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Old 31st May 2006, 10:53 PM
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Exclamation 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

Domain Name: 東京メトロ.com

PunyCode: xn--fdk6buby55u34z.com

Registrar: 007names.com

Price: High $x,xxx - low $xx,xxx

English Translation: Tokyo Metro

Language: Japanese

Message:
I am looking for offers on the domain 東京メトロ.com. This is one of the busiest bus and train transportation systems in the world. Tremendous amount of Overture results and search results.

OVT JP for 東京 メトロ = 186,001
Yahoo JP results = 1,830,000
Google results = 2,490,000

Thanks for looking, -Joe
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Old 31st May 2006, 11:02 PM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

Don't mean to butt into your thread here but I believe 東京メトロ is the name of a company - Tokyo Metro Co., LTD. Their homepage is tokyometro.jp.

Can a Japanese resident verify this?
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Old 31st May 2006, 11:22 PM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

Yes this is correct, in Japan it is the shortened name of a company at the website tokyometro.jp. I don't see any reason why there would be a problem seeing that both Tokyo and metro are typical names. Tokyo being the city name and metro being a commonly used transportation name. When I registered the domain I didn't know that a company was called that in Japan so it wasn't in bad intention. The domain tokyometro.com is for sale out there also by someone else...I would see that being more of a problem since you've registered a domain that's trying to steal traffic from the official website. It's like any city and adding metro on the end or subway, or transport, etc. Also the company's full name is Tokyo Metro Company Ltd. so I don't know if it makes a difference but their name is not Tokyo Metro Ltd probably because they legally can't have that name since it is public domain. I will gladly keep this domain if it doesn't sell because I see huge potential for it, I just need the money since I'm leaving the country soon to go to Japan actually.

Last edited by daem0n; 31st May 2006 at 11:28 PM..
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Old 31st May 2006, 11:30 PM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

I think the big OVT is people searching for information on the company, or their rail lines. You can check out most any of the large corporation names in Japan and see big ovt scores. Check Yamaha, Sony, etc. This one is kind of borderline since it also can cover the Tokyo subway lines, their routes etc.

Just make sure potential buyers have the information so they can perform due diligence and know what the issues might be. Noone wants to pay big bucks for a name and find out they are in for a legal tussle over its use.

Last edited by bwhhisc; 31st May 2006 at 11:35 PM..
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Old 31st May 2006, 11:53 PM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

Yes you are correct in saying that. I am an honest person and for a large transaction I would provide a year guarantee that you wouldn't run into any problems. Of course I can't promise that it wouldn't happen because I can only use my own knowledge to say that it won't so that's why I'd offer a year guarantee minus transaction fees (transfer fees/registration). I know a lot of people search for company information in Japan but I do believe this is more for travel information such as what buses and trains to take to get to certain destinations. Also I found this quote about trademarks:

"Clearly Descriptive

You may not register a word or phrase that clearly describes a feature of the wares or services. For example, " sweet" for ice cream, "juicy" for apples, or "perfectly clean" for dry cleaner services. All apples could be described as "juicy" and all ice cream as " sweet". These are inherent characteristics of the wares. If you were allowed to register these words, no other apple sellers or ice cream vendors could use them to promote their goods, which would be unfair."

Obviously they've already registered their trademark under the name Tokyo Metro Company in English. I don't think they can use the trade name Tokyo Metro on it's own legally because it would be similar to the quote above.
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Old 1st June 2006, 12:17 AM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

Normally I would agree, however I don't think メトロ (metro) means the same thing in Japanese as it does in English. メトロ (transliteration of 'metro' I believe) seems to be a word used in many business names in Japan. And like many other two word company names, two generics don't necessarily produce a generic - ie. Bank of America, Citibank, General Motors, etc. I could be wrong but this is what I see from my search.

Since I don't speak Japanese it would be helpful if someone familiar with this company and term would chime in.
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Old 1st June 2006, 12:46 AM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

Well I appreciate any discussion on the name since I want an honest sale. I'm defending my point of view because that's what I believe but in no way think of it as arguing with you. I'm glad that these points are being brought up now rather than later. I did find another website at http://www.metro.tokyo.jp/ which is for the government of metropolitan Japan which leads me to believe that my website should be alright also.
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Old 1st June 2006, 02:08 AM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

Just my personal opinion, the domain looks perfectly fine and generic to me.
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Old 1st June 2006, 02:40 AM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

As you may have seen a few weeks ago, I said I generally wouldn't comment on translations any more. However, being "on the ground" here in Tokyo, this one is just too obvious to pass up...

You can see "東京メトロ" plastered all over every station in the underground network - and there are hundreds of them - so if you picked 1,000 Tokyo residents at random and asked them what "東京メトロ" meant, I'd bet all 1,000 would name the company running the underground.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: 3 Japanese trademarks have been granted for the exact "東京メトロ", both for the expression in words and for a graphical font-based representation of the phrase. Looks completely watertight to me.

The trademark search was from the Japanese version of option #3 on this page... http://www.ipdl.ncipi.go.jp/Syouhyou/syouhyou.htm
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Last edited by Edwin; 1st June 2006 at 02:48 AM..
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Old 1st June 2006, 04:59 AM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

Based on Edwin's info, this domain is then not good. Please ignore my previous post.
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Old 1st June 2006, 07:02 AM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwin
As you may have seen a few weeks ago, I said I generally wouldn't comment on translations any more. However, being "on the ground" here in Tokyo, this one is just too obvious to pass up...

You can see "東京メトロ" plastered all over every station in the underground network - and there are hundreds of them - so if you picked 1,000 Tokyo residents at random and asked them what "東京メトロ" meant, I'd bet all 1,000 would name the company running the underground.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: 3 Japanese trademarks have been granted for the exact "東京メトロ", both for the expression in words and for a graphical font-based representation of the phrase. Looks completely watertight to me.

The trademark search was from the Japanese version of option #3 on this page... http://www.ipdl.ncipi.go.jp/Syouhyou/syouhyou.htm

Well, it might seem so on the surface but if WIPO deemed the Trademark to be Generic it cannot be defended, so the Trademark would not mean anything in terms of the domain.

Registrability and distinctive character


A trademark may be eligible for registration, or registrable, if amongst other things it performs the essential trademark function, and has distinctive character. Registrability can be understood as a continuum, with "inherently distinctive" marks at one end, "generic" and "descriptive" marks with no distinctive character at the other end, and "suggestive" and "arbitrary" marks lying between these two points.

* A fanciful / inherently distinctive trademark is prima facie registrable, and comprises an entirely invented or "fanciful" sign. For example, "Kodak" had no meaning before it was adopted and used as a trademark in relation to goods, whether photographic goods or otherwise. Invented marks are neologisms which will not previously have been found in any dictionary.

* An arbitrary trademark is usually a common word which is used in a meaningless context (e.g. "Apple" for computers). Such marks consist of words or images which have some dictionary meaning before being adopted as trademarks, but which are used in connection with products or services unrelated to that dictionary meaning. For example, Salty would be an arbitrary mark if it used in connection with refrigerators, e.g. Salty Refrigerators, as the term "salt" has no particular connection with such products.

* A suggestive trademark tends to indicate the nature, quality, or a characteristic of the products or services in relation to which it is used, but does not describe this characteristic, and requires imagination on the part of the consumer to identify the characteristic. Suggestive marks invoke the consumer’s perceptive imagination. An example of a suggestive mark might be Salty used in connection with sailing gear.

* A descriptive mark is a term with a dictionary meaning which is used in connection with products or services directly related to that meaning. An example might be Salty used in connection with saltine crackers or anchovies. Such terms are not registrable unless it can be shown that distinctive character has been established in the term through extensive use in the marketplace (see further below).

* A generic term is the common name for the products or services in connection with which it is used, such as "salt" when used in connection with sodium chloride. A generic term is not capable of serving the essential trademark function of distinguishing the products or services of a business from the products or services of other businesses, and therefore cannot be afforded any legal protection. This is because there has to be some term which may generally be used by anyone - including other manufacturers - to refer to a product without using some organization's proprietary trademark. Marks which become generic after losing distinctive character are known as genericized trademarks.
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Old 1st June 2006, 07:09 AM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubber Duck
.
LOL and you claim I know squat........ Mr. TM Lawyer talking squabble.

Hello, there are three trademarks for this term. If he was to even open a site advertising maps of the system etc he could get WIPOed. Perhaps it is you that needs to read up on TM law.
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Old 1st June 2006, 07:18 AM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff
LOL and you claim I know squat........ Mr. TM Lawyer talking squabble.

Hello, there are three trademarks for this term. If he was to even open a site advertising maps of the system etc he could get WIPOed. Perhaps it is you that needs to read up on TM law.
Realistically, the layout of the Tokyo Metro is not a state secret, therefore simply providing information about its layout is not acting in bad faith. You cannot get sued by FIFA for simply reporting the scores of football matches. In order to prove bad faith, it would be necessary to show that something detrimental to the Trademark Owner was being undertaken.

It would not be at all unreasonable to open a restaurant, fashion boutique or a club with the same name, provided that the train operator has not already done so. You could not, however, use it to run a Taxi company.
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Old 1st June 2006, 08:02 AM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

Quote:
Originally Posted by markits
Just my personal opinion, the domain looks perfectly fine and generic to me.

That domain is 101% a trademark item. It's fine collecting it to generate type-in income, if there is any, and hope that Tokyo Metro doesn't lodge a WIPO for as long as possible.

But to sell a domain that can be confiscated anytime for High $x,xxx - low $xx,xxx, if i were you, i'll quickly ask Olney to delete this post to minimize the damage. :o

Last edited by touchring; 1st June 2006 at 08:16 AM..
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Old 1st June 2006, 08:19 AM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

Quote:
Originally Posted by touchring
That domain is 101% a trademark item. It's fine collecting it to generate type-in income, if there is any, and hope that Tokyo Metro doesn't lodge a WIPO for as long as possible.
Well the term メトロ is Generic and so is 東京. The term メトロ is already be used by a variety of companies in various industries indicating that it has little to do with trains, but relates to Metropolis. It is doubtful that putting the two very generic terms together creates an Arbituary term, which is what would be required for a water tight situation at WIPO.

Financially for the original domain holder at $8 the risk is minimal as long as he doesn't try to defend the situation. The onus of Trademark protection is on the owner of the Trademark. He cannot take legal action against you until he has notified you that he considers you to be infringing his trademark. If you then persist in that infringement he then has recourse to the law, which may not only include WIPO, but also suing for Civil damages. Of course actions taken in a Japanese court may not be easily enforceable on a company registered in Panama which has intricate ties to Lichenstein and Switzerland.

Realistically, most serious domainers will shy away from this kind of domain and will be unwilling to pay much of a premium. Even Typo Squaters are unlikely to stump up unless you can demonstrate very serious short-term earning potential.
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Last edited by Rubber Duck; 1st June 2006 at 09:04 AM..
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Old 1st June 2006, 08:24 AM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubber Duck
It is doubtful that putting the two very generic terms together creates an Arbituary term, which is what would be required for a water tight situation at WIPO.

No, i've seen 2 generics put together and the owner lost it by WIPO verdict because the complainant has a trademark for that duo-generic combo.

Credit Swiss -> Credit and Swiss are generics but a trademark when put together.

However, it would not be possible to WIPO credit.com or swiss.com as long as there's no bad faith.
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Old 1st June 2006, 08:28 AM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

Quote:
Originally Posted by touchring
No, i've seen 2 generics put together and the owner lost it by WIPO verdict because the complainant has a trademark for that duo-generic combo.

Credit Swiss -> Credit and Swiss are generics but a trademark when put together.

However, it would not be possible to WIPO credit.com or swiss.com as long as there's no bad faith.
Well it would be difficult to argue that Credit Swiss or Suisse had much general useage in another context. With the name of major metropolis linked to the word Metropolis itself, then the arguments are going to be a whole lot less watertight.
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Old 1st June 2006, 08:54 AM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

credit swiss is a bad example.

Touchring is right, selling the domain is not wise.

I also agree with the duck. I share exactly the same opinion with him.

By all, TM domains is troublesome and serious domainers usually don't touch them.
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Old 1st June 2006, 09:24 AM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

Well I appreciate all the feedback from everybody and the discussion. I think Rubber Duck's defence is in order but I understand the risk of someone purchasing this from me. Therefore, I am taking it off the market. I will keep it for myself and if there's a problem with it, I will report back. In all honesty I don't see the problem with it other than the fact that Tokyo Metro has become "mainstream" in Tokyo. I understand the risks involved and don't want to sell this to someone unless they understand that too. Like I said, I never registered the domain knowing this so it makes it much more difficult for me to base my decisions. Thanks again
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Old 1st June 2006, 12:53 PM
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Re: 東京メトロ.com / Tokyo Metro ...HUGE domain for sale

Quote:
Originally Posted by daem0n
Well I appreciate all the feedback from everybody and the discussion. I think Rubber Duck's defence is in order but I understand the risk of someone purchasing this from me. Therefore, I am taking it off the market.
Dont forget you also have this listed on dnf
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