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Thread: Trademark Issue #2

  1. #11
    Top Contributor crabfoot is a Premium Member
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    The obvious point is that, if you want to be nasty, you can put a site on a non-ICANN domain. If you use the ICANN domain she can complain as a TM holder to ICANN, and they will take the domain down, then ask questions.

    But all you need is a domain someplace where they use English - put a site up on, say, algeponics .in, or .co.nz, and host it in Singapore or Russia, and she can do nothing but seethe.

    Then, if she ever gets her butt into gear and puts content on her sites, she has to fight past your established site to get her com/net domains up the SERPs.

  2. #12
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    I don't see any point in being nasty. She may be a pain in the ass, but she hasn't moved from the pain in the ass, to malignant yet. I had no plans for the website. I just bought them all because I know they'll be worth a fortune in a certain industry as time goes on. Google can talk about banning exact domain names all they want, but it will never happen. Just the fact that I own the domain name is enough to rile her up I'm sure.

  3. #13
    Marketing Mentor Mikl is a Premium Member
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    All this reminds me of the story about the Marx Brothers film, A Night in Casablanca. The story goes that Warner Brothers threatened to sue the Marx Brothers over the use of the name Casablanca in the tile, as it would cause confusion with the Humphrey Bogart film of that name. Groucho Marx replied by threatening to sue Warner Brothers over the use of "Brothers" in their name, saying that the Marx Brothers had got there first.

    The story's almost certainly untrue, of course, and in any case doesn't help in the discussion of algaeponics, but I thought I'd throw it in anyway.

    Mike

  4. #14
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    The words used on the USPTO site are

    You are responsible for enforcing your rights if you receive a registration, because the USPTO does not "police" the use of marks. While the USPTO attempts to ensure that no other party receives a federal registration for an identical or similar mark for or as applied to related goods/services, the owner of a registration is responsible for bringing any legal action to stop a party from using an infringing mark.
    'Algeponics' is the only trademark she owns, and it took her 4 years and several hundred dollars to get it registered, so it's not surprising that she feels protective about it - particularly since she has yet to produce and market a related product three years after the registration date. Perhaps you should just assert that you have not used, nor have any intention to use, the term "algaeponics" for or as applied to related goods/services, nor do you plan to attempt to register it as a trademark.

    Of course, if her real agenda is to prevent you from establishing a popular website with an 'algaeponics' domain name before she has got a product to market, that's her problem, not yours.

  5. #15
    Top Contributor crabfoot is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chabrenas View Post
    Perhaps you should just assert that you have not used, nor have any intention to use, the term "algaeponics" for or as applied to related goods/services, nor do you plan to attempt to register it as a trademark.
    If he does that, he might as well let the domains drop before he gets asked to hand them over. A statement like that is tantamount to admission of domain squatting.

  6. #16
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    Actually, I just checked my domain register and I DON'T own it. I own others like it, but not that particular one. She owns the plural form "Algeponics.com. I could go and buy the .net for algaeponic and algeponic...just as good, and bet my SEO is better than hers, but the truth is, I don't care enough to. At this point, she is a mosquito, not a tiger. Of course, mosquito can carry West Nile, and Malaria, too.

    I also did a more in depth search and did find a product or sorts, at least a white paper of a product. I know a little bit about this subject and her paper seems long on "forward thinking" and short on "present day production." So, my guess is, she has a product she HOPES to bring to market called "Algaeponics" if she can get the initial funding for start up. The other funny thing is, if you do a search for the term in Google you come up with page after page of, not her product, but her fighting us on the forum.

  7. #17
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    Using a trademark in a non-commercial conversation is not infringement. On the other hand, a trademark owner does have to take steps to try to keep its mark from becoming a generic description of its product or service because if that happens, it can lose ALL trademark protection.

    Thermos, aspirin, yo-yo, escalator, zipper, linoleum and cellophane were all trademarks originally but lost their trademark protection (at least in the U.S.) when they became synonymous with the product without regard to whom the manufacturer was. It is a lesson taken to heart by many trademark owners. I don't don't about Hoover (hoovering is not a term I have heard in the U.S.), but many companies, particularly consumer product companies, will regularly contact the press when their trademarked brands are applied to the broad category.

    Crabfoot mentioned Kleenex. Read Kleenex Fights Being Generic. Other companies that regularly take steps to keep their marks protected from becoming genericized are Johnson & Johnson with BAND-AID® brand adhesive bandages and even our friend and foe, Google: Google Acts To Protect Trademark.

    Brands and the trademarks attached to them are among the most valuable assets of many companies. Losing control over a brand by watching it gradually become a generic term would be a huge mistake that most companies can't afford to make. Spending money to police their marks is generally worth every penny they spend.

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to David S For This Useful Post:

    dsieg58 (10 September 2013)

  9. #18
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    Excellent research David S. I think you're right. She's only doing to protect the name in the future. Since this has been going on since 2009, to my knowledge, she would have taken legal action by now if she was going to. I find it slightly ridiculous that in the this and age it is getting so bad that you have to curb your speech at the door even in private conversation for fear of offending someone, and/or taking on a legal risk by opening your mouth even in the most benign subjects and conversations. Even more ridiculous that people spend time and legal resources scouring the internet for such "crimes." It's a sad commentary on our society.

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