Hi , I received a letter 1 week ago by proxy as i live in the uk and failed to change my registered address. Unfortunately letting time slip away from me and failing to act i have received another with similar regards. I run on a website a game code that i was/am trying to develop. The name i am using for this website is the reason for contacting you and regarding the following letter.Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation17 May 2012Vincenzo Sapere
XXXXXEast BrisbaneQUEENSLAND 4168BY EMAIL AND COURIERDear Mr SapereUnderbelly The GameWe refer to our letter to you dated 3 May 2012.We note that you have not responded to our letter, but that there have been someamendments made to Your Website.Particularly, we note that the banner at the top of the web page on Your Website has beenchanged to read "Underbellythegame.com" rather than "Underbelly: The Australian CrimeGame" as appeared previously. Additionally, some of the text on Your Website has beenremoved that mentioned various characters portrayed in the Underbelly Series along withreferences to the Offending Game being about "Australian" crime.The amendments that have been made to Your Website however are not sufficient toremove the risk of deception or confusion occurring as a result of your use of our client’strade mark. The content of Your Website continues to give the misleading impression thatthere is a connection or association between our client and Your Website and theOffending Game.Further, we remain of the view that your use of our client’s trade mark in the OffendingDomain Name is XXXXX XXXXX of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy andthat our client is entitled to have the Offending Domain Name transferred to it under theUniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.Accordingly, we are instructed to revive our demands as follows:1. That you immediately remove, or arrange for the removal of our client’s trademark UNDERBELLY and all marks containing the word UNDERBELLY fromYour Website, and any other websites that you own or control, and confirm tous that this has been done, at the writer’s email address below.-2-2. That within 48 hours, you agree to transfer the Offending Domain Name to ourclient. In order to arrange for transfer of the Offending Domain Name, you willneed to contact the Registrar of the Offending Domain Name and follow itstransfer procedures. For the purposes of the transfer the following informationmay be used for the transferee:Registrant: Screentime Pty LimitedLevel 2, 70-76 Alexander StreetCrows Nest NSW 2065.Contact: Sandy WillisContact email:XXX@XXXXXX.XXXAny domain passwords or other information required to allow our client toaccess the Offending Domain Name should be sent to us by email.3. That, within 48 hours of this letter, you provide us with an undertaking that youwill not, whether personally or as a director of any company, register or use anydomain name or trade mark identical to or confusingly similar to our client’strade mark UNDERBELLY, without our client’s prior written consentincluding use of the words “Underbelly the Game”.4. That, within 48 hours of this letter, you provide us, in respect of all websitesthat you own or control that make use of our client’s trade markUNDERBELLY, or have done so at any time:(a) a complete list of such websites;(b) the number, identity and nature of those who have registered for thegame; and(c) a statement of all revenue received by you or otherwise derived inconnection with such websites.Our client is concerned that the steps outlined above have not been complied with. If theabove demands are not complied with within 48 hours, our client reserves its rights tocontact the domain service provider for Your Website or make a formal complaint underthe Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.We await your reply.Yours sincerelyAlison McGinnLawyerDirect line: 9266 3432email:XXX@XXXXXX.XXXPartner: Margaret ShearerAny information and advice you could provide me in regards XXXXX XXXXX rights of that which they ask would be greatly appreciated. also with regards XXXXX XXXXX mention of trademark to the the word underbelly and the general use of reference to such people as trimboldi and XXXXX XXXXX (as mentioned in their original letter) as having been members of public, real figures in australian history where do i stand. Admittedly previously the banner i had did display a similar typefaced underbelly but distinctly different enough not to be confused for the real thing, with different colors and font entirely but as mentioned have since removed them. What also if i was to add a disclaimer to disassociate my website from the tv series or screentime in general, could that help. The website in question is underbellythegame.com any help would be huge thanks.
I haven't as yet had any advice nor had contact with any legal entity in australia so all i have been able to do at present is remove any wording which might associate my self from screentime or the underbelly series as well change the banner and logos of the website so as they can no longer be confused or considered similar.. What else might i be able to do and do i have to comply to their demands?
Unfortunately if they sue you for trademark infringement, I think you would lose. So I would recommend complying.However, your other option is simply to ingore their letter, do nothing, and see if they escalate this by commencing Court action. They might not, however, if they do - as mentioned already, I think you would lose.Should you have any other questions, please let me know.
Relist: Incomplete answer.my questions were not answered fully i dont feel. for 75 dollars i expect the answer to be point form to any questions asked as well the level of information provided was generalized and at a bare minimum. THe speed however that i received the response was fantastic though.
I have given you the bottomline that you are likely to lose if this goes to Court. I don't know how much more I can expand on that. As such I will opt out which will allow another expert to assist you.
my apologies for what must seem a waste of your time andthnk you
Thank you for your detailed reply ,I just have a ocuple more questions,As with regards XXXXX XXXXX or similarities , there is no other reference to the tv series or any characters through out any of the series within this site. The only thing remaining is the word underbelly its self. Would a disclaimer on the front page help?What about their demands , are they just, do you feel it necessary that i comply to all of them?I dont really want to just give them the domain. What if it were not used for its current purpose as well steering clear from using it in any way that could be confused or in conjunction with the series? Do you think i could be in a position of offering them the sale of the domain its self, As i see the two ,domain name and script the site operates as entirely separate. The script being the intellectual property of my original partner in another venture with myself.if it did go to court how would it work being that im living in the uk and on an entirety different note, as per legal purists, if the domain were transferred to my partners name who is St lucian and lives in st lucia would they still be able to purse their claim.thanks again
BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
hello and thank you for your indepth and informed responce , as part of the advice from the first person i had just kinda been ignoring it to see where they would take it. Though after receiving a second letter i thought i should at least send them something , basically stating that i was awaiting information and legal advice before i would respond to any of their requests though if their client was interested that i may be willing to sell the domain name to them......They have responded with this, Dear Mr SapereUnderbelly The GameWe refer to your email dated 6 June 2012.We note that you are seeking advice regarding the matters raised in our letters of 3 May2012 and 17 May 2012. We await your response in that regard.In the meantime, and in relation to your offer to sell the domain name registration forunderbellythegame.com to our client, we are instructed to offer AU$1,000 including GSTon behalf of our client for the purchase of this domain name and any other domain namethat includes the word UNDERBELLY for which you are the registrant.As part of an agreement to purchase the domain names from you, our client would requireyour written undertaking that you will not, whether personally or as a director of anycompany, register or use any domain name or trade mark identical to or confusinglysimilar to our client’s trade mark UNDERBELLY, without our client’s prior writtenconsent, including use of the words “Underbelly the Game”.We await your reply.o..............My question is this , Bearing in mind i would like to settle as if i were to go to court i would probably lose and possibly lead me to filing bankruptcy as have no means to pay both mine and there legal fees but the over i feel is only just plausible. I would like to ask for more though with out it being something that would be finite. As in i don't wont $1000 for it as the time, effort , domain name page ranking , search engine presence ect is all quite high and over the 2 years has required 1000's of man hours but also i don't want to reply in a manner that would see them withdraw their offer.I believe i have grounds to ask for more purely that they have responded and offered me something at all as well my assumption is that their lawyers would have In my opinion recommended a low offer first. What would you recommend/suggest with regards XX XXXX contacting them in person or at this point acquiring representation and having them continue from this point.Also being that im in the uk how best should i go about doing it at this point
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).