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  1. #1
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    Jun 2008
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    Maryland
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    Default tradenames and url's

    Hi,

    I know this is more of a legal question than anything else but here goes.

    Can you use a url that is the same or similar to a business trade name that you do not own?

    Hypothetical example:

    There are two different companies.

    Company A sells widgets. It's tradename is Ohio Widgets, INC.

    Company B owns the url Ohiowidgets.com. Can company B use this url to run a website that is intended for marketing widgets without infringing on the rights of company A?

    NHIE Practice Exam

  2. #2
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: tradenames and url's

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    Hi,

    I know this is more of a legal question than anything else but here goes.

    Can you use a url that is the same or similar to a business trade name that you do not own?

    Hypothetical example:

    There are two different companies.

    Company A sells widgets. It's tradename is Ohio Widgets, INC.

    Company B owns the url Ohiowidgets.com. Can company B use this url to run a website that is intended for marketing widgets without infringing on the rights of company A?
    Simple answer is yes. He sells widgets in ohio and he purchased the url ohiowidgets.com. He is not stating that it is his company name. Now on his website if he were to tote the name Ohio Widgets and not have that business name or fictisious name and act as if he were Ohio widgets Inc, that would be a different story.


  3. #3
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: tradenames and url's

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    Hi,

    I know this is more of a legal question than anything else but here goes.

    Can you use a url that is the same or similar to a business trade name that you do not own?

    Hypothetical example:

    There are two different companies.

    Company A sells widgets. It's tradename is Ohio Widgets, INC.

    Company B owns the url Ohiowidgets.com. Can company B use this url to run a website that is intended for marketing widgets without infringing on the rights of company A?
    John: It is not quite as simple as Ted is suggesting. If the other person claims that your use of the domain name is somehow adversely affecting his business, his image, his reputation, whatever, and he has both the money and the desire to sue you, he may prevail. Also be certain that the name is not a registered trademark.


  4. #4
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: tradenames and url's

    Type in nissan.com you will see what I am trying to say.

    That company is for computers not cars. That might be the stretch of my point.

    Ohio Widgets selling widgets on the net but the name is not Ohio Widgets but he has a url of ohiowidgets.com and no where in the site or other advertising is he claiming to be the name of Ohio Widgets Inc and does not slander him in anyway then all the company can do is offer to buy the url name.


  5. #5

    Default Re: tradenames and url's

    John,

    Ohiowidgets.com does exist, and is for sale if you are interested.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Caledon, Ontario
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: tradenames and url's

    Anyone can make a claim and sue you for just about anything, as can be seen in the nissan lawsuit.

    Take a look at this domain name INSPECTIONEWS.COM

    Scumbags do this type of misdirection all of the time in an attempt to drive more business to their own site. Is it against the law? Not that I know of, but it is surly a testament to the poor ethics of the person, company, organization and those associated with them that are doing it.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mesa AZ
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    1,181

    Default Re: tradenames and url's

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Anyone can make a claim and sue you for just about anything, as can be seen in the nissan lawsuit.

    Take a look at this domain name INSPECTIONEWS.COM

    Scumbags do this type of misdirection all of the time in an attempt to drive more business to their own site. Is it against the law? Not that I know of, but it is surly a testament to the poor ethics of the person, company, organization and those associated with them that are doing it.
    If you compare content between this and that site, look at amout of real readers and posters, not spiders visiting the site, The Good Guy with ethics wins in this case.


  9. #9
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: tradenames and url's

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Anyone can make a claim and sue you for just about anything, as can be seen in the nissan lawsuit.

    Take a look at this domain name INSPECTIONEWS.COM

    Scumbags do this type of misdirection all of the time in an attempt to drive more business to their own site. Is it against the law? Not that I know of, but it is surly a testament to the poor ethics of the person, company, organization and those associated with them that are doing it.

    Also once you are on the site click the back button. It holds you there and the only choice it.

    I know scum bag no scum bag. Pushing for traffic, not pushing for traffic. Just certain ways to do it and that all depends on the person you are. Personally if I could direct 5 times the amount of traffic to my site with out harming or causing foul I would probably do it. Do you know how many people go to the nissan dot com site thinking they are going to the auto site. No slander or malcontent. Just 100 times the traffic he would normally get.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,049

    Default Re: tradenames and url's

    I guess it's a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no.

    The conclusion might be, maybe, or maybe not.

    If someone challenged you, the first step might be to comply with a demand to take down the url.

    If you were to comply and take it down, that's it, right, it's over and done?

    Could they still sue you for money?


  11. #11
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: tradenames and url's

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    I guess it's a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no.

    The conclusion might be, maybe, or maybe not.

    If someone challenged you, the first step might be to comply with a demand to take down the url.

    If you were to comply and take it down, that's it, right, it's over and done?

    Could they still sue you for money?

    That is the million dollar question. Any harm to the company. Anywhere stating or round about slander. Any intention to falsely lead visitors to the site that you are the other company. Did you pose as the company. Did you sell inferior products and it reflected somehow on the company etc etc etc etc.

    Anyone can almost sue anyone else but law suite maker beware. If there is no proof of any of the above then it can go against them in a counter suit. People are sue happy nowadays. Personally in most cases none of that can be proved. I advertise in a certain market as that market areas home inspector. In fact I am that areas home inspector but there are probably 50 others. It is just the name on the URL for what I do. Not for who I am or the name of the company. Nothing wrong with that because I am selling my services in that area and that is what the website reflects, home inspections in that city.


  12. #12
    Ed Snedaker's Avatar
    Ed Snedaker Guest

    Default Re: tradenames and url's

    OK, John I'll ask what no one else did. What did you do? What are you planning? Who knows about it?


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