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I bought a couple of domain names. I have been contacted and told they are a trademarked branded website in Europe.

Albany, NY |

The domains were registered by me a few years ago. I never used them to create a site. I was contacted by the company that provides my whois privacy protection and told that there was a possible legal dispute. They included a note from the trademark owner in which he basically says that he owns the trademark name for these domains and it is not legal for anyone to have them. (I have the .net and .org versions, he has the .com). My whois privacy company is requesting that me or my representative contact the complainant. My main question is, if I have someone represent me. can that person get in any trouble? I am in a situation where it's problematic for me to receive legal correspondence at my address. I have a friend who will represent me, can my friend get into trouble?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

You need to consult with an attorney. Use Avvo to seek an intellectual property attorney.

Posted

Consult with an IP lawyer. You may have an issue of trademark infringement. Check AVVO find lawyer tab. Having a lawyer represent you may solve the receiving mail at your address. Your lawyer can receive mail. Also consider a PO Box to receive mail or a commercial company to receive your mail.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com.

Posted

I agree that you would be wise to consult with an attorney whose practice focuses on trademark and copyright issues. But to give you a little guidance, it can be illegal to own a domain name that is the same or similar to a foreign trademark if you do so in "bad faith" and now that you know if a possible conflict with the owner of a foreign trademark, there could be a determination of "bad faith." Moreover, to use that name in commerce, e.g., to sell a product or service which is the same or similar to the product or service subject to the foreign trademark could also subject you to legal liability, even if the foreign trademark has not been registered in the US. This is an especially difficult issue on the Web, because websites are generally viewable worldwide. If you do want to do business using the domains you have purchased, the inexpensive answer is to pick new domains and this time do a thorough search to make sure no one is using the name for a similar business. Meanwhile, the foreign holder might take action to have your domains cancelled under ICANN rules.

Louis E. Black is licensed to practice law solely in New York. His answers are for general information and no Answer or Comment shall be deemed to create an attorney-client relationship or create any right of confidentiality. The reader should never assume that this information applies to his or her specific situation or constitutes legal advice. Therefore, please consult an appropriate attorney in your jurisdiction and who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances Any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

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