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  1. #1
    baldidiot is offline Private Member
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    Default Couple of trademark questions

    For a while now I've been wanting to do some definitive guides to various casino softwares, and I kind of want each to be their own site. A while back I bought a bunch of domains to use for this purpose that contained the software names, but immediately after this a couple of the software companies started clamping down on trademarked domains and I put the idea on hold.

    So I'm thinking of ways around this, as I don't really want to roll the dice on whether or not the domains get seized, and wanted to know if there was any legal objections or recourse to using a trademark as a subdomain.

    For example, if I were to register microgamingmysite.com - I'm risking microgaming having a hissy fit. But what about microgaming.mysite.com. From a legal standpoint, is there anything against using a trademark in this manner?

    Alternatively, if an abbreviation or slang term was used in the actual domain in place of the trademark, can the trademark owner complain if the site is 100% dedicated to the trademark term (although clearly an 'unofficial guide')?
    Last edited by baldidiot; 14 October 2012 at 7:53 am.
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  2. #2
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    I'm not an expert but I guess that if you were to use microgaming.mysite.com it would have exactly the same implications as microgamingmysite.com. You're still using their trademarked name but they might be ok with it providing it's obvious that it's not Microgaming themselves that is running the page and you don't say that their products are substandard, etc.

    Although Microgaming have a bit of a reputation for chasing those who breach their trademarks they're also not stupid and realise that if you're promoting their products there is a benefit to them also so using microgaming.mysite.com or mysite.com/microgaming probably isn't going to cause them any alarm.

    However, using microgaming.mysite.com and say that any of their products are rubbish may get their lawyers hackles up.

    Why not write to the software suppliers and ask them outright - then you'll be sure it's not going to cause problems later.

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  4. #3
    baldidiot is offline Private Member
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    True. Asking them isn't a bad idea - of course if they say no then I'd probably be on their radar and wouldn't have a leg to stand on if they decided to make a few objections.
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  5. #4
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    It's not a good idea to use their names in this way. Legally, they would almost certainly win a court case should they wish to do so. Also, no one would want to risk all the fees of fighting a case against them in the first place, so just the threat would finish your site off.

    I highly doubt that a company would say yes in any formal message, but they probably will say no.

    Having mysite.com/microgaming wouldn't be too bad if you wanted to pursue the idea of using trademarked names, mainly because it is easy to fix should any problems arise.
    Owning trademarked domains without using them can still get you into trouble.

    Why not one site of your own name with various categories?

  6. #5
    baldidiot is offline Private Member
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    This isnt about using a trademark in a domain though.

    I'm talking about using microgaming.mysite.com - would their be any legal recourse available if they so wished. Surely it couldn't go the domain route alone as it would require a claim against mysite.com which doesn't actually contain the trademark.

    The other idea I brought up was the use of untrademarked abbreviations - such as mg instead of microgaming.
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldidiot View Post
    would their be any legal recourse available if they so wished.
    Yes, because you are intentionally using their name to get visitors to your site. If they wanted to, they could cause problems for your site, but it depends largely on what the company is like. If it is likely to be costing them money (in their minds), then they could pursue some type of action.

    Of course, you should get proper legal advise, but I don't think it's a good idea.

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    baldidiot is offline Private Member
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    The same thing could be said for having a section dedicated to a trademarked brand though...
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    Hi Baldidiot, being that I have a trademark on my brand I figured I'd offer my advice. I know that Microgaming did crack down on some folks that were using their name in a domain url and confiscated the site or forced it to be taken down, but they also ALLOWED some to continue using their name (you can google to see who they are) so it may be a case by case situation.

    Personally, I would prevent anyone from using my trademark brand in any way what-so-ever so it's best to ask the owner and find out their position just to cover yourself as it is not in your best interest to waste your time or try to prevent the inevitable. Good luck!

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