My domain would look like "tiltblah.com". I don't want to mention the real domain name here, because it might be registered by someone else then.

I'd like to register this domain, because I want to create a website with about PC games. I've searched the US and EU trademark databases and found trademark holders like "Full Tilt" and simmilar.

Let's say my domain name goes like "tiltfun.com", and my website is about games, Full Tilt poker (ignoring the fact that they might be out of business) is about games too. This seems to be a risk to me. Same branch of trade & the word "Tilt" is used => risk?

And if there's a trademark holder from a completely different branch of trade, dish washers or anything, owning the trademark "Tilt". Would they want to sue me? In Germany branch of trade is important. If it differs, simmillar domain name holders can peacefully coexist.

I was never so cautios until there was somebody sued by BMW for using the word MINI and somebody in Germany was imho sued because he used a "t-" in his domain name. Deutsche Telekom owns "T-".

In case this question is too specific, how do you generally find out the riskiness of a domain name?

  • 2
    Your example doesn't seem like it would be a problem, but this sort of question should be asked on a legal advice forum or by consulting a trademark lawyer. Legal advice given by non-lawyers is notoriously unreliable, and I've seen answers to these types of IP questions on StackExchange by users who don't even understand the difference between trademarks and copyrights... Commented Jan 27, 2012 at 3:18

1 Answer 1


Whenever you are using names that are secured by Trademarks, and your are providing service in the same area, like your suggestion (using a name of a game producer, and creating a website about games.)

If you're real name is connected with the domain name, you also have better chances to succeed in a lawsuit.

Ask yourself,

  • do you profit from the name (e.g. cokegames) -> dangerous
  • do you hurt the name (microsoftshit) -> dangerous
  • Could somebody really think you are official connected with the homepage (careful on the webdesign) -> dangerous
  • Do you immediately connect the real trademark with it (gogle) -> dangerous
  • Do you register the domain just to sell it later to the trademark owner (domain squatting) -> you will lose it, but perhaps your offer is lower then the cost to go to court.

Rule of thumb: Whenever you have a bad feeling, be careful, you can win a lawsuit but it's still expensive, and winning against a big company, nearly impossible as a private person.

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