since day one, if i didn't have it trademarked, and Apple did, a court might rule against me. Probably hinges on the trademark. Lots of times it helps to talk a thing out. Helps make wise decisions and keeps me out of hot lava.
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Old 4th February 2013, 03:35 PM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

Fascinating Nissan article. Large companies have teams of lawyers on standby, many of which need to make a name for themselves and will work hard. Sometimes "right and wrong" is in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes either party don't care about right and wrong.

Somewhat related, some companies complain more about the use of their trademarked name than others. You could purchase and park New2013Nissan dot com with no complaints, but if you replace that last word with Toyota, most parking companies will not serve ads on it. You would be OK with the typo Toytoa.
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Old 5th February 2013, 01:07 AM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubber Duck View Post
What you have to remember is that under trademark law, things are determined by two criteria.

1) How much money you have.
2) Whether you are American or not.

If you are Russian, you are entitled to jack shit, even in your own language and in an entirely different Alphabet.
I understand that this is one of RD's generic anti-US rants, and a reply is not required. But I thought it would be interesting to remind people about a recent use (or misuse) of Russian trademarks.

Recall that on November 25, 2009, the Trademark Sunrise opened in the .рф ccTLD. On the very first day, a company named CETIS managed to register some of the top keywords, thanks to trademarks they had recently filed. For instance, they had a trademark for the Секс (sex) brand of women's handbags, and the Кино (movies) brand of water heaters. This allowed them to grab секс.рф, кино.рф, and several others. See this article (in Russian) for more details.

The question is whether someone will try something similar during the .ком Trademark Sunrise. This will be more difficult for them, because eligibility requirements are tighter (they have to supply proof of use in commerce). And as squirrel has pointed out, our aliasing rights will probably take priority over trademark rights.

Avtal
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Old 5th February 2013, 01:54 PM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avtal View Post
I understand that this is one of RD's generic anti-US rants, and a reply is not required. But I thought it would be interesting to remind people about a recent use (or misuse) of Russian trademarks.



Avtal
RD is fascinated by US in fact and in fact he is much disgusted by his own country,hmm.. what her name is, I forgot?
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Old 5th February 2013, 06:31 PM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackpower View Post
RD is fascinated by US in fact and in fact he is much disgusted by his own country,hmm.. what her name is, I forgot?
You don't need to convince me the UK is a shit hole!

Today, I learned that i had been turned down for a UK Business Account by a bank I have been with for 35 years, but apparently informing me was not part of the process.

In one action they violated Articles 15, 16, 21 and 36 of European Charter, and all I got was a load of shit about UK banking regulations. I guess the wanker that wrote those never even read the European Charter.

Frankly, we would probably have been better of if Napaleon or the Spanish had invaded. I am here in Eastern Europe and frankly even Joe Stalin could not prevent them eventually enjoying more freedom than we do.

We don't have a Constitution, but we have a Citizen Charter. The only problem being is that we are Subjects not Citizens. UK democracy is bullshit.

Mind you still thousand times better administered than the USA.
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Old 6th February 2013, 12:18 AM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubber Duck View Post
I am here in Eastern Europe and frankly even Joe Stalin could not prevent them eventually enjoying more freedom than we do.
So how are you enjoying your stay in the Czech Republic? I visited in Soviet times; I imagine it is much nicer now.

Avtal
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Old 6th February 2013, 12:48 AM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

Yep, and I will stay and pay my taxes as long as they treat me right.

Otherwise I will find somewhere I can pay even less.
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Old 6th February 2013, 12:50 AM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

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Yep, and I will stay and pay my taxes as long as they treat me right.
Prague?
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Old 6th February 2013, 01:25 AM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

Frankly, we would probably have been better of if Napaleon or the Spanish had invaded.
------

wow... to think of it.....cognac and Scotch really squaring off for royal seals...
and running of the bulls in Sheffield....?

s
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Old 6th February 2013, 07:16 AM
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Re: If you were me - please advise on this Russian IDN

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Originally Posted by Eurorealtor View Post
Prague?
No, near Opava.
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