Any legals on here specialising in Website litigation ?
Just had a letter dropped through my door stating that a large Spanish company in Media world is going to sue me unless a/ I take down my site and b/ I compensate them appropriately.
The company in question owns a .com of my .org name and they claim they have European rights to the whole name and as my site has the same niche I have infringed their rights. I am quite prepared to take down the website as it is a hobby and never earned me a single penny, they mention compensation in the letter. Do you think that they are trying it on with this compensation issue ? It is simply a case of David v Golieth here in my opinion.
Please PM if you can offer any guidence here.
Kind regards – JB
Check it out properly. We got threatened with some nasty legal advice. Turns out they didn’t have a leg to stand on. I thought it wasn’t possible to do this, and that you could only register a name if it was available. i.e. You type in a name and the registration service tells you which one is available. Including whether it’s .org or .net etc. And presumably when you register a name you are paying for this service as well. I would have a word with the company that your name is registered with, they may be able to tell you outright. Some people like to kick up a stink, and band legal terminology about just to frighten people off. It doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about, even if they are a big organisation. I would have also thought if they had a right to the name – that they would have registered it themselves. But then i’m not an expert in company names.
You never know – if they turn out to be wrong you could use it as publicity! (Although you don’t sound like that).
The company in question owns .com they claim they have European rights to the whole name.
The lawyer in Spain quotes " as you surely know ( assumption ) *** owns in the whole European Union Community Trademark " Ibiza Rocks " applied for on May 4 2006 and granted on April 11 2007 for distinguishing, among others – cultural and leisure activities "
Now assuming this is correct, how am I supposed this fact – do they think that I am a mind reader or perhaps privy to their business setup ? Surely any responsible company would point out this fact and ask for the person/company in question to comply with the trademark. This smacks of a way to try and get easy money from their so called competition ? Another question as the name was registered in Dec 2006, why was I not told about this by the regulators ? I could have picked any name to use !!!
Rgds – JB
You should take legal advice on this, contact our IP team on IP@limeone.co.uk for some initial free advice and the best way to proceed. Very often these letters have some points of law but are not the whole picture.
LawHound Limited www.lawhound.co.uk 01244 300413
As I understand it, it is your duty to check before you use a mark.
You can search for marks on the website:
This seems to be the mark in question:
Two things stand out:
1) If you registered your domain before 04 May 2006 then as I understand it they may not be able to enforce the mark.
2) It appears to be a image that they have trademarked, NOT the words, so unless you’re using the exact same image you should be ok.
PLEASE NOTE I’m not a solicitor, so get proper legal advice on this but I don’t think you need to panic.
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If you domain name is related to the content of the site they will not be able to do a great deal, your position would have been strengthened if your domain was registered before their trademarks were in place.
I’m not a legal expert so get real legal advise as others here have stated, but I do think their just trying to scare you. Also depending how big they are and how valuable the name is to them you may be able to make some really big money here selling the domain to them. Iif you do try and sell it them make sure you do through a solicitor.
I’ve had run ins with large companies before, don’t be scared by their size.
What regulaters should have told you about this? Surely you chose your name and domain name? Looks like you registered yours in December ’06 so not sure where you would stand as they applied for their trademark in May 06 but it wasn’t granted until April 07.
Good luck with it!
Adam onestopdigital hosting | broadband | telecoms | print www.onestopdigital.com www.onestopprinting.co.uk
Companies like this HAVE to enforce their ownership of the name or they face losing it all together. Often you don’t really need to worry about it… this is more for cases where in the future a big company may try and use their name to do something in order to make profit. In this instance the court would ask them if they have acively protected their name all along or if they are just going after the new company in order to make some cash. At this stage they must have evidence that they have tried to protect their name from day 1, if they have not, they face loosing it all together.
Personal thoughts are that you don’t need to worry, especially if you are not profiting from the name in any way. The worst case is that they would take you to court and 10 mins later you have to hand over the domain. They can’t make you pay compensation if you have not made anything out of it nor have you spread bad things about them etc.
Keep us posted.
Having had a look at the .com and the .org sites I don’t think you have a thing to worry about and it certainly sounds like they are trying to intimidate you so they can obtain the .org domain for themselves.
Get a solicitor to write back to them saying "on yer bike".
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Advice should be sought directly. Checks as to whether the mark is registered is only the first step. The next step is whether the alleged infringement comes within the classification that the mark is registered under.
Happy to advise further if you email direct
Once again thank you to all who have taken the trouble to respond to my posting.
Rgds – JB