Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual Property Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.
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).
Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate this answer either a 3, 4, or 5 (good or better). Please note that I do not get any credit for this answer unless and until you rate it that way. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!
Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?
Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response or rating... Please note that this question remains open until you rate it, and I don't get any credit for the time or effort unless and until you rate it as good or better...
My apologies, but I must assist the other customers that are waiting. If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better) AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!