|I own a domain which ends in "bay", but has no content on it nor does it looks or sounds like "eBay".|
I received the message below from "Edith, eBay legal department" via Domains By Proxy. Unfortunately Edith does not have the class to include a family name or contact details.
I guess eBay can hide behind some statist law, but I was wondering how I should react, if at all.
P.S. Other than being a female, common and familiar name, are there other reasons why Joe the Lawyer would want to send an email as "Edith"?
We have noted your registration through the Internet registry in your country of theplayersbay.com, a domain name that is confusingly similar to the famous eBay name and trademark.
The coined term "eBay" is one of the most famous brands on the Internet. eBay owns exclusive trademark rights to the eBay trademark in many countries worldwide, including the United States, Canada, The United Kingdom, the European Union and elsewhere internationally, including related common law rights. Accordingly, eBay enjoys broad trademark rights in its name.
Arbitrary use of the word BAY in a domain is problematic if the connected website is used in association with a business making use of eBay or operating in the same sphere of business as eBay.
Please review the following links for further information regarding eBay trademarks:
We are concerned that use of your domain name may infringe and/or dilute the famous eBay trademark. Infringement occurs when a third party’s use of a company’s trademark (or a confusingly similar variation thereof) is likely to confuse consumers as to the affiliation, sponsorship or endorsement of the third party’s services. Trademark dilution occurs when a third party’s use of a variation of a company’s trademark is likely to lessen the distinctiveness of the company’s famous trademark. In this case, your use of “BAY” in your domain name, especially if used for an e-commerce web site, is likely to lessen the distinctiveness of the famous eBay brand. “eBay” is an arbitrary and fanciful trademark; neither “eBay” nor “bay” describe online auctions, online trading, or e-commerce in any way. We cannot permit the use of the suffix "bay" to evoke eBay or as a shorthand reference to e-commerce.
We appreciate that you may have registered theplayersbay.com with the best of intentions and without full knowledge of the law in this area.
eBay respects your right of expression and your desire to conduct business on the Internet, but must enforce its own rights. To avoid further consumer confusion, eBay must insist that you not use the domain name for any purpose, do not sell, offer to sell or transfer the domain name to a third party, and instead simply let the domain registration expire. In the meantime, the domain name should remain inactive and should not point to any content.
Please confirm in writing that you will agree to resolve this matter as requested.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.
eBay Legal Department