What to do about a conflict regarding a domain name?

UPDATED: Dec 21, 2011

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What to do about a conflict regarding a domain name?

I registered 3 domain names 4 months ago and now a company is threatening to take a legal action against me. That company has a trademark which was registered this month. The company’s name is for example XXX and I registered a domain name YYYXXX.com I mean some part of the domain has similar name to the above company but it is not exactly the same. What should I do? Should I transfer the domain name?


Asked on December 21, 2011 under Business Law, California


Michael Duffy / Duffy Law, LLC

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If the domain is worth it to you, you should contact an attorney to defend your rights.

Trademark law can apply to internet domain names. Trademark infringement has a complicated test that varies depending on your federal court jurisdiction. However, the basic principle tends to be "confusion" - meaning, if the relevant consumers would be confused by the potentially infringing mark, it's probably infringing. 

It sounds like there are a number of factors going on in your case that would mean you have a good chance to retain your domains. Depending on the use of the other party's mark, when they registered it, the use of your mark, your intentions, and the similarity of the marks, for example, all could be factors in determining the outcome.

If you get a good attorney, you might ehtier be able to retain your mark, or work out a deal where one party transfers or licenses it to the other. Best of luck.

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