legal advice regarding domain names

  • SB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I am looking at buying quite alot of new domain names as part of a few websites i am planning on starting in the next few months. As i am really interested in Automobiles i was wondering if i was to have a domain name like http://www.ihaveaford.com (or something like that) would i have to have some sort of permission from the said vehicle manufacturer to use their name in my domain name? especially if i was looking at creating a business out of the webiste.

I am keen on kickstarting this as soon as i can and i would like to do this as smoothly and legally as possible.

Thanks in advance!
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • ewomack
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Post 3+ Months Ago

If you have any doubts, run it by a copyright or patent lawyer who specializes in technology first before buying. Otherwise don't buy. Chances are the big companies have bought the rights to anything domain-wise involving their name. And remember the incident of the guy who tried to run a "Mike Rowe Soft" website.
  • SB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ewomack wrote:
And remember the incident of the guy who tried to run a "Mike Rowe Soft" website.


Nothing ever happened in the end. Microsoft just didnt go further with the thing and as far as i am aware the Mikerowesoft site is still available.

Thanks for your help though ewomack. I was hoping to avoid Patent agents as they can be quite costly.
  • ewomack
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Post 3+ Months Ago

True, nothing happened, but he had a ton of potential legal hassles hanging over him. It's not a position I'd like to be in. And I wouldn't use the fact that nothing happened as assurance that nothing would happen to someone else in similar circumstances. The law is capricious. Not to mention that the URL contained the guy's actual legal name. That protected him big time in this particular case.

Lawyers are expensive and can cause a lot of hassles. But if you're going to try to make money off of something that you have copyright doubts about, they're probably the only place you can go for sound advice. An assessment would cost a lot less than a lawsuit down the line.

Perhaps there are some legal forums you can post this question on?
  • SB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I will have another look around for some legal advice. Once again, thank you very much for your help ewomack. I really appreciate this.

Its funny you mention the legal forums i could check out, i left a post not long after leaving the original topic here asking whether Ozzu could perhaps start a new forum dealing with legal issues with websites.
  • lucassix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I really doubt it. Think of all the forums there are for cars which use the model in their domain name.

http://www.s10forums.com/
http://www.corvetteforum.com/
http://www.rx7club.com/
http://www.7thgencivic.com/
http://www.h2fanatic.com/

Etc...
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

As far as I am aware, supporter sites of a product are not discouraged, if you were to register a domain like fordsucks.com then you might have a lawyer knocking on your door.

You could always drop them a line and see what they say if in doubt.
  • SB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thats the thing though, these done appear to be money making businesses. I would probably be marketing part of the domain name as it is and the other bits would be added on so some larger companies might see that as me using their name in order to expand my business (if this makes any sense).

I will probably contact a solicitor. I know of one quite local who seems to be really good.
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think that is a really good idea. Although it may cost you something, much better than later to get yourself in trouble once you've already gone to all the trouble of creating, promoting and developing the site.

:thumbsup:
  • ewomack
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The problem is if you start making enough money they company whose name you're using can come and demand "their cut" or shut you down.
  • jlknauff
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Post 3+ Months Ago

IMO (I'm NOT a lawyer) you will be fine. Especially if you plan to present positive info on the site and even better if you link to their corporate site.

You may want to cover all your bases by getting in writting from their legal department that they are ok with it.

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