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nomad

Quick Question

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I was directed here by some one at SEO, as they could not answer my question.

 

I recently kept my eye on a website that was about to expire, I planned to register as soon as it dropped. I was un-successful, as another party had the domain backordered. I found the contact information for the new owner, and negotiated a fair price, and through and escrow service, I purchased the domain name. I recently received several emails from the original owner, who said they ‘had planned to re-register the domain this fall of 2007’ when they were ready to re-open their business again. I explained that I had purchased this domain from the second owner, and that I have recently had several offers from people willing to purchase the domain from me. I also stated that since they were the original owner, I would be willing to offer it for sale to them first.

 

Some one recently told me about the “1999 Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act” and told me that profiting from domain sales is illegal. I found that very hard to believe since the popularity of eBay and GoDaddy, amongst many many others.

 

Can you clarify my position on this domain. I do not want to lose the investment I have in the domain (purchase price from the second owner).

 

Thanks for your time

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Some one recently told me about the “1999 Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act” and told me that profiting from domain sales is illegal. I found that very hard to believe since the popularity of eBay and GoDaddy, amongst many many others.

 

Hi Nomad.

 

Welcome to Cre8asite.

 

The Anticybersquatting law is a little more complicated than that. The intention behind it was to try to keep people from registering domain names for the sole purpose of trying to force a trademark holder from using the name unless he or she paid a lot of money for it.

 

But, if you register a domain name intending to put a web site on it, and what you offer on that site is in a different kind of business than the people who might hold a trademark, then your purchase might be seen as a good faith effort to use the name.

 

Your offer to sell the name to them might be seen as an intent to profit off the name, without actually developing a site or pursuing activity at the domain which may not infringe upon the trademark that they may own.

 

Realistically, they can't just let a domain name expire, and then expect it to still be around nine months to a year later - or force someone to give it up to them, especially if it was purchased with the intent of using it in a legitimate manner in commerce, or as a nonprofit site, or personal site.

 

You can learn some more about the Anticybersquatting law and trademarks here:

 

Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) about Domain Names and Trademarks

 

You may want to seek a consultation with a lawyer on this issue - usually initial consultations are fairly inexpensive, especially if you contact your local bar association for a referral. In an initial consultation, an attorney will often give you a rough idea of some of the research or actions that they could take, and how much they might charge to do so.

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In this respect I'm somewhat intrigued by the domain name answer.com Currently there is no website at that address. I assume someone has been sitting on this for sometime. It would clearly be a great name for anyone in that 'question' business. Given the obvious possible confusion, it is intriguing that a search in Google for answer.com gives answers.com as the #1 choice.

 

What are the ramifications of this particular situation?

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