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I attempted to register crack.house. I was told that I could not (by namecheap), because "the domain name contains a trademark".

How often does this happen, and is there anything I can do about it?

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Yes. They are right.

Here it is: http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4801:2tk3qv.2.2

You do not want to register a trademark as a domain name. One can argue locale in some respects, however, this is a company that offers...

Printing fonts that can be downloaded provided by means of electronic transmission

...which means that locale does not come into play. They will always have a claim against your domain name registration.

This is not something you want to get into. It could mean a Federal lawsuit which always means at least $10k to begin defending even when you roll over and say "I give." Otherwise, you would at least lose your domain name even if they do not make a claim in court. It is a big risk that I advise against.

  • Yeah, I get you. The thing that bothers me about it though is that companies might hold hundreds of trademarks. Does that mean the domain space will become increasingly depleted? Does that mean if one of the domain names I hold now becomes a trademark in the future that it may be taken away from me? That's the kind of things that are irking me about this. – horse hair Aug 2 '15 at 2:42
  • If you registered a domain name prior to a trademark, they have no claim. As well, not all trademark holders can make a claim- it depends upon the trademark and the domain name. Most trademark owners do not have any interest in registering a domain and will just let it go as long as you are not trampling upon their trademark. Which is the point. Actually, it is possible to argue that the trademark issued should be invalidated due to it being a common term. Trademarks are not to be ordinary terms and challenges can be made and won based upon this. – closetnoc Aug 2 '15 at 3:39
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    Trademark infringement is a very board legal law, you can use a dictionary word that is trademarked if the service/products are not associated with the orginal trademark.. i.e confusing for consumers... for example APPLE you wouldn't be allowed to sell software/hardware, as that could confuse consumers, however you could have a BAR called APPLE... – Simon Hayter Aug 2 '15 at 10:50
  • @SimonHayter I admit that it has been so long since I dealt with trademarks. You are right that there are dictionary terms registered as trademarks and conditions where one can successfully register and use a trademark, however, they can be easily challenged simply because it is not supposed to happen- really- even though there are carve-outs. A trademark is something you create. Where Apple works is where they do not then challenge everyone in the world for using Apple. McDonalds sued someone in the UK for infringing on their trademark and lost when Lord McDonald who ran a restaurant... – closetnoc Aug 2 '15 at 14:27
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    And "crack house" is a commonly used phrase that is mostly used without reference to the organization that holds the trademark. – horse hair Aug 2 '15 at 15:04
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If you don’t operate in the exact same market segment as the trademark holder, then use another domain registrar to register the name that you want. The only way to violate the trademark would be if, for example, they sell cars and you sell cars.

It might be that every single word in the English dictionary now has a trademark applied to it somewhere in the world. But again, those trademarks only restrict a direct competitor in each particular market segment.

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