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Brand Names in Domain Names

  1. SiddSingh profile image60
    SiddSinghposted 7 years ago

    You get so many websites with brand names in their domain names,specially in exact keyword matches. [ for example, bestrolexwatches.com (imaginary example)]. What about the copyright implications for these websites?

    Has any of the hubbers got such such a domain name/website  anytime?

    1. Ultimate Hubber profile image60
      Ultimate Hubberposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      On another forum someone was talking about how he bought a domain name/website from with the word "kindle" in domain and had recieved an email from Amazon about surrendering the domain name.

  2. I am DB Cooper profile image59
    I am DB Cooperposted 7 years ago

    It's a trademark issue, which has different laws than copyright. If you use a trademarked name in a domain you could end up having to turn the domain over. This is especially true if the trademark was established before you bought the domain and if the site you have at that domain is related to the product/service of the trademarked term.

  3. sunforged profile image79
    sunforgedposted 7 years ago

    My first websites had ebay in the domain name - i got c&d's within the month! (eBay is an extreme example they are very very rabid about domain names and any possible relationship to their brand - they have tons of frivolous lawsuits out there suing all sorts of "bays")

    Its risky business. most dont care or dont have the resources to try and enforce and watch.

    Its up to the brand to enforce its trademark, but some affs and networks wont be associated with clear trademark violation domain names.

    Worst case scenario - the brand doesnt care at first, you put tons of work in make a viable resource and then perhaps outrank the actual brand site or they hire a seo or brand management firm and all your hard work gets canned when its brought to their attention.

  4. Bill Manning profile image75
    Bill Manningposted 7 years ago

    Yeah I once owned disneyinside.com. Before I put too much work into it I figured it was a bad idea and dropped it.

    1. sunforged profile image79
      sunforgedposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Disney is as on point as eBay with trademarks in domain names - I have a disney related site also.

      My solution is usually just to move the brand name to a subdomain.


      1. SiddSingh profile image60
        SiddSinghposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks everyone for your inputs. I was sure it was a bad idea - specially if you get a c&d after putting in some work! Yet you see so many of them all around...

        This is interesting, SF. Do you think this sort of "gets around" the problem, and is okay? I guess disney.inside.com is just like a distinct website, just like disneyinside.com.

        1. sunforged profile image79
          sunforgedposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          the subdomain is not registered - so no actionable recourse by brand/trademark owner.

          Trademark law doesnt actually give anyone monopoly on a word anyway - they have to prove infringement and intention to mislead. But you dont want to have to even get to that point. Currently subdomains are considered 100% safe, its just a category on your site.

          But using the brand at www.keyword.com/Brand is equally effective for search purposes, so if you arent actually trying to do anything tricky there is no real reason to go up against any big brands.

          there are some that would certainly cuse some friction

          liek I wouldnt try:


          as that has an obvious and intentional intention to mislead and pose as the trademarked company.




          fair game, (currently)

          1. SiddSingh profile image60
            SiddSinghposted 7 years agoin reply to this

            Thanks SF, for your advice - it makes sense.

            I think the subdirectory approach will be safer than a subdomain.

  5. profile image0
    ryankettposted 7 years ago

    Its a grey area.

    You are much more likely to encounter issues if you use the name of a person as a domain name, if you don't share the same name. Or masquarade as an officially affiliated site.

    If I had the domain name www.parishilton.com then she would have a strong case for rights to that name, although no more of a case than any other person named paris hilton.

    If I owned the domain www.bestrolexwatches.com I doubt that they would have much of an issue as long as the site was very professional, used for the sole purpose of providing information and selling rolex watches, and didn't cross promote other brands.

    If I was selling Tag watches on a Rolex site, then they would perhaps have cause for concern.

    If you had a website called www.iloveparishilton.com or www.unofficialparishiltonfanclub.com then paris hilton would equally have no cause for concern.

    Just my 2 cents.

    1. Ultimate Hubber profile image60
      Ultimate Hubberposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I don't think this is the case especially with the rolex watches example.

      1. profile image0
        ryankettposted 7 years agoin reply to this


        Technically they may have a claim, but a search for 'Rolex Watches' brings up the following sites on the first page of Google:


        And the second page page brings up:


        And the third page brings up:


        So what makes you think that Rolex would make a special exception to bestrolexwatches.com? Yes the potential is there for them to knock it on the head, but judging by the crap which already utilises their trademark it doesn't look like they are in any kind of rush to chase after the little guys...

        1. profile image0
          ryankettposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          Ok hands up, http://www.dnforum.com/f26/help-rolex-t … 06238.html

          Rolex have indeed been known to request that domains are surrended, my bad. But, there are plenty of corps that still don't bother smile

          1. Ultimate Hubber profile image60
            Ultimate Hubberposted 7 years agoin reply to this

            It is not a matter of whether they bother or not. It is a legal matter related to copyrights. If certain companies do not take it seriously at the moment, they can and they will after some time.

            1. profile image0
              ryankettposted 7 years agoin reply to this

              You didn't accept that as my acknowledgement that you were indeed correct then?

              There is no way of knowing whether a brand 'will' or 'will not', but on a side note.... cheap-rolexwatches.com ranks on the first page for the term 'rolex watches' despite only having a PR1.

              It was created 11 months ago. I am sure that we can agree that the inevitable will happen, Rolex will get the hump, and he will have to surrender the domain. Particularly considering the site actually sells watches from a variety of brands.

              However I am convinced that if you were to ask the webmaster whether having a webpage for the keyword term for 'Rolex Watches' on the front page of Google for even 6 months is financially viable, considering his costs are likely to be little more than $10 per year in domain costs, I am sure that he would probably show you an expensive watch of his own.

              I would pay $10 to achieve a front page listing for rolex watches for just 1 week. Some entreprenuers will take advantage of zero competition, others will fear the consequence of their actions. Whats the worst that can happen? You get asked to hand over the domain? Precedent suggests that this is indeed what will happen, Rolex will request that you surrender the domain. As long as you are paying $10 for it, and not $2000 for it, then thats not going to hurt you.

              That is not a lifetime of work, that is a month of building a basic site, a few months of building the PR1, and 7 months of making an absolute mint. The domain gets taken away, he buysanother domain, for... say... Cartier watches. No tears shed, same site, just needs to build the PR1 again.

              Easy quick money to be had, go fill your boots, embrace it.

              1. Ultimate Hubber profile image60
                Ultimate Hubberposted 7 years agoin reply to this

                I understood that. I was just replying to "But, there are plenty of corps that still don't bother"

                Now let me read the rest of your post. smile

              2. Ultimate Hubber profile image60
                Ultimate Hubberposted 7 years agoin reply to this

                Maybe Rolex has already taken that domain name. Maybe it was taken before it even reached the third page of Google. And you must add time, effort and money(probably) spent in addition to $10 to reach there.

                1. profile image0
                  ryankettposted 7 years agoin reply to this

                  It reached the first page (I am talking about the first non-rolex owned domain for the phrase 'Rolex Watches').

                  Why would Rolex build a site selling other watches? When somebody surrenders a domain they transfer the domain only, not a site.

                  The Whois report suggests that the current owner has been the only owner, and it was created in September 2009.

                  Backlink Checker suggests that the site has backlinks on just 23 other sites.

                  I really cannot see where the time and money can be wasted. The site looks basic, would take a semi-competant developer about 2 weeks, it only has a backlinks on 23 sites. I have achieved a PR2 before on a blog with just 8 backlinks.

                  The site code itself cannot be taken by Rolex, all they have to do is buy another $10 domain. The time spent building the site itself is irrelevant, it can be switched between domains and live again with a few minutes. The hosting, if the owner is wise, will be an unlimited package. In other words, he will have multiple sites on one hosting account.

                  So $10 for a domain, a couple of days of backlinking, a couple of months of patience, and you are on the top page for an incredible term.

                  Sorry but we obviously have very different perceptions, I see that as minimal effort and well worth a few months on the first page of Google, its all good though smile

  6. timorous profile image85
    timorousposted 7 years ago

    Right..it depends on the original trademark owner.  They may not even know who's using their name, until someone points it out.

    Also, any affiliates promoting a product from ClickBank may be able to use the product name in their landing page domain (best to check first), since the product vendor has likely purposely not used the product name as a keyword on their sales page, thus giving affiliates a better chance to be found on the search results, instead of the vendor.

    It's also not uncommon for some vendors to have their corporate name as their domain name, whereas web surfers are more likely to type in the product they're searching for, thus the product name from other websites is bound to supercede the vendor's corporate site, unless they've also reserved the product name site as well.

    Otherwise, just use common sense, or check with the original owner, for possiblly acceptable variations.

  7. sunforged profile image79
    sunforgedposted 7 years ago

    trademark, not copyright