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BizIPEsq.
BizIPEsq., Attorney
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 996
Experience:  I am a tech attorney and I represent clients with technology, internet and intellectual property matters
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What are my rights ownership of this domain?

Customer Question

What are my rights of continued ownership of my domain? I own a domain name. I received a letter from an attorney representing a company that claims they own the right to that particular domain. They claim I was using the domain name for illegal purposes. It was not known to me but the name was forwarding clicks to my domain to other web sites. Having learned that was happening I cut off sites immediatelly. I never received anything from anyone in regard to the web site forwarding. It appears that my domain name ownership may predate the company that is trying to take it away. and there are other busineses that use the same name They said they would pay me $500 -according to them not a negociable offer". And at the same time they threatened an action against me. Is this a common situation? Should I just give up and let them take it away. Unfortunately, I do not know if my domaine name has value in excess of what they offered.


I inherited this domain, so it cannot be claimed that I acquired it with the purpose to sell, rent etc, prevent the owner from use etc.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  BizIPEsq. replied 1 year ago.

BizIPEsq. :

Hello, I will be assisting you

BizIPEsq. :

I'm sure this is concerning to you. Let me explain to you the law and what your options are


 

BizIPEsq. :

Generally speaking, if a Federal trademark has been registered, the trademark owner has the right and in fact the duty to protect its rights under the name and prevent others from using the mark in a manner that would be confusing to the public. So If the company that sent you the cease and desist letter has a Federal trademark then they they have right to exclude other uses of the mark provided such use is within the classification of their trademark. There are 45 classification categories and though generally the same mark can exist in different classifications one would not be able to use the mark within the same classification. So if for example the trademark is for XYZ in the food category one can use the XYZ name for car tires but one cannot use the XYZ for another food product.

BizIPEsq. :

For domain owners if you are using a trademark in a confusing manner (i.e. for products and services within the same classification) or if you are just squatting on a domain (i.e. you own it but you do not use) then the trademark owner can initiate a domain dispute resolution with ICANN. ICANN the body that overseas all internet domains and it has a process in place to make sure that trademark owners can protect their marks.

BizIPEsq. :

If a domain dispute process is brought against you and your use (not merely ownership but actual use) of the domain pre-dates the mark and the use falls within a different classification and therefore would not be confusing to consumers then you would have to note this during the dispute process.

BizIPEsq. :

During this process the claim that your site was forwarding traffic to other sites which may have been the true trademark infringes would also be examined.

BizIPEsq. :

The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that a domain simply cannot be taken away from you without this process so be diligent and submit the relevant opposition if a dispute process is initiated!

BizIPEsq. :

In conclusion, don't give up!. You make good and reasonable arguments. Use the process to your advantage!

BizIPEsq. :

Thank you for allowing me to assist you

BizIPEsq. :

Please rate my answer. Without your positive rating I do not get compensated for my work

BizIPEsq., Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 996
Experience: I am a tech attorney and I represent clients with technology, internet and intellectual property matters
BizIPEsq. and 6 other Intellectual Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I decide to bring this matter before the OCANN Disputes Committee as I believe I must do, then what if the complainant decides to take this matter to Federal Court? Have I wasted my time because I may not want to bare the costs of the legal process?
Even if I were to prevail at the Disputes level, where does that leave me if I end up in federal court?
The complainant appears to have the funds to persue this matter & is using a Park Avenue lawyer.
I am afraid of a &100,000 fine for cyber squating plus legal costs. Especially since the value of the domain has not been established.
Another consideration is that all my defenses are accurate but I do not know of I can produce outside evidenceThe headband is optional. U only need it if ur pimple is on ur forehead and u have bangs.
to support what I say.
I do not want someone to get an asset they do not really have rights to have. But this matter does not look like it can have much of a positive benefit for me. I do not make living or any money from domains.
Expert:  BizIPEsq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your continued patronage. Some of your additional questions go beyond the scope of the original question so under the terms of service you should post these as new questions. Please ask for me and I will certainly be glad to assist you.

As to the relevant questions, I can answer that generally there are no fines associated with cyber squatting charges in the ICANN arbitration process. ICANN can at most turn over the domain to the other side. If you choose not to do anything then you're guaranteed to get $500 (or whatever amount you negotiate) and loose the domain. If you fight them then there is a chance that you can keep the domain and sell it to them at a much higher price. In addition, just the mere fact that you resist my increase the offered mount as it may be more cost effective to throw some money at you and have a known outcome rather than at an attorney with an unknown outcome.

Good Luck and I look forward ti assisting you in future questions.

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