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Ask HN: Trademark/LLC Dispute Questions
4 points by trdmrkthrowaway 1987 days ago | hide | past | web | 6 comments | favorite
Throwaway account here. I have an LLC and Trademark registered as the same name. I bought the .us version of my trademark domain. I offered the .com owner of the trademark domain a few hundred bucks for his domain as it wasn't really being used. His site is just an iframe to another site and isn't much better than a parked domain. He turned down my offer saying he wanted 5 figures. Seeing as how I am in the red and have been for awhile, I had no way of buying a domain that costly.

Just recently he posted a link that says "hosted by [MY TRADEMARK]." Seeing as how I am the LLC/Trademark owner of that name, what are my courses of action? Get a lawyer to send a letter saying to take down any references to the trademarked name? Any advice is appreciated!

Disclaimer: not a lawyer

I think you're wasting your time. Odds are he owned it before you, they could claim they have been using it longer. Although from my understanding they couldn't come after you unless they have a formal trademark registration. Furthermore, a trademark doesn't guarantee you exclusive use of a word in all regions and business categories.

By harassing the owner of the .com your FU multiplier is going up, so if you do become successful you will have to pay even more.

Thanks for the tips. He has owned the domain before me, but I have the formal trademark. Both of us are US based. I understand I have to tread lightly. And if I ever do become successful, I will pay him what he wants for it, if reasonable. That being said, I am not trying to take his domain from him, I am just trying to protect my brand.

Not a lawyer.

There's nothing you can do because he got there first. "Formal trademark" means nothing because unless you've trademarked in every class and filed for it before he registered the domain, there's little you can do. Even if you came before, there's still little you can do without a significant amount of money.

Talk to a lawyer if it's that big a deal, though.

He may have common law rights. I would talk to an IP lawyer and/or see if you can negotiate it down to something you would be willing to pay.

If it's not affecting your business, why not focus on things that are?

I am working on a big launch soon. Android, iPhone, etc and don't want people getting the wrong idea about what my company does.

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