Intellectual Property Law
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Not necessarily. Having a domain name is XXXXX XXXXX same as having a trademark. Now if you had a registered trademark for "Free Info" or "FreeInfo.com" and there was a "likelihood of confusion" between your two sites in the minds of a normal consumer, then there could be infringement.
Now it's more likely that this could run afoul of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d). Under the ACPA, a trademark owner may bring a cause of action against a domain name registrant who (1) has a bad faith intent to profit from the mark and (2) registers, traffics in, or uses a domain name that is (a) identical or confusingly similar to a distinctive mark, (b) identical or confusingly similar to or dilutive of a famous mark, or (c) is a trademark protected by 18 U.S.C. § 706 (marks involving the Red Cross) or 36 U.S.C. § 220506 (marks relating to the “Olympics”).
Note that in that it doesn't have to be trademarked, but does have to be famous. Furthermore, it has to be distinct. I don't see how "free info" could be seen as distinct, although in certain instances it could be.
But as to trademark infringement, assuming that you have a registered Federal trademark (which would allow you to sue), the analysis is going to be based on "likelihood of confusion". In a nutshell, a plaintiff in a trademark case has the burden of proving that the defendant's use of a mark has created a likelihood-of-confusion about the origin of the defendant's goods or services. To do this, the plaintiff should first show that it has developed a protectable trademark right in a trademark. The plaintiff then must show that the defendant is using a confusingly similar mark in such a way that it creates a likelihood of confusion, mistake and/or deception with the consuming public. The confusion created can be that the defendant's products are the same as that of the plaintiff, or that the defendant is somehow associated, affiliated, connected, approved, authorized or sponsored by plaintiff. To analyze whether a particular situation has developed the requisite "likelihood of confusion," courts have generally looked at the following eight factors:
Based upon my experience, someone registering a common phrase that is not protected by Federal registered trademark would probably not be infringing on anyone elses trademark. It has to be much more specific, and registered as a trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
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