Yes – domain marketplaces auction off domains that violate trademarks all the time

Me and a number of other bloggers have been writing about the increased abuse of UDRPs this year and just how easy it has become for someone to lose a domain, even when they buy from a well-respected marketplace. The latest UDRP which I read about on DomainGang is which was purchased on NameJet in early 2017.

Theo did a great job of covering all the details of the UDRP in his post on DomainGang so if you want to read all the nitty gritty details I recommend reading his post using the link above.

While I’m a huge fan of NameJet, Go Daddy, Sedo, Uniregistry and many of the other popular domain marketplaces, it is important to remember that they sell a ton of names and researching each one to determine if it violates a Trademark (even algorithmically) isn’t going to happen. Couple this with the fact that UDRPs have become a new path for people to acquire domains given how easy it is to abuse, trademarks or not, and it means that as a buyer you really need to do your homework before buying a domain name.

Like I’ve said many times before, you could spend six-figures on a domain name only to lose it in a UDRP that someone paid $5,000 (or less) to initiate. I’m not a lawyer so it’s hard for me to do a deep dive into this particular case to judge if the ruling was valid or not, but I can tell you that Name Administration (Frank Schilling’s company) was the registrant and if anyone knows how to avoid TM issues, they’re one of the best.

In this case they assumed that this domain was the simple combination of two generic words. Anyone could have made the same decision even if they did the Trademark research so it just goes to show how easy it has become to lose a domain even when you think you’re in the clear.

What do you think? Would you have bought this name or would your research have kept you away from it? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton