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UK Domain Forum : Tm? Domain dropping question

  1. #1

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    Tm? Domain dropping question

    Hi

    I was looking at domains dropping today earlier and I liked petrol scooter org uk

    They show up as expensive so thought it worthwhile type of thing to try and catch.

    I then checked the co uk and they have a tm sign next to their logo. I've checked the ipo web site and global tm sites but can't find a tm.

    Am I missing something?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    aZooZa's Avatar
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    I think this is one of many sites etc., where people indicate a TM simply by adding it. I'd ignore that one.

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    Ah ok. Thanks Dale.

    Looks a lot more established and professional having the tm after the name.

    Reminds me when I was at school that I used to write my name in art class and add an (R) that's an R in a circle lol after my name.

    I had a black Adidas bag and recall there was an R after it. Come to think of it the bag wasn't very girly but everyone seemed to have one. That's the 70's and early eighties for ya :-)

    Ps your server time hasn't reached Summer yet.

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    aZooZa's Avatar
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    I remember those days well

    Thanks for the important heads-up about server time! Updated now.

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    Caz, trademarks are a complicated subject. I might be wrong on some points here but it's my understanding that you can't register a domain as a trademark, you can register an image (logo etc..) of the domain name but not the domain itself. In fact many trademarks aren't granted on the words themselves but rather on a graphic. For example last year (or maybe the year before) I tried to register the TM "Front Row" when used in conjunction with ticket sales but it was rejected at the preliminary stages because the words are in common every day usage in that industry. The lady advised that I could register a TM for an image under the "Front Row" brand but the TM would only be for that logo and not the words themselves.

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    That's a great reply Sean.

    I have seen the image search many times and looked at a few but thought they were just associated with the text tm's.

    Makes sense really as lots of tm's must be text free.

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  8. #8
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    Domains can be registered as trade marks (although as already mentioned you will find some have a 'claim/limit' on them).

    Few examples which may be useful for those interested...

    Generic .co.uk text/image mark without any 'claim/limit': http://www.ipo.gov.uk/domestic?domesticnum=2496489
    Generic .co.uk text/image mark with a 'claim/limit': http://www.ipo.gov.uk/domestic?domesticnum=2231120
    Generic .co.uk text only mark with a 'claim/limit': http://www.ipo.gov.uk/domestic?domesticnum=2522601

    It will all be on a case-by-case basis.

    Edit: The second mark example has now expired, but it was 'registered' before expiration.
    Last edited by wb; 25-03-12 at 07:33 PM.

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    aZooZa's Avatar
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    Interesting in the third 'text only' case: "Proceeding because of distinctiveness acquired through use."

  10. #10

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    As mentioned already, TMs are complicated.

    Once upon a time, you couldn't register text as a TM in UK. You had to register a logo or other arty thingy, and submit artwork, even if it was a text-based design. When you got the logo approved, you could argue that your TM was infringed if someone else was using text that was incorporated into your logo. Nowadays, you can register a text based/phrase TM - but it is frankly safer and easier to get TM approval if that text is part of a logo, and that is true all over Europe.

    Also, remember that a TM cannot cover all the areas within which it is permitted to register a TM, and overlap is possible -Morrisons Supermarkets and Morrisons Civil Engineering manage to co-exist without conflict, there are other examples.

    Now, go to the US and it is possible to establish a business name as a TM without registering at all - if you've been using a name for 18 months and Johnny-jumped-up comes along and tries to take your name and your business, you have legal grounds to say you've established the name as a TM and sue him into going away.

    I suspect that the site in question are trying to imply TM rights from this sort of US legal standpoint, but they are knackered from the start on a UK domain, because it is nothing to do with US law.

    The term "petrol scooters" is insufficiently unique to qualify as a TM in its own right, "petrolscooters .co.uk" might just get past the TM thought police if they were having a bad day. If we're considering petrolscooters .org.uk, there's sufficient difference to claim that "petrolscooters .co.uk" is not the same, and should never have been allowed as a TM anyway, on common usage grounds.

    Me, I think I'd take the domain and ignore any C&D messages unless it came to a court case - then you have to turn up and tell the magistrate they're talking rubbish, or their cleverclogs lawyer will get away with it. Worst thing you can ever do is fail to appear in court if you're in the right, and some "walking turds" rely on you doing that, because "no show" means they win.

    Mind you, it might get nasty if these were ICANN domains, and US law could be applied. Bear in mind that my highest qualification for giving this answer is a post graduate diploma in Robotics from the University of Middlesex - but I do hold an EU TM, so I've learned a bit about these things.


 

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