So unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Facebook is going to be releasing a new cryptocurrency called Libra. News of Facebook doubling down on crypto has caused a surge in the crypto market with Bitcoin jumping over $10,000.
At the same time, some very foolish people have started buying domain names with the word “Libra” in it and often with another word related to crypto hoping to sell them to Facebook.
Let me be not the first to say – this is a terrible idea. First things first – there are 204 records in the US Trademark database for the word “libra” – not all are live, but a lot of them are. If you want to look for yourself, here’s the link.
So if Facebook doesn’t get you for Trademark infringement…well, there are a lot of other companies that could. That being said, Facebook probably will go after you since they have a good track record of recovering names that violate their trademarks.
Heck, Facebook even goes after domains that don’t directly violate their trademarks but could be seen as confusingly similar to one of their trademarks:
Social networking company Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram have successfully recovered 46 domain names that are confusingly similar to its trademarks.
The domains include facebookenespanol.com, fecaboock.com, iinstagram.com and imstagram.com. They were registered from September 2009 to July 2011. Facebook first registered a US trademark in 2006 and Instagram in 2012.(Source – Trademarksandbrandsonline.com)
I’ve seen some people that are not only foolish enough to buy domains that infringe on this trademark, but have also started bragging about it publicly.
Get a clue. Seriously. Facebook isn’t going to buy your domains, but they will take them via UDRP and could hit you with a nasty bill to pay on top of that. Remember, registering someone’s trademark is cybersquatting, not domain investing.
While I thought that by now most people would know the long history of companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Coke, Pepsi, really any big company you can think of protecting their trademarks…it’s clear some people haven’t learned the lesson the hard way yet, but they will, just make sure it’s not you.
Did you buy a trademark infringing “libra” domain? If so, the good news is, you can force drop the domain at the registry level and save yourself the pain. Don’t know how to get rid of a domain ASAP, you can read more about how to do it here.