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Ask HN: Someone is using our trademark to market our competitors site
7 points by akmiller 924 days ago | 3 comments
A friend of mine and I built a product called teamloop which is based around providing simple communication between coaches and parents/players. I currently have a trademark for teamloop in the U.S. as it relates to online sports communities. When we initially launched, the teamloop domain was already owned by someone else (but was not in use) so we launched at teamloopapp.com. I offered to buy the domain a couple of times but was turned down.

Now the teamloop.com domain is currently being used as an online community about sports and not only that they are actively using the "teamloop software" name to link to a competitor called TeamSnap.

This project has always been a side project for us as we both work full time but my question is what should we do? Should we send a friendly email to them asking if they would remove the links to our competitors site or should we ask them to remove the content entirely since it all seems to be infringing on our trademark? Should I just contact lawyer right away, or do we even have anything to stand on if I did contact a lawyer?

Thanks!




In terms of cost/benefit, a cease & desist letter is your first best bet. They may not be aware of the problem. Making it appear that you're serious (name of a law firm, trademark no., what exactly they're doing wrong spelled out, snail mail a copy) will improve your odds.

In terms of what you have to stand on, your attorney will tell you. Put that C&D letter out and maybe you won't need to involve an attorney.

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That sounds like good advice. I'm certain they are aware of the problem. I had emailed the guy who owns the domain before any content was put up and I told him what our website was and what it did and he told me that he knew the teamsnap guys and that they run a similar site (although he refused to sell the domain). So he had explicit knowledge and I have emails that indicate that.

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A few hundred dollars spent in conference with a lawyer who specialises in trade mark law will let you know your options. A good investment in my view... in many jurisdictions there are penalties for falsely alleging trade mark infringement.

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