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May 18, 2009


Jack Zufelt

Great post. An age old and simple truth that we need more people to follow.

Traffic Geyser

I can imagine that some of these "poison pen" letters are worth a good chuckle, though. Some of my favorite letters/emails have come from folks who were quite adamant about their positions, despite the fact that they had no idea what they were talking about.

Some days, though, the amusement factor doesn't make these letters much easier to deal with.

Great post with some sage advice.

Tom Troughton

I agree - being nice is always a good policy. This is especially true on or when dealing with the internet. People have no idea that their actions online last a long time.


Wow, I never knew that there are managers for premium domains. What a job that is.

Really learned much from this blog post. To be courteous is definitely key.

Thanks for the advice Bill.

Stewart Engelman - Domain Sales


I think you raise alot of very valid points. While some domain disputes are valid from the point of the plaintiff, the fact is that the situation is not "cut and dry".

For example, if you registered the domain name prior to the other party trademarking the name, they cannot confiscate it. A case in point - Apple paid someone $2 million USD for the "iphone.com" domain for this exact reason.

As another example, you might be using the domain for a web site that is completely unrelated to the plaintiff's business. Even if the plaintiff has a trademark for a similar though not identical name, it might not be considered "confusingly similar" under the terms of the domain law due to the difference in business sector.

A major thing you have to watch out for now though is registering someone's name (e.g., "DaveLetterman.com). Under the Clinton era Lanham act the individual whose name is in the domain can challenge ownership, even he/she did not trademark his/her name. There may be exceptions, such as where you are not simply parking the domain for resale, but have an informational site about the person in question (although I am not certain about this point).

You are definitely correct that the 800 pound gorilla approach is rediculous. You can actually quickly and inexpensively arbitrate these cases via the internet under the supervision of a magistrate. This saves both parties alot of time and money. Will Smith got his own name back (willsmith.com) from someone in Canada named Barney Rubble! I guess he expecetd a challenge...

Tevye Brown

Thanks for the post you stopped me from making the lawyer letter mistake. I'll make the phone call and see what happens

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  • Sweetmantra offers domain name strategy and advice, tips, and best practices by domain name expert and Internet marketing veteran Bill Sweetman. Topics covered include domain acquisition, domain brokering, domain buying, domain management, domain monetization, domain sales, new gTLDs, and premium domain names.

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