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I own a domain related to an iPhone Game and have been sent a Trademark Infringement on said domain by the company.

It makes me a few dollars a month but nothing great, And I would like to offer to sell the domain to them.

Does anyone have any advice or tips on this?

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They own the trademark and you're thinking you might want to sell it to them? I'm thinking if you're lucky you'll get to sell it to them. –  John Conde Dec 23 '11 at 3:36
    
Reword that to "They own the trademark and you don't think you'll get pwned trying to sell them something you don't own?" <grin> –  Fiasco Labs Dec 24 '11 at 5:38

2 Answers 2

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It depends on the legal jurisdiction you and your registrar (or possibly the registry for the TLD) reside in I suppose. But in the U.S. the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) specifically outlaws this type of trademark infringement and typosquatting. It's pretty much the only kind of domain squatting that is actually illegal in the U.S.

Under this law, the trademark holder can sue anyone who tries to profit from their trademark via a domain name that contains their trademark or a typo variant. The only exceptions are gripe sites, but the domain still has to be different enough from the trademark to not be misleading.

The other path of recourse trademark holders have is the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP). The UDRP is a quicker process, and one that has a very high rate of success for trademark holders; however, many trademark holders choose to make an ACPA claim because it allows them to pursue punitive damages (in one case the trademark holder was awarded $200,000), whereas with UDRP they only get the domain name transfered over to them.

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If its a clear and up-front trademark infringement, they probably by law, already own it. These cases don't turn out well if you decide to attempt to get money out of a corporation that's spent money on a lawyer to protect their IP rights on trade/service marks they own. Protection of trademark and patent rights gets pretty aggressive as they don't like to set precedents for extortion. I watched one of our competitors get blocked for six years from opening their website with their corporate name because the squatter wanted money. Once the relevant law passed, they nailed him for lost sales and damages to the tune of several million. Settlements were a lot less, but it involves a trip through purgatory for the foolhardy who doesn't own the trade/service mark.

Just because your fingers can type in the domain name and the registrar will allow you to pay money for it doesn't mean you actually own the rights to display it.

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